LETTERS: Gun access not clear barometer of violence

In response to Fareed Zakaria's column ("The source of gun violence is clear: access," Dec. 26, 6A) I would like to point out a few facts Mr. Zakaria fails to mention. He likes to mention Australian and French gun laws and point out some statistics in England that he believes point to access to guns being related to murders.

However, he fails to take into account our neighbors to the south (Mexico) and several other Latin American countries that have strict gun laws and higher per capita gun violence than the United States. According to U.N. figures, the U.S. had 9,146 homicides by firearm in 2009. That year, Colombia and Venezuela both exceeded the U.S. total, with 12,808 and 11,115 firearm deaths, respectively. Three other nations topped the U.S. amount in the most recent year for which data is available: Brazil (34,678 in 2008), Mexico (11,309 in 2010) and Thailand (20,032 in 2000).

In all of these nations guns are extremely difficult to obtain legally. It is a very narrow-minded assumption that Zakaria makes to give government total control. Our 2nd Amendment rights are so we can protect ourselves from the kind of government tyranny that can be achieved once the citizenry is disarmed.

Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Zakaria.

-- Robert Whittle