Chris Cox, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action executive director, wrote a column Sept. 15 criticizing calls for more gun control legislation following the murder of two Virginia journalists.

He stated that these calls ignored the “facts” of the situation: that the shooter was mentally ill but had bought his gun legally.

He concluded that since existing gun control legislation wouldn’t have stopped this shooter, gun control legislation is worthless and we should focus on our mental health system.

I agree with Mr. Cox – it is important to consider facts before making conclusive statements about any event. My disagreement with his conclusions is that there are multiple facts about gun violence that he ignores.

 There is no scientific evidence that the mentally ill cause most gun deaths – the mentally ill are responsible for no more than 10 percent of all gun deaths.

In the United States, 30,000 people are killed by guns every year. The yearly number in England is less than 700 and 1,736 in France. Both have strict gun laws.

Adjusted for population, France has 30 percent of our death rate and England has 3 percent of our death rate. Are we really three times more violent than the French and 30 times more violent than the English?

More people have been killed by guns in the last 50 years than in all of our wars combined.

Seventy percent of all NRA members support universal background checks, including private gun sales.

I support the Second Amendment, and I also support our Declaration of Independence – our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Gun violence kills 80 Americans every day. My question to Mr. Cox and every citizen is: Are you willing to accept that 80 of your fellow citizens will die tomorrow from firearm injuries? Does that make you feel safe?

Walter Novey

Scarborough