Dear Orlando Sentinel:
RE: "DEA agent shoots himself in safety class" (4/30/04),
sometimes unintentional lessons are the most effective.
quotes one woman present at the gun safety class for children, with her
nephew, that "after seeing that, my nephew doesn't want to have
anything to do with guns." It is unfortunate that the
agent had to suffer an injury to demonstrate that guns are anything
According to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:
* The costs of gun violence, both direct (medical costs)
and indirect (loss of productivity, mental health treatment and
rehabilitation, legal and judicial costs), to the US, are over $100 billion
* 57% of suicides in 2000 were completed using a firearm.
* Over 50% of family murders are caused by firearms.
Firearms assaults have been found to be 12 times as likely to result in death as
* A gun kept in the home is 22 times more likely to be
used in an unintentional shooting (4 times), a criminal assault or
homicide (7 times), or an attempted or completed suicide (11 times) than to be
used to injure or kill in self-defense.
In this incident, a trained drug enforcement agent shot
himself with his own weapon, after mistakenly thinking he unloaded it AND after
having a man in the audience checking the same weapon and mistakenly
determining it was unloaded. Despite statistics demonstrating how many people
are injured and killed by firearms, those who profit from and/or enjoy
firearms continue to promote them.
Many gun control advocacy organizations and legislators
ignore the group most victimized by guns - animals. These ethically
short-sighted groups and individuals, when advocating against certain weapons (such
as assault rifles), make a point of not including hunting weapons.
Millions of animals, annually in the US, are maimed and killed (frequently
suffering lingering deaths) for recreation or supposed population control -
though hunting creates or exacerbates every problem it claims to resolve.
"The agent was speaking to the youths about making good
life choices," states the article. Hopefully, every child present learned
that "good life choices" never include weapons.
Susan Gordon, Representative