In arguing that gun control is not the answer to gun violence (letter of Sept. 1), Art Hall states that, “The states with the most restrictive gun laws still lead the country in gun violence.” According to the Giffords Law Center website, however, “The evidence is clear — states with stronger gun laws have lower gun death rates, year after year.”
For example, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut, which are ranked first, second and third in having comparatively strong gun laws amongst the 50 states, have gun death rates per 100,000 people of 7.8, 5.3, and 5.1 per year, respectively. On the other end of the scale, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Alaska, which have ineffective or nonexistent gun laws and are ranked 50th, 48th, and 44th in gun-law strength, have gun-death rates per 100,000 people of 21.5, 18.7, and 24.5 per year. Anyone interested can find the rankings of all of the states at lawcenter.giffords.org/scorecard, and none of those data support Mr. Hall’s claim.
A fact-based debate about the cause of the excessive gun death rate in the U.S. is critical to the future of our country, but it is not helpful when people use false information in an attempt to sway others to their point of view.
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Corvallis (Sept. 3)