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Guns Invite Added Perils

August 31, 1992

I am an avid target shooter and former Marine infantryman. But as I read "Going Great Guns," (Aug. 17) I felt a little worried.

I understand wanting security and wanting to sleep at night. But there is a lot more to securing the home or workplace with a gun, or any type of weapon, than just loading it and putting it under the pillow or in a drawer at work. It takes training in the use of the weapon as well as knowing when to use it.

While in the Marines I had the chance to go to an anti-terrorist school. While in initial training I watched around 90% of the Marine trainees lose weapons in houses to intruders and about 70% of the trainees shoot the wrong people (with blanks) in training. These were very well-trained, hand-picked Marines in this school. All had great eyes, good hearing, high IQs and much higher qualifications than the state requires to buy a gun.

What I want to know is this. If these special "cut-above-the-rest" Marines had such problems in an urban environment, how are people going out buying guns and going to the range for some basic training going to fare? It took our Marines over one week at 12 to 16 hours a day to come out ahead in a mock American urban environment.

If you have purchased a gun for purely defense, please rethink your actions. Sell it where you bought it before you dispose of someone you mistake as a problem, or someone who is a problem disposes of you with your own gun.

It takes more than guns to start, and stop, crime. It starts with a careful thought process.

GREG ALAN ANDREWS, Ventura

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