Letter to the editor...


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Adept
October 24, 2005, 03:52 AM
Here is a copy of a letter I've sent to the newspaper, in reply to an anti-gun letter.

"Greg Harris ("Guns! We don't want them" October 24) has an admirable goal in reducing crime and making our country a safer place.

Unfortunately, Greg has focused on the wrong statistics and, while the numbers he uses are correct, he has given Herald Sun readers an incomplete picture. Please bear in mind when reading the following facts that the firearms laws were tightened in 1996 as a result of the Port Arthur tragedy.

Rates of homicide and related crimes have climbed from 975 before 1996 to an average of 997 in the following years. Rates of robbery, both armed and unarmed have climbed from 15,564 before the thighter gun laws to a staggering average of 22,619. Interestingly, armed robbery rates almost doubled after the 1996 Firearms act. Also, unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime has gone from 385,162 before 1996 to an average of 413,249. Similar climbs have been seen in the rates of assault and sexual assault.

One can also compare both the volume of legally owned firearms and the rates of homicide for other developed nations. Such studies invariably reveal that the rate of homicide is completely unrelated to the rate of firearm ownership. Simply put, guns don't kill people.

In summary, tightening gun laws has had no posititive effect on our crime rates. Unlike Mr Harris, I won't try and link the rates of crime to rates of gun ownership. In fact, I believe they are totally isolated of one another. As such, tightening gun laws in order to prevent crime is an ineffective and ill-informed reaction that ignores the real issues and causes of crimes."

Thoughts? Opinions?

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Hawken50
October 24, 2005, 04:27 AM
clear, consise and well thought out

Tried'nTrue
October 24, 2005, 05:59 AM
I like the letter, however, I think that these two thoughts may not be wholly accurate...

"Such studies invariably reveal that the rate of homicide is completely unrelated to the rate of firearm ownership."
"In fact, I believe they are totally isolated of one another."

From what I've heard, there's a direct correlation between decreased private gun ownership and increased homicide...

other than that, I like the letter and I like the fact that you are getting the word out! Your non-accusational manner is also very commendable.

Spiphel Rike
October 24, 2005, 07:00 AM
Which newspaper was this? The papers here in brizzi don't really look at these issues anymore.

bogie
October 24, 2005, 07:48 AM
Spell check is your friend. Thighter?

Darth Ruger
October 24, 2005, 07:52 PM
"Such studies invariably reveal that the rate of homicide is completely unrelated to the rate of firearm ownership."I also think that statement came out wrong. I think the way you worded it might actually hurt one of our strongest arguments: that places where private ownership of guns is banned have higher crime rates.

In fact, I believe they are totally isolated of one another.You want to avoid making statements like that. Debating gun control with anti's has to be done very carefully. We already know that they act purely on emotion rather than logic and proven fact. They even distort the facts to advance their agenda. Saying that you simply believe something to be true, without having any evidence or statistics to back it up, will be the one weak point in your argument that allows them to dismiss any credbility you might have. Anti's won't put any more stock in your personal opinion than you will in theirs. That sentence was immediately followed with...
As such, tightening gun laws in order to prevent crime is an ineffective and ill-informed reaction that ignores the real issues and causes of crimes." Well, we know that to be true, but convincing anti's of that is the problem.

What you basically told them with those two sentences is "I don't believe gun control reduces crime, so that must be the truth." They won't buy that for a minute. Making a proclamation like that is fine, as long as you...

#1. Say it in a manner that conveys it as proven fact, i.e., "Studies have shown that stricter gun control doesn't reduce crime". Never say "I believe...", because your personal opinion is as invalid to them as theirs is to you. That's why you have to present them with unassailable facts. Always present it as a statement of proven fact, not personal belief.

#2. Don't do #1 (above) unless you can cite the particular studies/statistics/evidence to back up your claim.

Unless you can say it as a matter of fact and then present them with the facts that prove it, don't say it at all. Anything less is just your personal opinion, which holds no water at all as far as they're concerned.

The other parts of your letter are very good. You gave other statistics that helped make your case, and that's what you want to do. They can argue personal opinions and feelings and emotions all day long, but you'll stop them dead in their tracks when you give them evidence.

This is meant to be constructive criticism, not negative criticism. When debating anti's, always remember that they have to rely on emotion, so you have to refute it with facts. If you don't, they'll dismiss your argument as uninformed and tainted with personal bias. We know that's really how they are, but if you give them the opportunity to accuse you of the same thing, they'll do it.

Standing Wolf
October 24, 2005, 09:28 PM
Unlike Mr Harris, I won't try and link the rates of crime to rates of gun ownership.

"...try to..." rather than "...try and..."

Adept
October 24, 2005, 09:50 PM
Thanks for the criticism guys. Good stuff.

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