To the editor:
On Jan. 23, this paper published a letter from Alex Guzzwell titled “Firearms are a great equalizer,” detailing the reasons he believes gun ownership should remain largely unrestricted in our country.
Guns as a great equalizer? I beg to differ. As I see it, guns, especially semi-automatic assault rifles, are a path to turning a violent impulse into a catastrophic tragedy.
Consider this: Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, one is used 11 times for a suicide (attempted or completed), seven times in a criminal assault or homicide, and four times in an unintentional shooting death or injury. (Source: Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care 1998).
Our unrestrained access to firearms accounts for why we are the only civilized nation on earth with a mind-boggling gun homicide rate - 10,000 on average annually in the USA compared to 200 annually in Canada and 150 in France (Source: United Nations).
If you agree with me, please join hundreds of others and sign my petition urging our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to ban the assault rifle trade and take strong action against gun violence on behalf of Washington voters. You can find my petition at www.facebook.com/SpeakUpKitsap.