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Firearms: Guns rarely used in violent crimes

Firearms: Guns rarely used in violent crimes


It seems that the members of Montanans Against Gun Violence have neglected the question any competent statistician or mathematician would raise. Namely, "How is some phenomenon of interest distributed?"

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the following rates per 100,000 population exist: murder and negligent manslaughter, 5.4; forcible rape, 29.3; aggravated assault, 274.6, and violent crime, 454. Firearms were used in less than 10 percent of the cases. The 120 per 100,000 instances of sexual assault against children probably involved firearms at a much lower rate.

Of course, in a free society citizens are at liberty to champion any cause they wish, but it would seem that McKelvey's group would get more bang for the buck were they to target all violence, not just the residual associated with guns.

In his third Guest Column in recent weeks (Missoulian, Aug. 25), Robert McKelvey focuses on the new Montana law approving the use of lethal force by a law-abiding citizen when one feels threatened. While his fear is that what he considers to be excessively expansive language will result in deadly confrontations, the carnage he anticipates has yet to be observed.

In marked contrast, the unintended consequences of the medical marijuana bill have been immediate and obvious and these make the antics of the Three Stooges seem deliberate and well-reasoned by comparison.

It is possible to word laws that produce complete compliance. Missoula has one. A number of parking meters downtown state that it is a "Violation to park over 10 hours from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays."

William H. McBroom, Missoula

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