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'Infantile Fantasies'

December 04, 1987

David Glidden's article "Real Guns, Infantile Fantasies" (Opinion, Nov. 29) lends new depth to the meaning of the word fatuous. The thrust of his comment seems to be that perceived slights and provocations will drive the best of humanity to beastly conduct if handguns are available--therefore, to prevent this antisocial behavior, ownership of handguns should be abolished.

Following this line of logic: Let us do away with all forms of alcohol, for the social evils it may cause. Ought we not incarcerate anyone who has ever shown any irresponsible trait in driving a motor vehicle?--the better to prevent the high toll exacted on our highways in accidents. Surely all forms of tobacco should be made unavailable, its damage to health being now beyond dispute.

Because Glidden so clearly has the interests of our society at conscience, he could be installed as the arbiter of what is good and what is evil. He could then, by fiat, strike the offending from our society.

On the other hand, perhaps the members of our democracy are better disposed to determine that which is in their own self-interests. The possibility that a particular commodity will be the cause of injury, when used irresponsibly, is a poor reason to make that item unavailable to the responsible. Zeal and emotional prose are a poor substitute for logic and the rights of the public.

DAVID E. FOSS

Mission Viejo

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