Discussion on gun violence must be based on facts

Discussion on gun violence must be based on facts

Gun Rights

The letter to the editor penned by Andrew Hassanali (published March 28) advocates for additional restrictions on gun ownership in the United States. He advises readers to look into data on gun violence not provided by the NRA. When I did so, I discovered that he had failed to follow his own advice. He references the recent massacre of 50 New Zealanders, (without citing a source), and states that, “The U.S. has had a dozen massacres of similar or significantly greater destruction in this decade alone.” This is simply not true. The Washington Post (anything but a pro-NRA organization) has compiled data on mass shootings in the U.S. dating back to 1966 (Berkowitz, Lu, and Alcantara). Their reporting shows that in the last decade (Jan. 1, 2009 through Feb. 15, 2019), only two mass shootings approached or exceeded a death toll of 50 (Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the Las Vegas music festival). In other words, 83 percent of the massacres claimed by the letter writer never occurred. We have a problem with violence in this country, which I don’t mean to downplay. However, discussion of it should be based on facts, and not emotion or falsehoods. That said, I can only conclude that Mr. Hassanali fell victim to believing bogus anti-gun propaganda which he chose to pass on. I urge everyone to fact check information before sharing it.

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