Mike Vanderboegh's letter to the editor, Ashland Daily Tidings

"Scott Dixon wants a $400 tax each year for each firearm in America. He believes that this will lead to fewer firearm deaths. Perhaps, but only after one side or the other wins the civil war which would erupt if his proposal is adopted.

Frankly, some of us firearm owners are done being pushed back from our traditional rights to liberty and property. For 75 years we have backed up at every gun control law, and we will now back up no further. Has crime abated because there are more gun control laws that, by definition, restrain only the law-abiding? No, but Dixon isn’t really after criminals and their behavior, he’s after law-abiding citizens’ firearms – their means of defense against criminal behavior and oppressive government. "

OFA is a member of NSSF which sponsors the SHOT Show and is the national trade association for our industry. NSSF mailed us a report recently with some updated data on firearm related accidents. Since Mr. Dixon's concern is to reduce firearm accidents, then according to NSSF, the single biggest contributor to the latest downturn in firearm related accidents is the increase in child and adult education and training. So, my thought is instead adding a tax rather we should lobby for a goverment subsidized tuition program to send gun owners to professional training!

Anyway, according to NSSF in the last decade the number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities has declined by 40% and Firearms are involved in fewer than 1% of all accidental fatalities in the US (actually 0.6 percent). In the last decade the rate of firearm-related injuries per 100,000 people has declined by 50%.

The top three accidental fatalities are motor vehicle, poisoning, and falls from 2004 figures which is the most recent data from their goverment sources. So let's start taxing chemicals and ladders also since they contribute to more fatalities than firearms!

Also, home related accidental fatalities are also down 38% and firearms are involved in less than 1.2% of accidental fatalities among children.

Oregon had 7 unintential deaths as a result of firearms in 2005 which is the most current data on that particular statistic.

As an historical scan....in 1930 there were 3200 fatalities, in 1970 there were 2406 deaths, 1990 1416 and in 2006 it was down to 680.

When firearms are involved in an accident shotguns are involved 55% of the time, rifle 29.4% and handgun 3.7%

So I really find this arguement hard to swallow...he is just looking for an excuse to eliminate something that is distasteful to his philosophy and a based upon his media induced perception rather than reality.
I don't understand. How is suicide five times more likely because of a gun in the home? Japanese citizens don't own firearms and they have 3x the suicide rate that we do.

Hmmm... maybe guns don't cause suicide.
I don't understand. How is suicide five times more likely because of a gun in the home? Japanese citizens don't own firearms and they have 3x the suicide rate that we do.

Hmmm... maybe guns don't cause suicide.
They don't.


Gun suicides outnumber gun homicides. In 1999, there were 16,599 gun suicides compared to 10,828 firearm homicides (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control). Guns were the most common method of suicide (57% in 1999).

If we could magically make all guns disappear, would the number of suicides decrease? Probably not. Excerpted from Dr. Gary Kleck's, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control (p 285, Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York 1997):

The full body of relevant studies indicates that firearm availability measures are significantly and positively associated with rates of firearm suicide, but have no significant association with rates of total suicide.
Of thirteen studies, nine found a significant association between gun levels and rates of gun suicide, but only one found a significant association between gun levels and rates of total suicides. The only study to find a measure of "gun availability" significantly associated with total suicide...used a measure of gun availability known to be invalid.

This pattern of results supports the view that where guns are less common, there is complete substitution of other methods of suicide, and that, while gun levels influence the choice of suicide method, they have no effect on the number of people who die in suicides.

As further evidence that gun ownership is not correlated with total suicide rates see international violent death rate table. For example, Japan, where gun ownership is extremely low (less than 1% of households), total suicide is higher than in a high-gun ownership country like the United States.
From 1972 to 1995 the per capita gun stock in the U. S. increased by more than 50%. Gary Kleck in Targeting Guns (p 265) comments on this huge increase: "This change might be viewed as a sort of inadvertent natural experiment, in which Americans launched a massive and unprecedented civilian armaments program, probably the largest in world history. During this same period, the U.S. suicide rate was virtually constant, fluctuating only slightly within the narrow range from 11.8 to 13.0 suicides per 100,000 population...At most...this huge increase in the gun stock might have caused a mild increase in the percentage of suicides committed with guns, which shifted from 53.3 in 1972 to 60.3 in 1994, and thus a mild corresponding increase in the gun suicide rate." (See gun supply chart).

In 1972 the suicide rate was 11.9 per 100,000. After this "arms build-up" the total suicide rate remained unchanged at 11.9 in 1995.


Lead Farm Precision Rifle Match
The Lead Farm
34006 Gwinn Rd, Prosser, WA 99350, USA
Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Rimfire Challenge Dec 12th @ DRRC
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA


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