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Web letter: 4-year-old with a gun bigger problem than foreign invaders

I keep hearing and seeing all the gun owners proclaim their Second Amendment rights to protect homes, families and whatever else from the possibility (however remote and unfathomable) that the government might come and take them away. Plus, of course, there is still the thought that some foreign government might want them.

Despite all the mass killings of school children, theater-goers, mall shoppers and students on campuses, people cherish and adore their guns and have many. They hunt with them and go to target ranges and so on and on, and whatever else.

There is one facet of gun ownership and gun usage that goes pretty much unnoticed. The one time incidents that happen within the homes of children either killed or killing, and of spouses killed or killing - accidentally or on purpose – and the intruder that overwhelms the gun owner and kills him – thus usurping the argument of use for self-defense.

I firmly believe that the gun usage statistics in this particular area would really overwhelm all other statistics. It is not the random crazy person, or the adherents of a foreign power, or the government forces that we should fear the most. It is the 4-year old who has found that pistol that looks just like his toy when he picks it up and then shoot mom, dad or a sibling or some other relative or friend. How about the wife who has been abused, been neglect, or just plain has decided that her golden years would be a lot more golden if spent alone. How about the husband who has been meek and submissive for years and suddenly snaps or has been an obnoxious brute for years and finally goes a step too far. Or the burglar who when caught in the act shoots to get away.

There are undoubtedly sources to find statistics for all of the above. They just don’t add up fast enough to impress the NRA or anyone else defending the right to own guns.

And, yes, I would defend anyone’s right to own a gun, to protect their person and their property. But, for heaven’s sake, learn to use it properly, keep it stored properly and don’t run around beating on your chest that you have multiple weapons to defend yourself – thus making yourself a target for some criminal element to come and rob you of the very things you have to defend yourself with.

Also, be very sure to treat your spouse well, don’t forget birthdays, anniversaries and be thankful for good meals and bountiful living. One never knows, the next victim might be you.

DOROTHY E. HELMECZI Fort Wayne

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