Pennsylvania has effective laws on guns

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I can’t agree with letter writer Rob Conroy’s comments (“Real Gun Control,” June 24) about our state’s elected officials. This state has good gun laws. I also think that local police and other state agencies do a very good job.

In checking with our government’s reporting, the homicide rate in this country has fallen by 49 percent in the past 20 years to a 1950s level. That is remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that six in 10 firearm deaths are suicides, yet people believe the homicide rate is at an all-time high. The rate was highest in the 1980s and early ’90s.

A U.S. Department of Justice report said that among convicted prisoners who used firearms for their crimes, more than 40 percent reported that they got their guns from burglaries, thefts, drug dealers, off the street or from the black market. Also, they got guns from friends and family and through straw purchases. Universal background checks would not catch those people, yet the checks are time-consuming. It is not like buying a candy bar.

Finally, in mentioning the Sandy Hook tragedy, Vice President Joe Biden commented that no gun laws would have prevented it, and I believe him.


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