Friday, May 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Emails to the editor: Those gun claims are riddled with holes

Re: Let us praise armed citizens (email to the editor, Feb. 21)

In his email, Bill King states that "lawful citizens in the U.S. use a firearm to protect themselves from violent criminals every 41 seconds on average," and that "lawful citizens shoot twice the number of violent criminals as do the police." I think those statements desperately need backup proof. I have not noticed any such information in the newspapers. They sound much like something the National Rifle Association would publish.

David Cox, Belleair Bluffs

Editor's note: A little research reveals that these statistics or similar ones are widely cited in letters to the editor, articles on the web, and elsewhere. And it also reveals they are quite inaccurate.

The most popular claim seems to be that Americans use guns in self-defense 2.5 million times a year, or once every 13 seconds. Such figures have been refuted by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. From 2007 through 2011, the NCVS reports there were 29.6 million victims of attempted or completed violent crime in the U.S. If the 2.5 million times a year claim were true, guns would have been used in 12.5 million of the incidents. In fact, the NCVS reports, victims used guns as protection in just 338,700 of the incidents (or a little more than 1 percent.)

As for how many criminals are shot by gun owners, the FBI reported an average of 213 justified firearm homicides a year from 2005 to 2010. If the figure of 2.5 million defensive gun uses were accurate, that would mean gun owners killed their attackers only 0.008 percent of the time, which would seem astonishingly low.

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Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litigants would ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18