To the Editor: I have just spent the last 20 minutes rereading Eric Rodawig’s column, “Have `Faith’ in the Rights of Gun Owners” (The Hoya, Feb. 16, 2007, A3), and I still can’t believe what I just read. Rodawig states, “Mountains of empirical evidence are crystal clear in showing that gun ownership and concealed-carry laws reduce crime across the board.” If that is the case, and if Rodawig is such an expert on Canadian and European crime statistics, can he produce evidence that violent crimes are, in fact, more likely in countries where gun control is far more stringent than in the United States? Given that Canada and Western Europe have around one fifth of the “total” murder rate and about one tenth of the “firearm” murder rate of the United States, I am inclined to guess no. How did they achieve such low murder rates? Is that explained in the “mountains of empirical data”? Burglaries and other nonviolent crimes can be combated in several ways, and I wonder if a 10-fold increase in the “homicide by firearm” rate is something we want to endure for the sake of a reduced number of “hot burglaries,” or burglaries with the residents at home. Perhaps Rodawig’s personal experience growing up in a sparsely populated and relatively crime-free state like South Dakota might have somehow led him to conclude that gun ownership within his state is the determining factor for his safety. The right to bear arms, ratified in 1791, might not have the same relevance today as it did in the early days of the nation. But regardless of how one feels about the second amendment, to suggest that the availability of guns in a society makes it safer because “hot burglaries” might decrease is not only shallow but also an insult to all those who have experienced personal loss from guns and their widespread availability. Matteo Gallo (MSB ’99) Feb. 21, 2007

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