To the Editor:
It was with regret that we read Sheriff Scott’s March 2 editorial about guns, in which he seemed to side not with police chiefs across the country but with the NRA.
Among developed countries, the U.S. alone is plagued by gun violence, which takes a life every 15 minutes. Since 1970, 1.4 million people have died by guns, a number surpassing those lost in all our wars (1.3 million).
Police have front-row seats to this carnage (and frequently die in it), which is why both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Florida Police Chiefs Association support strong gun-control legislation. They want a ban on assault weapons, requirement of universal background checks, a registry of firearm felons, a national gun registry, the repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment (which prevents firearm tracing), and a five-day waiting period – all measures opposed by the NRA.
Sheriff Scott claims that instead of gun controls we need armed police in schools – in effect arguing that more guns will make us safer. This position has proved false time and time again.
Consider the Australians who, like us, could once buy all kinds of guns. In 1996 the Port Arthur massacre occurred, with 35 dead and 23 maimed. Right away the government banned all assault weapons. Since then the country has experienced no massacres at all; before 1996, there had been ten. The correlation between availability of guns and gun deaths is accepted fact.
Anyone concerned about the sky-high rates of homicide, suicide and accidental death in the U.S. knows the only sensible thing to do is to man up like the Aussies and pass vigorous gun-control laws now.
The undersigned are residents, business owners and/or homeowners in Boca Grande.
Pauline Lord, Alice Gorman, Chris Cowperthwaite, Corey Oliver, Corinna Hammond, David Harlow, Davis Hammond, Denis Tinsley, Gail Cleveland, Henry Lord, Jane Geniesse, Jimmy Watson, Kate Horgan, Karin Birkeland, Laura Brock, Lenore Zug Lobel, Liz Verney, Loraine McGuane, Louis Lobel, Margaret Seiler Brock, Marte Watson, Megan Harlow, Meredith Brokaw, Robert Geniesse, Simona Balzer, Susan Haggerty, Susan, Hunter Zug, Susie Tinsley, Synthia Joseph, Terry Waite Tom Wilcox, Whitney Ransome