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

Enlarge photo»

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


Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere