Friday, March 23, 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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Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18