Letter: Bad mix: testosterone and guns

Published:

 

The nation was galvanized by the slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Conn., and many began to search for answers.

The best source is the FBI website. In 2011, there were 12,664 murders and 68 percent of those were by firearms.

Of the known-type firearms murders, 5 percent were by rifles (which include assault weapons), but 90 percent were by handguns. The pattern is the same every year, with handguns the weapon of choice and rifles seldom used.

Looking at victims and perpetrators, the pattern is also clear.

The known perpetrators are predominately male (89 percent) and they are predominately between the ages of 17 and 34 (67 percent).

The known perpetrators are also disproportionately black (52 percent), with 45 percent of them white.

The victims were predominately in the age range of 17 to 39.

The victims were predominately male, and the majority of them were black.

The most common occurrence related to homicides is "other argument" — far exceeding gang-related shootings or those accompanying other felonies. Relatively young men carrying handguns has been the most common recipe for murder in this country since the days of Billy the Kid. Mixing high testosterone with handguns is still our biggest nationwide gun violence problem. Can we really fix that?

Kenneth Campbell

Vancouver