To the Editor:

Emotionally charged Uvalde coverage differs from reality


The lead article for the June 2-8 edition of the News + Record (“Residents gather to mourn Uvalde victims, demand change”) does not fall on deaf ears with me. I have three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. I certainly would not want to see three or four sets of empty shoes either.

But more needs to be said than just the contents of the article. It was clearly written to touch emotions (“act on their anger”), etc., but clear thought needs to be given, less we be stampeded like dumb animals into giving up our right to self-defense.

To quote Jason Riley from The Wall Street Journal: “Most gun-related deaths — 54% in 2020 — are suicides. Mass shooting casualties are less than 1% of all gun deaths, and there have been 13 mass school shootings since 1966. These data points are cold comfort to those mourning the shooting victims in Uvalde, but they ought to inform any public policy response under consideration.”

To quote further, “... proponents of additional gun laws ignore that shootings continue to plague places such as Chicago, which already has some of the country’s most severe gun restrictions. How passing more gun regulations, or taking guns away from the law-abiding, will deter criminals is a question they can’t answer.”

Ask any “man on the street,” and the emotionally charged saturation coverage given to mass shootings would have him convinced quite differently from reality.

Perhaps we should be having 54 times the vigils for the suicides?

It certainly seems that there is more behind the vigils and reporting than just concern for the victims and families.

Let us be thinking (AND caring) humans. Not fear-driven cattle.

James Andrews
Siler City

Editor’s note: Riley cited a study from Criminologists for Scientific American, which defines a “mass school shooting” as an event which results in at least four deaths. A study by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security lists more than 2,000 school shootings since 1970, and more than 950 since the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.