To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I’m writing in response to the April 6 letter entitled: "Gun violence, mental illness are distinct issues." The letter writer states that "one child dies or is injured every 30 minutes from guns." After resear-
ching CDC information for myself, I see that 10 times more children die by drowning in swimming pools than by firearms.

Recent FBI and Department of Justice reports show that gun violence has decreased significantly. According to the CDC, the stats the writer quotes are misleading in that they include youth who are up to 20 years of age and in gangs! When you think of a child being hurt by a gun, do you imagine a 20-year-old in a gang? Probably not.

As we have seen with recent shootings, the shooters were on powerful psychotropic drugs given to them by doctors, drugs so powerful that skipping a few days’ dosage is enough to make the user suicidal. Don’t blame the mentally ill. Don’t blame guns. Blame doctors prescribing medications like candy.

Millions of people save their lives each year by using fire-
arms. We don’t see those stories because very often editors hold their own beliefs and hold back stories that offend those beliefs. A person has the right to defend himself. Guns are equalizers, and the best protection. Can a 100-pound woman wield a knife or crossbow well enough to defend herself? Doubt it. A firearm, though, enables a 100-pound woman to successfully defend herself against several 200-pound assailants.

Anti-gun people use stats that mostly includes black-on-black, gang-related inner-city crime! And remember, recent shootings have taken place in gun-free zones. Many of you do not understand because you have never crossed paths with serious criminality. Let me educate you from a family experience. When your life is threatened, the police won’t station an armed guard at your house. The police can’t really do that much until a crime actually takes place, and there is documentable proof. If you want less crime, increase gun ownership and decrease laws controlling them. Criminals don’t abide by the law.

JEFF BRANCA

Pittsfield