Handgun Deaths At 45-Year Low

bulletSubject: Handgun Deaths At 45-Year Low

   Neal Knox Update, April 13 -- The Centers for Disease Control
yesterday announced that the number of "gun-related deaths" had
declined 25 percent since 1993, to the lowest levels since 1966
(Note: that was two years *before* the Gun Control Act of 1968
and the string of subsequent gun laws).

    According to an Associated Press story, CDC analysts credited
"stricter sentencing in some areas, new laws that make it more
difficult for criminals to get guns, the waning crack trade and low
unemployment because of the booming economy."

    CDC, which has been attempting to convince the nation
that violent crime is a disease, is right about stricter sentencing
of gun-wielding criminals, but dead wrong about criminals having
any difficulty obtaining guns.  Despite decades-old bans on guns
in high-crime cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago,
criminals have all the guns they want.

    The AP report doesn't mention that the National Center for
Health Statistics report for 1998 (latest available) shows that of the
30,708 total firearms-related deaths, only 11,798 -- slightly more
than a third -- were homicides (some of which are justifiable).

    Suicides account for well over half of the gun deaths
-- 17,424, or 57%.  An incredibly low 866 were accidents, and
620 were listed as "undetermined" or "other" -- which probably
includes a lot more self-defense shootings.
    The NRA supposedly told the AP reporter that the lower death
rates "are evidence that gun-safety programs are reaching
Americans and that gun laws are working."

    NRA spokeswoman Patricia Gregory is directly quoted as
saying: "There are tens of thousands of firearms laws on the
books. Strict enforcement of existing law could reduce these
numbers even further."

    NRA-ILA Director Jim Baker, after talking with Ms. Gregory,
told me the reporter distilled the quote from a 15 minute interview.
The reporter did not understand she was talking about
enforcement of laws against criminal misuse.  

    AP promised Baker to run a corrected story.


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