Monday letters: Gun deaths have become crisis

May 6, 2013 

Columbia, SC Three South Carolinians died because of the West Nile virus; we call for government intervention, anti-mosquito spraying, etc., not for more mosquitoes.

Seventy South Carolinians have been killed by a firearm in the four months since Newtown, including four small children. More than 200 will die this year, not counting suicides and accidents. We call for — more guns.

South Carolina ranks seventh in the nation for the rate of homicides by firearm. The rate has increased from 12.33 per 100,000 in 2000 to 14 in 2010 (13.1 for whites, 15 for blacks). Anything else responsible for this many deaths would be immediately investigated and measures taken to prevent as many more deaths as possible.

Instead, our lawmakers do all they can to increase the number of firearm injuries and deaths.

They introduce S.308, which would authorize concealed carry in restaurants and bars. Alcohol and guns, great idea.

S.115 would authorize open carry without training or permits, or of course background checks.

H.3416 would prohibit pediatricians from asking parents if they have guns; it is OK to suggest parents secure poisons so that kids cannot reach them, but not to do the same for guns. Nineteen percent of South Carolinians live in homes with loaded and unlocked firearms.

H.3160 would arm school employees. You wonder if the bright lawmakers who thought of that know the meaning of the word “crossfire.”

South Carolina, too small for a republic, too large for an insane asylum, just the right size for a large gun store and graveyard?

Sylvie Kenig Dessau

Columbia

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