Monday, December 11, 2017
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: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

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Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Friday’s letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17