Marvin Marin
Published: June 26, 2008

This letter is in response to Mr. Jacobsen’s column on June 24 regarding the Violence Policy Center’s statistics regarding gun violence in Hawaii.

Reading the article any person would see those numbers and instantly jump to the conclusion that Mr. Jacobsen is right. However, Mr. Jacobsen has mistakenly believed the statistics cherry picked by
the Violence Policy Center and did not research the numbers himself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an interactive application located at that allows you to query their database to
determine deaths in the United States based on several factors. It’s the same data that the VDC used.

If you make the following selections: homicide, firearm, and state under “select output group(s),” and keep the rest of the default settings, you will get a more accurate representation of reality.

The most restrictive “state” in the union in terms of firearm laws has the highest incidence of murders by firearm per capita. You guessed it, Washington, D.C. — not Louisiana.

Now, Hawaii (0.39) does have the smallest per capita rate of homicide by firearms just as the VPC reported. However, the rates for other states drop dramatically. North Dakota (0.47), Maine (0.61) and
New Hampshire (0.61) are statistically very close to the rates of Hawaii. In addition, Maine and New Hampshire have equivalent populations all without the unconstitutional restrictions in place in Hawaii.

How did the numbers differ? The VPC included deaths attributed to self-defense, law enforcement shootings and suicides. If you’re going to have a fair, balanced and logical debate on firearms, let’s at
least use the right figures.

In closing, I hope that you go to the CDC’s Web site and check the numbers yourself. I also ask all my fellow Virginians to carry their firearms openly, proudly and responsibly. A right unused is a right
that both the VPC and Mr. Jacobsen want to take away from you.