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Letter: Guns poison any hope of a civil society
First Published Aug 20 2014 04:23 pm • Last Updated Aug 20 2014 07:52 pm

Stephen Van Dyke’s criticism (Public Forum, Aug. 10) of Ron Molen’s letter (Aug. 7) games the facts. The 100,000 dead and wounded each year mentioned by Molen breaks down accordingly: 13,000 homicides and 17,000 suicides or 30,000 dead and 70,000 wounded. These are general figures that stay consistent year after year according to public safety experts.

Precise numbers would be available were it not for Republicans stopping the Centers for Disease Control from collecting vital gun violence data that exposes the death toll from GOP-NRA policies.

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Utah’s annual gun deaths for young males exceeding traffic deaths is common knowledge and comes from a 2011 report that includes suicides (85 percent) and homicides, again guns found in the wrong hands.

The claim that the U.S. has half the private guns in the world comes from CNN and makes perfect sense, as we are the only advanced nation without responsible gun controls.

Utahns should also be concerned that 120,000 fellow citizens can legally carry a concealed weapon virtually anywhere and, along with the proliferation of assault rifles, the trust among citizens in a healthy democracy is lost. Armed, untrained and unknown individuals poison any possibility for a civil society.

Does the LDS Church really want this kind of community?

Nicholas Smith

Salt Lake City

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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