Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Speak softly and pack heat

The Chicago Tribune printed my letter in its Feb. 9, 2010 edition. A little background: On Jan. 31, the Tribune ran an article profiling Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident who owns rifles but would like to purchase a handgun to protect his home. He and his wife have suffered several home invasions. With the assistance of a legal team, McDonald is the named plaintiff in McDonald vs. Chicago, a case challenging Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear beginning March 2. Hizzonerdamare Richard M. Daley, who enjoys taxpayer-funded 24-hour armed police protection, vehemently opposes having the law being repealed or ruled unconstitutional.

The letter-writer I refer to, Irving Maslow of Northbrook, had yet another letter published near mine in the Feb. 9 newspaper. He still opposes handgun ownership.

Dear Editor:

Colleen Mastony's excellent profile of Otis McDonald ("The Public Face of Gun Rights," Page One, Jan. 31) offers an opportunity to respond to a Voice letter that appeared Jan. 9. A gentleman from Northbrook states simply, "Guns should be banned everywhere by law" and is absolutely sure they are never used in self-defense because he has never heard anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

This gentleman doesn't offer a suggestion of what to do with the 200 million handguns currently in circulation in America, the vast majority of which are in the hands of law-abiding citizens. In the safety of his low-crime Northbrook community, surrounded by other low-crime communities and miles removed from Chicago's dangerous neighborhoods, surely he can't imagine needing to defend oneself and one's home, as Mr. McDonald does on a constant basis. A handgun can be "used" in self-defense simply by announcing to an intruder or would-be attacker, "I am armed." Such incidents rarely show up in statistics. A handgun is a solitary woman's best friend, as well as anyone else who wants to protect him/herself.

The Northbrook letter-writer wants American troops to protect us. Right. Police respond to draw chalk outlines. It's up to us to protect our own homes and families with the best defense available: handguns.

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