Letter: Canadian reporting far off the mark on U.S. gun issue

Editor: Once again, Canadians have been subjected to the sanctimonious opinions of Canadian  journalists in relation to the recent terrorist attack in San Bernadino.

Whether on the evening TV news or the local radio talk shows, it seems that all are ready to condemn the Americans for their Second Amendment and their “failure” to get control of guns.

The Canadian gun laws are so much superior, they opine.  Canadians, since the attack, have been subjected to so many ridiculous “facts” as to render the reporting virtually worthless.

It seems that most Canadian journalists go to the American pro-gun control websites and just spew whatever they say without question.

What is the truth about American gun violence compared to gun violence — homicide — in Canada?

I will give you one example, all numbers are drawn from official FBI, StatsCan or RCMP numbers, not advocacy-group sources. In the US in 2014 there were 8,124 homicides by firearm; in Canada in 2013 (I couldn’t find 2014 numbers) there were 131 homicides by firearm (down from 172 in 2012).

According to the RCMP, there are 911,789 licensed guns in Canada, and according to the FBI there are about 359,081,400 guns in the U.S.

In Canada, 131 homicides by 911,789 guns is a yearly rate of .0001436 homicide per gun.  In the U.S. 8,124 homicides by 359,081,000 is a homicide rate of .0000226 per gun owned.

In short, in Canada one is 6.35 times more likely to be murdered by one of the Canadian-owned guns than one is in the U.S. by a U.S. firearm.

But, according to the holier-than-thou news reporters and talk show hosts I’ve heard since the attack, Canada’s gun laws are so much superior to those of the U.S.

I don’t know who the bosses of those news reporters and talk show hosts are, but they are not doing their job if they don’t require accuracy in what they claim to report.

The next time Canadians hear a news report (actually, on almost any subject) on the TV news or a talk show, they would do well to be very suspicious of the truth of the reporting and to check out the facts themselves.

Paul M. Bowman,

Aldergrove