To the Editor: Professor's anti-gun column was poorly researched

The following letter, written by Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors member Gerard Valentino, was published on February 4 in response to an anti-gun column written by a professor at Ohio University.

To the Editor:

Richard Scamehorn's recent anti-gun article that supposedly set the record straight on gun control was a one-sided hit piece hidden behind his academic standing.

Based on his own numbers, nearly 200,000 law-abiding Americans use a gun to keep from being killed each year. Apparently, Mr. Scamehorn is willing to sacrifice those lives to push his vision of an American anti-gun utopia.

Professor Scamehorn chose to use the lowest possible estimate for how many times guns are used to avert a violent crime. But even if we accept the number, when compared to the number of gun deaths in America, it is clear guns save lives.

By most estimates, there are 20,000 to 40,000 gun-related fatalities in America each year. According to the Justice Department, half are suicides and the vast majority of the rest are criminal-on-criminal murders. That means based on Professor Scamehorn's own numbers that roughly 185,000 law-abiding citizens are saved each year because they own a gun.

The fact that his argument could be so easily destroyed by the raw number of gun deaths in America is the reason Professor Scamehorn chose to omit such an important gun-related statistic. Instead, he chose to throw around the per-capita numbers because it makes it easier to hide the flaw in his reasoning.

Somehow, he also expects readers to believe that the sky-high murder rate in Washington, D.C., and Chicago is attributable to permissive gun laws despite the fact that until recently both cities banned all private ownership of handguns.

Far from setting the record straight on guns, Scamehorn instead used his academic standing to camouflage a poorly researched article that did little to prove that gun control is a viable public safety policy.

If a college freshman turned in an essay with so little foundation for an opinion, Professor Scamehorn would give the paper an F. Either Professor Scamehorn doesn't think rules of logic apply to him, or he thinks the people of Ohio aren't intelligent enough to see through his baseless anti-gun claims.

Gerard Valentino

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