Letter: State isn’t so dangerous after all

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According to a June 15 letter, “Washington scores low on guns safety,” Heidi Yewman, a board member of the Brady Campaign, says Washington is a “dangerous place to live when it comes to guns.” If you consider murder rates, according to 2009 FBI data, there were 101 people murdered in Washington by someone using a firearm. When using the FBI numbers (which I would trust much more than those of an organization whose stated goal is to get rid of guns) the murder rate by someone using a gun is 1.63 per 100,000, which places us at 15th out of 50 states.

Interestingly enough, in Washington, D.C., which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, the rate is 18.84 per 100,000, more than 8 points higher than any other state. On the other side of the coin are states such as Vermont, Idaho, and both Dakotas, which have the least-restrictive gun laws and also the lowest numbers of people murdered by someone using a gun.

It would be interesting to know, of the murders committed in Washington, how many people actually used “AK-47s and Uzis.” Maybe Washington isn’t such a dangerous place after all.

Harold Lay

Vancouver