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Regarding the Feb. 6 letters “Gun-control logic not so obvious” (by Jennifer Kim) and “What really affects crime rates?” (by Joseph Marriott), which were responses to my remarks on gun ownership and the recent Tucson massacre: Kim goes to great lengths to state the obvious — humans murder each other and have been doing so ever since Cain slew Abel. However, my comments concerned the number of people killed by guns as opposed to, say, the jawbone of an ass, and the folly of allowing widespread private gun ownership.

To put it simply, the United States, with five times the population of Britain, has more than 30,000 deaths a year from gunshot wounds, while Britain had 42 (in 2008). I might also inform Marriott that peaceful-seeming Switzerland suffers more than seven times as many gun-related deaths as “violent” Britain. Is it illogical to deny this evidence?

Kim accuses me of incivility for remarking on the lack of logical thinking among American rightwingers. These are some of the people who label President Barack Obama a Nazi and a communist for trying to bring health care to all Americans! I wonder if Kim can comprehend the strange mixture of amusement and horrified fascination one feels in witnessing the antics of the tea party, the Glen Becks, the Fox News jabberers and others on the far right. It’s also sad to see a nation that has so much to admire descend to a level where someone like gun-totin’ Sarah Palin can be considered a presidential candidate.

ivor paul

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