Letters to the Editor, Dec. 27, 2012
The firearm debate
EDITOR: The debate about placing limits on the purchase of fire arms in our country should be based on facts and not fiction. Sound bites such as guns don't kill people, people do are simply that-sound bites- with little or no relevance to the issue. With this in mind let's look at some statistics related to our country and other developed countries around the world and gun related deaths.
Of the world's 23 "rich" countries, the U.S. gun related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. This fact was published by the Atlantic publication.
The United States averages around 10,000 gun related deaths a year. Great Britain averages 60, Germany has around 400, Canada has around 120 and Japan averages only 13. If population size was taken into account the totals for the above countries would be as follows: Great Britain 290; Canada 1190; Germany 1500 and Japan 40. There appears to be a direct correlation between the amount of gun control and the amount of gun related violence in all of these countries. If this is the case, why wouldn't Americans be willing to have a modest amount of gun control if it fostered an improvement in gun related crime?
Gun related crime not only causes undue death but substantial costs to our penal system. How many felons are in prison because of gun related crime activity and at what cost to our society? Why was legislation passed in 1994 restricting the purchase of certain type of fire arm activity allowed to expire? How restrictive was this legislation to you and me while it was in place? You need to answer these questions for yourself.
I find it abhorrent that the only answers the NRA can come up with is to arm all schools and to stop the playing of video games. Maybe the NRA will pay for the arming of all schools. Do we want our schools armed with assault rifles or an inferior product?
Do we want our teachers carrying concealed weapons? Do we want our buses with armed police? Do we want holstered police in all of our parks, playgrounds and theaters? Why is our country so much more violent than other democracies? Where would this end? Should we need to arm our schools while police in Great Britain don't even carry guns. What is wrong with this picture?
I am from a hunting family. My sons' were all given lifetime memberships to the NRA when they were at home. I am a gun owner who believes it is time for people like me to speak out. Why do we limit the amount of shells in our shotguns and in our rifles while hunting wild game but don't limit the number of shells when hunting people. It simply doesn't make sense. We must reinstate some limits on the type of guns and types of clips people have access to. If we don't do this, we will lose much more down the road. We must be proactive not reactive.
EDITOR: The Towanda-Wysox Kiwanis would like to thank the community for their help with our recent ToyTown project. Your individual donations of toys make this project a great success. Hundreds of new toys and gently used toys were distributed to children-in-need at our recent party. Your generous contributions helped to make this a happier holiday for children in Bradford County.
Thanks to the businesses that served as collection sites: Ben Franklin, Hurley's, JC Penney. Your cooperation and patience with the barrels is greatly appreciated. Thank you to Dollar General for the new toys collected. Thank you to Dollar Tree for their continuing support of our children. We appreciate the many years all these businesses have helped us collect toys for the children of Bradford County.
A very special thank you to the Towanda American Legion. Your generous contribution made a huge difference to the children. We really appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for all of us.
Thank you to the Girl Scout leaders of Wypotomoss - you wrapped hundreds of toys.
Thank you to Penelec and the employees who helped with this project. Your garage is the perfect location.
Thank you to the S.T.A.R. students. Your help in the distribution of the toys was invaluable.
Thank you to the agencies for taking the time to identify the children and families in need. We appreciate your cooperation and hope to continue our long working relationship.
Thank you to all the community members and Kiwanis who continue to make this such a great project. Working together we can make a difference to our children. Happy Holidays to all.
Sue BenKinney Schwab Chairperson, ToyTown
Children Priority One