This in regard to David Higgins’ letter of the editor of Aug. 28, “Why is gun violence so common in America?”

“There are over 30,000 deaths every year in America from gunfire,” the author says. A catch-all, blanket statement. But he does not provide a breakdown of the gun related deaths.

 According to article by “The Trace.Org,” January 2019, there were 39,773 gun-related deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. However, nearly two-thirds were suicides or crime related. Compare that number to over 70,000 people who died from drugs (CNN), over 40,000 died from auto related deaths (nsc.org) and 480,000 deaths from tobacco products (per CDC).

 Where’s the outrage over drug, auto and tobacco deaths? Why does this “civilized” country allow a large death causing product (tobacco) to be sold? News articles today on CNN and Fox said grade school children are now vaping. Yeah, I know, it’s all about political contributions and that’s why a whole new generation will be hooked on nicotine and our elected officials just turn the other cheek.

 The author goes on to state that “less than 100 people die from gunfire in the entire European Union countries during an entire year.” I don’t believe that is even close to being true.

As an example, in Paris, France, 128 people were killed in one incident involving guns and explosive devices. (CNN, Nov. 14, 2015). There are 28 countries in the European Union. Per Wikipedia article, in 2017 these European Union countries reported the number of homicides by gun per population of 1 million: Brazil -200, Columbia-190, El Salvador, 265; Jamaica, 303; Venezuela, 265 and that’s not all the union members. So “less than 100” is very far from the truth.

I don’t condone mass shootings, it’s the irresponsible and erroneous reporting that irritates me.  

 R.S. Ellard

Walla Walla

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