Peter Smith: Plenty of murders

January 5, 2013 

Plenty of murders

In editorial page editor Ned Barnett’s Dec. 30 column “Duke gun expert expects change,” the “gun expert” made much of how crime is falling in the U.S. and that perhaps guns are not the problem they were 20 years ago.

Yes, murder rates are falling and are almost half what they were a few decades ago, but what should not be forgotten is that they are still far higher than those in comparable Western democracies. In the U.S. there are four times as many murders per capita as in the U.K. or Germany, while other crime rates are broadly similar. That is over 8,000 more Americans killed every year.

Massacres like that in Connecticut account for only a small number of that 8,000, and even if we prevent all of them it will make little difference in the overall death toll that guns take every year on America.

If the Taliban killed 8,000 Americans a year, we would exterminate them without mercy. The positions of the gun lobby lead to that many deaths, and we do nearly nothing.

Peter Smith, Cary

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