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Guns aren't the problem, society is 

In a recent edition, Kathy Riedman ("It's up to you," May 31) purported that German Lopez's article in Vox, "I've covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren't a big mystery," proves gun violence is caused by guns and America's love of them. One of his first contentions is that America has a much higher rate of homicides compared to other countries. Many of the countries on his list don't even allow citizens to possess firearms any longer, so the comparison is not impressive. Also, homicides don't indicate whether the gun was wielded by a perpetrator of an illegal action, or an armed citizen protecting himself. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted extensive surveys about defensive gun uses (DGUs) but it never publicized the fact that it did such research or what the results were. The CDC isn't offering an explanation for this mysterious silence. But the findings from this research in the 1990s found more DGUs than the anti-gun media wanted to admit to. The results come close to the findings of Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck. His study, which has been harshly disputed in pro-gun-control quarters, indicated that there were more than 2.2 million such DGUs in America a year.

Lopez fails to mention that in all but one of the recent 27 mass shootings by young men (no women), the boys were raised without their fathers. This is a significant social problem for our society, which people do not want to touch, as most people are supportive of alternative lifestyles, non-traditional families, divorce, etc. One of the boys had a father who died, but the other troubled young lads were from broken or single-mother homes.

Lopez contends that the mass shooters are not mentally ill—what would he label them? Normal? Normal people do not go around shooting others. That's just plain silly and defies common sense.

I could go on and on, but the point is that guns are not the problem (has an NRA member ever been a mass shooter or gone on a crime spree?). Cars kill more people. Should we outlaw cars? According to CDC records, in 2016 there were approximately: 40,000 motor vehicle-related deaths; 39,000 firearm-related deaths; and 64,000 drug overdose-related deaths.

Tesa Becica
Atascadero

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