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Carl Rowan

June 30, 1988

It's hard to tell if Colman McCarthy (" . . . Carl Rowan Shoots Himself in the Foot," Op-Ed Page, June 19) is serious or not. With outrageous and confounded prattle, he pillories his once-fellow traveler. The distortions are so obvious, he must be kidding. Isn't he?

McCarthy offers the alternatives to a gun: a cudgel, Mace, vicious dogs, burglar alarms and a barbed wire barricade as better means of keeping one's home safe. I wouldn't want to live there. Much better to have a gun and know how to use it, safely and responsibly.

It was fitting that, in the next day's "Letters," an outraged citizen railed about the futility of counting on 911 as insurance against intruders. His wife, at home alone, had been terrorized by a man trying to break down the kitchen door, and her call for help, to 911, brought none.

We are responsible for our own protection, period. The police cannot always be available in minutes, and the margin between "close call" and "victim" is frequently just that . . . minutes. Or less. If the lady had had the reinforcement of a pistol she'd taken the time to be competent with, and confident with, she'd have had less trouble, and considerably less trauma. And she wouldn't have to count on 911 being Johnny on the spot.

JERRY BROWN

Encino

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