The letter in the Aug. 7th Highlands News-Sun was a fountain of breathless hyperbole and inaccuracy. The writer mentions white supremacists even though the Dayton, Ohio murderer had social media accounts that showed he was a fan of Elizabeth Warren and a supporter of Antifa.

Then the writer goes on to mention the gun shows at the fairgrounds flooding the streets with “military-type weapons.” If he is referring to AR-15’s and other common and popular semi-auto firearms as military-type weapons, he is displaying a profound lack of knowledge regarding firearms.

In spite of the hysterics regarding AR-15’s and similar rifles, they are seldom used in homicides. According to the FBI Bureau of Justice statistics, all rifles, which include the AR-15 and every other rifle were used in 374 homicides in 2016 (the most recent data). Knives were used in 1,604 homicides. Hands/fists were used in 656 homicides and blunt objects were used in 472 homicides.

These ratios have remained essentially the same for the last decade.

So, the facts from the FBI make me wander, where is the diatribe about the dangers of bare hands or “military-type” knives since they are used to kill more people than all rifles?

It saddens me to see people so woefully uninformed on the subject pontificating about policies that do not work and only infringe on the rights of law abiding people.

I would like to suggest that people like this consider where they live. Highlands County has gun shows. Why? The people like gun shows. That is why thousands show up for them. They also don’t blame inanimate objects for the actions of criminals.

The people of Highlands County also like exercising their rights. In fact, 12,398 Highlands County residents have concealed weapons permits. That is one out of every eight citizens or about one out of six adults.

So, anytime you are in a park, restaurant or store in this county, you will see someone legally armed. I guarantee it.

You should be happy the people of our county support the Constitution. I know I am. They may save your life someday.

I know that it is inconvenient for some when actual facts stifle a narrative built around fear, but I suggest everyone try it. Only facts make for good policy choices. Fear does not.

In closing, I would like to thank members of the Fairground Board for giving the people what they want and not bowing to a noisy few.

Dana Orr is an Avon Park resident. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of the Highlands News-Sun.


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