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Letter: Numbers suggest that gun laws have made a difference

Published: Sunday, Dec. 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Some of the weapons collected in Wednesday's Los Angeles Gun Buyback event are showcased Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 during a news conference at the LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles.

Associated Press

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In the 1980s we were losing more than 200 children between 5 and 14 years old annually due to the accidental discharge of firearms. Then came the 1990 Gun-Free School Zone Act before the 1998 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Laws requiring trigger locks followed in 1999.

In that decade, gun-related deaths dropped to as low as 76 per year. We have averaged 46 per year since. For 5- to 9-year-old children — those similar to the ages of Sandy Hook Elementary — the averages before, during and after these spans of time were 164, 125 and 29, respectively.

I understand that this correlation with gun-control laws doesn't prove cause and effect, but how else might we account for this big improvement?

John Clark

Payson

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