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Your Opinion: Second response to Williams on guns

Dear Editor:

Mr. Williams invited a response to his assertion that armed citizens are more of a danger than an asset to society.

I totally disagree. In fact, when the Australian government banned weapons in 1996 after a well-publicized shooting, armed robberies rose by 73 percent, kidnappings by 38 percent and manslaughter by 29 percent (as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics, January, 2000). In the UK, where there are very restrictive gun laws, burglary rates are almost double that of the US (as per the US Department of Justice, 1998).

It is an unfortunate fact that criminals will get their hands on weapons (illegally, hence the term criminal) and we, as citizens, are all the more vulnerable to their whims if they know that most of us are unarmed. As a small female, I would be an easy target for a would-be mugger/rapist/robber. If someone were to break into my home, I am just not physically strong enough to protect my children without a gun.

Mr. Williams asked for accounts of people who were protected by guns. There are plenty. In August of 2008, Damon Barone of Houston, Texas, shot a burglar entering his home in order to protect his wife and children. His family is safe. In April of 2010, Beatrice Turner an 89 year old woman from Des Moines, Iowa, shot at a man trying to break down her door in order to protect herself. Beatrice was unharmed. In May 2010, Bennett Dean Jr. was at work delivering pizza in Mobile, Ala., when he was confronted by an armed robber. He is still alive because he was armed. I could go on, but you get the idea.

There are already plenty of laws regulating who can own a gun and what types of guns can be sold to citizens. They should be enforced. People who do own guns legally need to be properly trained and act responsibly. But do not be fooled into thinking that banning guns would make our country safer. It is quite unfortunate, but the opposite is true.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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