Not just to kill, but to persuadeRick Paul, decrying an attempted murder-suicide, cannot imagine why anyone would keep a gun at home, and likens gun ownership to the throwing of forward passes in which the risks outweigh the benefits (Open Forum, Feb. 24). But this is false, since successful defensive gun uses far outnumber criminal gun homicides. What was Paul's take on the recent armed rape/robbery reported to have been perpetrated by Nathan Melikidse on a Sugarloaf area family? The husband detained the criminal with a shotgun, kept at home, and held him for police (Daily Camera, Jan. 1).
Paul repeats the lie, told so often many think it true, that guns have no other purpose than to kill. If so, why do the police carry them? To go around killing people? No! Guns are tools of control, that can convince, say, a rapist to stop a criminal attack, and wait for authorities, as opposed to being shot if he doesn't. Confounding Paul's understanding, the gun need not be fired in order to accomplish this, as the still-alive Melikidse can attest. Evidently, Paul prefers that Melikidse had escaped, to rape and rob others, because the Sugarloaf household should have "wisely"disarmed.
Ironically, Paul implores gun owners to ask, "can anyone but me take this gun without my permission?" The answer is "yes," because that is a perfect way to describe gun confiscations. I know my guns will never be safe until anti-gun-owner bigotry like Paul's completely fades, just like racism is fading now and anti-Semitism has nearly vanished.
BRUCE TIEMANN, Ph.D.