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July 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Influx of gun violence

Self-defense argument irrelevant

The standard argument against restricting the sale of or access to guns is that at any moment we may need to defend ourselves against a burglar invading our house or someone threatening us on the street.

But in fact, in spite of the huge number of guns in our society, we almost never hear of ordinary citizens defending themselves with firearms. Instead, about once a week we read of mentally unstable people obtaining guns and massacring their families, or young toughs killing members of rival gangs or accidentally killing some innocent young girl at a party [“Shot ‘out of nowhere’ felled free spirit,” page one, July 3].

Given the power of the NRA, there’s probably no hope of strengthening gun laws. But could the gun lovers please stop using that self-defense argument? The odds are in the other direction — guns cause far more harm than they prevent.

— Robert and Susan Stanton, Seattle

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You don't hear about guns used in self-protection much simply because the Seattle Times... MORE
Lawful firearms owners are using guns every day throughout American to defend... MORE
@Robert and Susan: And what of it? I'm also sure we don't see every instance of a... MORE

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