Safety is a gun at hand – or is it?


To the Editor:

The National Rifle Association calls on every American to have a gun in the house – preferably several guns – in order to defend home and family against intruders.

Others agree that every law-abiding American of course has the right to own a gun. But they insist that for safety – especially in a house with children – these guns must be kept under secure lock and key.

There is a glaring and irreconcilable conflict here.

How do you defend your home with a gun that is safely locked away?

As I sit in my living room, should a malefactor come through my front door, a gun will be of no use to me unless it is loaded and in my hand within less than 10 seconds.

If you are passionately determined to exercise eternal vigilance against evil doers, you need a loaded gun within easy reach 24 hours a day, wherever you are in the house – living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom.

So the question is: which poses the greater danger to you and your family? Keeping a loaded gun on your living room coffee table and your bedside table? Or locking away your gun or guns, thereby becoming more vulnerable to home invasion by the lurking criminals the NRA warns against?

For we happy few who have the blessing of dwelling on peaceful Martha’s Vineyard, the answer would seem to be a no-brainer.

Yet it must be acknowledged that a loaded gun close at hand could have been helpful to the West Tisbury woman whose estranged and crazed husband broke into her house last year, apparently intent upon murdering her.

R.E.L. Knight

West Tisbury