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Armed for Self-Defense

January 15, 1994

Had Polly Klaas grabbed a gun and shot her assailant dead, would Calendar have condemned her for not "sensibly hiding in her room," from where she would have otherwise been abducted by but one "unarmed burglar" who grabbed a kitchen knife? (" 'Armed' With a Message," Jan. 4). Would your writer take a sympathetic account of that much-happier story as his cue to blast her family as "gun-obsessed," "macho," "shallow" and "thick-headed"? Is Polly Klaas better dead than "warped"?

The consequences of exercising one's right to self-defense are, as evidenced by the CBS drama "Armed and Innocent," severe enough without the pious judgment of television critics. Call them "the psychological price of keeping guns in the home" if you must, but recognize the source: criminals who leave their victims no choice but self-defense. And note it's a price that might be "sensibly" preferred by those who won't be made to hide in their own homes, reward any felon who successfully breaks in with the right to decide their fate and ultimately pay the non-psychological but nevertheless real price of being dead.

ALAN GURA

Beverly Hills

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