Letter: In response to gun-control column


In response to Robert Tann’s column, “I’ve lived in a country with gun control. It works”: Unlike Robert Tann, I have never lived in a country with gun control and, therefore, have little applicable firsthand experience. However, I wanted to add some statistics to those that Robert Tann cited of countries which have highly effective gun control, most with, reportedly, even tighter control than those he describes. I have taken the liberty to expand the death toll criteria slightly, to include the fatalities that would probably have been avoided had gun control in the country not been in place. Note: these numbers are approximate estimates mostly from Wikipedia, a few from a variety of sources and some are as much as decades out of date. Estimates vary widely, especially dependent on causes of death included.

• Russia (USSR) under Stalin 1920s through 1957, 20 million-plus

Executions, ethnic cleansing through starvation in subjugated regions, includes Belarus, Ukraine and modern-day Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia

• China under Mao 1949 through 1976, 40 million to 60 million

Executions, starvation aimed at class warfare

Cambodia under Khmer Rouge 1975 - 1979, 25% of population

Class warfare, most prevalent killing tool: garden hoe

• N. Korea 3 million

Does tying victim to muzzle of artillery cannon and firing it count as a gun death?

Other countries acknowledged to have highly effective gun control and history of high death tolls:

Nazi Germany; postwar, pre-USSR dissolution East Germany; Romania; Poland; Latvia; Estonia; Czechoslovakia; Lithuania; Venezuela; Cuba

Noel Hughes

Castle Rock


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