I would like to challenge several points made by Ron Smith in his column about gun ownership and gun control laws ("Face the facts: Gun control laws don't save lives," Jan. 20). He disparages several "Democratic bastions" as being unrealistic as far as their attitude toward gun ownership and gun control laws.
However statistics show that states with higher gun ownership and weak gun laws lead the nation in gun deaths rates per 100,000 people. For example Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi and Nevada have household gun ownership rates from 31.5 percent to 60.6 percent and gun death rates of 16.25 per 100,000 to 19.58 per 100,000.
In comparison states with low gun ownership rates and strong gun laws such as Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, with household gun ownership rates from 9.7 percent to 18.1 percent have gun death rates of 2.58 per 100,000 to 5.20 per 100,000. This list includes "Democratic bastions" with large cities such as New York City and Boston.
Mr. Smith does say that in a "concession" that he would not object to a ban on extended magazines for semi automatic pistols. Mr. Smith would probably be surprised that Maryland passed just such a ban way back in 1994, so he is a little behind the curve. Other liberal states such as Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and California also have such laws.
In the wake of the Tucson shootings, there is a bill being proposed to ban high capacity magazines. Let's see if that can get National Rifle Association approval.
Fred Davis, Pasadena