Guns and self-defense

Will a gun stored at home make a family safer? Is a gun good for self-defense?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that gun deaths now exceed motor vehicle crash fatalities and have for several years in a row. A gun in the home increases the risk of death by homicide, suicide or unintentional shooting, according to the Brady Center. On an average day, eight American children or teenagers are victims of family fire; they are killed or injured by unsecured or improperly secured guns in their own homes.

The University of Sydney compared civilian shootings in 76 countries and defined gun risk as the annual firearm-related death rate per 100,000 of population. According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, for the United States, gun-risk = 12.21, highest among 23 high-income countries,. We are the most dangerous country in that group. And we have the most guns: the civilian gun count is more than 120 guns per 100 U.S. inhabitants. North Carolina’s gun-risk = 13.7; North Carolinians are somewhat less safe than the average American.

We must put a higher value on human life. First steps in that direction include gun-use research concurrent with the institution of universal background checks, getting guns away from domestic abusers and people convicted of violent crimes, and safe storage.

Charles E. Wilson

Winston-Salem

Strayed so far

With the 2020 elections slowly approaching only 14 months away, I wonder how our democracy has strayed so far away from our government 20 years ago. Granted, I am young, being only 22 years old, but I do remember times in my childhood when bipartisan cooperation was successful.

I am a strong Democrat, but during the presidency of George W. Bush, there was a sense of respect between Republicans and Democrats. Sure, there were disagreements, but most of them were carried out with respectful and factual debate.

Fast forward to the present day, when Americans are even more divided into multiple subcategories of extreme politics. So many people are quick to say it is either the media or President Trump, but I believe that the change starts with the American people. With the election fast approaching, we must make our votes count.

We have seen what happens when we don’t take our vote seriously, so now is the time to choose the right person for the American people — Republican or Democrat.

Abdul Mohammad

Clemmons

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