Letter: New math clarifies gun issue
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I commend reader Jacy LaPlante for doing research to examine Gary Smith’s claim, in his Jan. 12 letter, that armed citizens prevent 3,000 violent crimes per day (“Gun statistics questionable,” Jan. 16).
LaPlante concluded that 3,000 prevented crimes is a drop in the bucket compared with 1.4 million daily violent crimes America experiences.
While LaPlante’s attitude is commendable, the math is difficult to follow. The 1.4 million violent crime figure is an annual, not a daily figure.
This makes LaPlante’s conclusions off by a factor of 365.
The true number is approximately 3,460 violent crimes per day. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States and many other sources, all using FBI statistics).
If you accept Smith’s claim of 3,000 crimes prevented, as does LaPlante, this means armed Americans stop about half of the violent crimes that would have otherwise taken place.
However, I suspect this won’t change many minds.