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Gun homicide rates

The author of an Aug. 4 letter notes the U.S. ranks third in the world for murders from firearms.  But he notes that according to a University of California Irvine web site, if four U.S. cities were excluded, the U.S. would rank near the bottom. He then notes these cities have the most restrictive ordinances and they are “run by Democrats.” I checked that site and could find no such report, although it did have an article listing U.S. city gun homicide rates. But some cities with the highest rates weren’t on the letter’s list and some with much lower rates were.  Something seems amiss.

But even if these alleged facts were true, there are problems with the letter’s deceptively simplistic logic. I was on a jury for a gun store robbery-murder by part of a group that had a gun-running operation utilizing straw-man gun purchases mostly in rural Minnesota.  The guns were transported to the Minneapolis- St. Paul and Milwaukee-Chicago areas and sold on the streets at 100 percent profit. The only reason the murderers were apprehended was that guns found in possession of the suspects had serial numbers that matched those missing on the inventory list of the store.

Tight metropolitan gun laws are much more an effect than the cause of high homicide rates - but they are like closing the gate after the cows got out.  Without federal uniformity, the NRA-gun merchant industry created a vast reservoir of unregistered underground-marketed guns that make city laws relatively impotent. High rates of gun homicides sell more unregistered guns for self-protection, which also makes more guns flow to the gun-gang-drug industry in our cities.

The letter is a partisan attempt to obscure the relationship between gun homicides and the profit driven, unregistered, gun marketing system.