An Armed Home Is A Safe Home

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In response to Jean Oliver's well-meaning but misguided letter regarding my disputing gun statistics in domestic violence, I obviously need to proffer more information about myself so that Ms. Oliver and anyone who thinks that disarming Americans will "stop the violence" can be effectively refuted.

I am a personal survivor of severe domestic violence in my first marriage. My husband, who was much larger than I and a gun owner beat me repeatedly with his fists, and once dragged me by my hair outside into the snow in the dead of a Pennsylvania winter, and locked me out of the house for over an hour while I was barefoot and clad only in a T-shirt and shorts.

This was about 25 years ago. Needless to say, the marriage did not last long. He never once used his gun to threaten me his fists and a belt were sufficient. This is, I believe, common in many domestic disputes.

My family and I are also survivors of the total government disarmament of the civilian population in Jamaica in the early 1970s. For a full description of this horrifying experience, and how many of my family's friends lost their lives because of not being able to defend themselves, you can read the article which I wrote about it at http://fly.hiwaay.net/~becraft/Tina-Guns.htm. I have seen for myself the truth of the statement that, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns, and they are delighted to use them to commit crimes with impunity, and often with incredible viciousness, upon unarmed victims of both sexes. The same thing is now happening in Britain and Australia since these governments have disarmed law-abiding citizens, and rapes, murders and home invasions are up substantially.

Ms. Oliver seems to be proposing to disarm all participants in and survivors of domestic violence; the last sentence of her letter, referencing the statement of a gun-owner who allegedly told her that he would never shoot his wife, since his guns are too important to him, is particularly telling: "Interesting and perhaps true, but a sad commentary on the importance of human life versus the gun."

Ms. Oliver ignores the very vital fact that, for many women, particularly survivors of domestic violence, owning and knowing how to defend themselves and their families with a gun may be the only thing that can save their lives should the perpetrator of the violence - usually a bigger and stronger male - try to harm them, either while they are still at home or after they have escaped.

There are countless stories from newspapers around the country, many of them summarized in a section called "The Armed Citizen," in the NRA's publication "The Rifleman," and also in a similar section of Guns and Ammo Magazine, which show how women have used guns to protect themselves and their families from abusive spouses and lovers. In many of these instances, the guns were not fired - merely displayed. I guess that, according to Ms. Oliver's reasoning, because gun-owning women's lives were saved by guns, they're not as important as lives which were lost to guns.

I am also assuming from her "importance of human life versus the gun" statement that Ms. Oliver is not familiar with the work of criminology Professor John R. Lott, Jr., whose book "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws," (University of Chicago Press) is an exhaustive and scholarly analysis of how gun control actually INCREASES loss of life, particularly amongst women. (See http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/13530.ctl).

According to Dr. Lott's research: "Murder rates decline when either more women or more men carry concealed handguns, but a gun represents a much larger change in a woman's ability to defend herself than it does for a man. An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about 3 to 4 times more than an additional man carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men."

Reading this, plus the rest of Dr. Lott's book, makes me think that it is Jean Oliver, and not I, who "missed the point of gun statistics." If Ms. Oliver wants some overwhelming statistics on how gun control has repeatedly led to genocide, I suggest she visit the Web site of Jews for the Preservations of Firearms Ownership (http://www.jpfo.org) and see how her "importance of human life versus the gun" concept holds up in the face of JPFO's research. She should particularly check the book "Dial 911 and Die!" by attorney Richard W. Stevens, found at JPFO's site. This book reveals how, in every state, the police have no compelled legal duty to come to the aid of citizens, including women, when they are being attacked, and how the police cannot be held liable for injury or death to citizens - including domestic violence victims, whether they dialed 911 and the police showed up or not.

If Ms. Oliver is teaching women to rely solely on the protection of the police rather than upon themselves, she is doing them a grave disservice.

Finally, since my original letter was published requesting a source for the "43 times more likely" statistic, and the Roundup responded by citing a (still unnamed) study published by the "New England Journal of Family Medicine," I have been vainly trying to find such a publication. I did find the New England Journal of Medicine, but have been unable to locate the disputed study. If the editors have a copy of the booklet which is entitled "Every Home a Safe Home," in which this study was presented, I would appreciate being able to get a copy of it.

At this point in my life, after my own personal experiences, my belief is that an armed home is a safe home, particularly when a woman has her own gun and knows how to use it.

Tina Terry, Payson

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