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An Open Letter to American Gun Owners

Dear American Gun Owners,

I don’t think you realize that most of us who don’t own guns and advocate for greater gun regulation wouldn’t give a damn about your guns if you would stop killing people. You kill a lot of people. Let me break it down for you. Every day 48 children are shot and every day 7 of them die. Every day 297 Americans of all ages are shot and every day 89 of them die. Of those who die, 33 are murdered or killed unintentionally, 55 kill  themselves, 1 is killed by police, and 1 intent unknown.[1] Such deaths are so commonplace that they rarely rise above local news reporting. Unfortunately, mass shooting and killings are also commonplace and, of course, they do sometimes make the national headlines (though not as often as you would think). In the last 1,004 days there have been 994 mass shootings resulting in 1,260 deaths and 3,306 injuries.[2]

Since you seem unable to stop killing people, we non-gun owners keep trying to persuade our elected officials to introduce even pitifully feeble gun regulations in an effort to at least slow down the killing. Obviously, so far we have failed miserably. But you shouldn’t take our failure as an indication we will stop trying. You see, our friends, family, and children are dying too. Thing is, we don't have a lot of influence with the NRA and their politicians in state and federal legislatures. However, I'm thinking you might, if only you'd give it a try.

Now before you get all angry and accuse me of being an unpatriotic, anti-Second  Amendment, gun hating, bleeding heart liberal, let me say I do realize that the vast majority of gun owners are good and responsible people. I get that. Some of my friends and family have guns in their homes. However, I’m going to say this anyway. Those of us who do not own guns, borrow guns, or shoot guns cannot shoot people dead. It’s impossible. The only people who can kill people with guns are people with guns. So I’m afraid the killing is on you, and by "you" I mean the community of gun owners. This house of pain is not my house, though I do live next-door. It is your house. So, if you don’t like me complaining about all the killing and dying, then get your house in order. Trust me, if you leave it to me, and through some miracle I succeed, you won’t like the results.  

Now I know what you’re thinking (because you always saying it). If only we gave everyone a gun, or several guns, then the killing would stop. I know it’s counter intuitive to you, but no. Let’s also break this down.

Where there are more guns there are more gun deaths. Gun deaths are 7 times higher in states with the highest household gun ownership as compared to states with the lowest household gun ownership. An estimated 41% of gun related murders and 94% of gun related suicides would not have occurred if no guns were present.[3]

Keeping a gun in your house raises the risk of homicide. States with the highest level of gun ownership have 114% higher gun related homicide rates than states with the lowest gun ownership. The risk of homicide is 3 times higher in homes with guns.[4]

Well, take it or leave it, believe it or not. I know it sounds un-American and downright crazy to say, but where there are no guns people don’t kill each other with guns and as a result there are less dead people. Yes, I do understand that facts and truth are often less persuasive than ideology and belief. Still, a person has got to try.

So, I hope you are well and see you at the next mass shooting. One will be coming soon and next time it may be in your school or neighborhood.

Sincerely yours,

Dale Rominger

[1] See Brady Center

[2] The FBI defines a mass shooting as four or more people being shot or killed in one incident. The statistics for the most recent mass shootings mentioned in the letter were compiled by The Guardian. See: “994 mass shootings in 1,004 days: this is what America's gun crisis looks like”, Friday, 2 October 2015.

[3] See Brady Center

[4] See Brady Center

References (2)

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    Response: Gun Safes
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    Response: Car salesmen
    The Back Road Cafe - Café Talk - An Open Letter to American Gun

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