Guns are available to citizens in Texas but crime is much higher than in New York
Stabroek News
October 19, 2001

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Dear Editor,

This rather long letter is in response to Mr. Rampertab's letter captioned "Issuing more guns is a practical solution to the crime problem" (l7.l0.200l) [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] . I am disappointed that he found my rebuttal to his position as personal criticism. However, I offer the following in order to clear the air somewhat.

To address the statements "We have far less people who lost weapons to criminals than cases in which gun owners staved off criminal attacks." And "Sure, we lost a gun...". The fact that a weapon is lost only serves to add to the problem it was obtained to prevent, rather than solving it in the first place. This statement, further proves the point, that criminals will always get their weapons from those deemed responsible to have them.

Further, the fact that an ex-police officer lost his weapon to the crowd only proves that, even a competent, creditable, reputable and highly trained person can and does lose the fight. It was impressive that the ex-police officer showed restraint, however he still lost the gun and nobody knows where it is now, that's the point. One can argue that this person who has had the best training should have chosen a better mechanism for defending his family. For example, a can of pepper mace could have dispersed the crowd enough to give room for escape. Still this trained person did not give himself and therefore his family alternatives other than to threaten deadly force, which ultimately failed. Thankfully, they are all alive today.

I have written several letters detailing my position on security (SN 7/6 Scotland Yard should train front line officers, SN 6/19 which I referred to, SN 6/29/01 Be aware of your surroundings, don't keep large sums in the premises). I suggested that the police officers as well as citizens should and must co-operate in order to solve the crime issue. Some of these suggestions were creation of crime watch groups, more police patrols therefore, more visibility, better training as well as community policing policies.

We all, whether at home or not, must become more vigilant of our surroundings, report and in some cases force the police to do their jobs properly. To the reference of American women being beaten by gun butts, they are being shot or beaten to death by their spouses.

On my solutions or criticisms being idealistic, in order to shore up my case I offer these statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) annual report year 2000. I will contrast two states, New York and Texas. New York does not allow weapons to the general public, Texas does. Further, Texas also has instituted the death penalty. Both states have approximately 18 million residents.

Category: ......................New York .........Texas

Murder .............................924 ................1,346

Forcible Rape ..................3,289 ..............7,913

Aggravated Assault .........30,358 ...........73,630

Burglary (of homes) ........68,218 ..........194,883

Theft ..............................246,892 .........606,697

Theft of Motor Vehicle ...44,213 ...........96,646

Note that aggravated and forcible indicates that a weapon was used, in most cases it was gun related. One would conclude that Texas should be the safer state to live in given Mr. Rampertab's position of gun proliferation it is not, the fact is that New York is. On using foreign references, if it didn't work outside why is it going to work inside?

Can Mr. Rampertab give me a reference to the laws that the US Congress passed addressing the school shootings, since I am not aware of any such laws being passed recently. Guns are not the answer, excellent police service coupled with vigilant citizens and proper infrastructure maintenance are the only way to go.

Yours faithfully,

Medrick Yhap MBA