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Letter: Our gun problem goes well beyond Columbine, Aurora

So wrote the Citizen's columnist on June 21:

"In Clayton County, during a routine traffic stop, a passenger in a car pulled a gun and shot the driver of the car in the stomach. The police wound up shooting and killing the man who had done the shooting.

Next came the news that a man who had been shot near Turner Field on Wednesday died of his wounds early Thursday morning while a second man, shot in the same gunfight, remains in critical condition.

Meanwhile, in Union City, the GBI released sketches of two men wanted in connection with two fatal shootings in that town that occurred back in March. In other news, Atlanta police arrested a 24-year-old man Wednesday and charged him with a fatal shooting that occurred Monday around midnight.

These stories were all in one 5-minute newscast, y'all. What is this world coming to? In the city of Atlanta alone there are almost 6,000 violent crimes reported per year.

Some people would have you believe that it is a gun problem. I don't believe that for a minute. What we have here is not a gun problem."

But don't worry, we'll soon forget about it. When was the last time you were reminded of the Columbine massacre before this more recent terror attack? What about the Heritage High shooting?

Last week, a 24-year-old university student was arrested as the alleged killer of 12 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Four weapons were found at the scene. Two were .40-caliber handguns. The accused killer had purchased more than 3,000 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition. Next was a pump action, single barrel, 12 gauge shotgun, with 300 rounds of ammunition. The last was an AR-15 type rifle, 223 caliber. He had 3,000 rounds of ammunition for this rifle. All of the killer's purchases -- four guns and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition -- were legal.

After more than 10 years of war in Afghanistan, the U.S. reached a milestone when the 2,000th American died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2010, there were 8,775 murders in the U.S. caused by firearms. Understand that these figures are for murders alone!

Fifty-six percent of the cases reviewed by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic violence between 2004 and 2011 died from gunshot wounds.

In 2005, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among Americans 40 years of age or younger. That year, an average of 46 Americans per day committed suicide with a firearm, accounting for 53 percent of all completed suicides. Gun suicide during this period accounted for 40 percent more deaths than gun homicide.

In 2006, 642 people died in the United States from the accidental discharge of firearms. Thirty percent of these deaths occurred in persons aged 15 to 24.

Yes, we do have a gun problem. It's not in any way tied to the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution. No one can justify these deaths as an effort to defend one's self or family. Neither can anyone honestly claim these deaths were required to defend our nation. "Some people would have you believe that it is a gun problem." But don't worry. Except for the victims' families, we'll forget about it until the next time.

-- Milt Longbottom

Conyers

Comments

Silverbullet 1 year, 11 months ago

Cars kill near 100,000 people and injure millions each year. We have a car problem.

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JLBalliew 1 year, 6 months ago

Thomas Jefferson said " The Second Amendment won't be needed until they try and take it away". There is no doubt there are a lot useless deaths tied to guns but it is that one amendment that makes all the others possible.

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