The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 6, 2013

Your View: Guns in the home don’t make you safer

— I was struck by Keith Simonette’s defense (March 31) of Rep. Cornish in response to a letter by John Enger (March 26) in The Free Press. Simonette cried hatred — an extremely violent term — when there was no indication, beyond disagreement and a “straw that broke the camel’s back” situation, of any personal animus by Enger toward Cornish.

Further, Simonette then showed his utter lack of understanding of appropriate gun use when he suggested that when a person is held at gunpoint in a robbery one should get out another gun to protect oneself. Law enforcement officials consistently advise that when one is the victim of a mugging, escalating the situation by adding a second weapon is a recipe for disaster.

Simonette and Cornish, whom he defends, seem to lack any real understanding of the ramifications of the domestic arms race that is going on in rural America. While the country as a whole is disarming itself, with only a third of homes now having guns in them (down from 50 percent in the 1970s), a minority of Americans, heeding the hype of the NRA and groups such as the Gun Owners Alliance, are amassing personal arsenals averaging eight guns per owner.

It has become commonplace to read about local, gun-laden, anger or alcohol/drug fueled neighbor-on-neighbor or workplace violence, suicides, and perhaps worst of all, violent domestic incidents involving spouses and childhood curiosity gone horribly wrong. The more guns in the home, the more likely a resident is to become a perpetrator or victim of gun violence.

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