In an opinion piece on Wednesday I commented that the explosion of assault weapons destroyed thousands more than we lost on 9/11. That was a misstatement. I am correcting it here. The statement should have referred to guns in general — including assault weapons. The error is mine, period. The larger issue is that the carnage resulting from America’s self-inflicted gun violence is unacceptable whether it’s from assault weapons or hand guns or other types of firearms. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were more than 11,000 firearm-related homicides in 2011. Politifact.com reported that the rolling five-year average ending in 2010 for Americans murdered with guns was 33 per day. The annualized numbers compute to well more than three times the death toll on 9/11. PolitiFact.com also reported that since 1968, more Americans have been killed by firearms than in all our wars from the Revolutionary to Iraq. My error in singling out assault weapons does not change this: the consequences of gun proliferation represent a national scandal that the country needs to seriously address.
South Lake Tahoe