What is the purpose of owning a handgun? Does owning a handgun protect you? Does owning handgun have a greater chance of hurting you, or someone you know, more than a stranger seeking to do you harm?

When we first moved to New York, we decided to get a handgun in order to feel “safe” in our new hometown. The act of getting a handgun was not a simple move to put into action. New York City started requiring handgun licensing in order to purchase a gun.

At that time you could buy as many rifles and shotguns as you could afford without a license or a vetting process, but handguns had a tortuous new registration requirements and you were limited to the purchase of two handguns.

You also had to pay a yearly handgun license fee that would allow you to have guns in your home and only your home. The fee was around $130 at the time and today you will pay just under $450. You started by heading down to NYPD’s headquarters, One Police Plaza, to submit to a rigorous background check. The entire vetting took around six weeks — a purposeful delay to ensure no spur-of-the-moment “buy and shoot” decisions were mistakenly made in a moment of passion.

One could not help but feel the rigor of buying a gun in New York made you feel like the criminal being processed instead of the one seeking to protect a family from criminal harm. Once you were cleared, the NYPD mailed you a handgun purchase authorization form — good for the purchase of two guns — that you would present to a gun dealer to finalize your purchase. If you bought one gun and later decided you wanted a second handgun, you had to resubmit to the background verification and fees procedure again.

I believe the licensing was skewed to press you into buying two guns at once and that skewing was probably a giveback to the local gun shops that were suddenly hurting for business after the crackdown on unattended handgun purchases. It was a trembling experience buying a handgun. Sweaty palms wet the wooden grip.

A rough salesman’s urging to “Stop shaking! Don’t be scared of the gun! Just pull the trigger!” did not help ease the decision making moment as one repeatedly tugged on the trigger of an empty revolver aimed at a wooden crate on the sawdust floor. Finally, feeling haunted and hunted, two handguns were purchased: A massive and heavy two-hands-needed-to-aim Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum with hollow-point bullets:

Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum

As well as a smaller Smith and Wesson .38:

Smith and Wesson .38

The second we handed over the $1,200 — for both guns and ammo and a “lock box” that would hold the guns between cleanings — we felt less safe. The guns were never fired. The guns were never loaded. We never touched the guns.

We lived in terror of the guns being fired against us or against anyone else. We preferred the protection of our defensive wits instead of offensive dum-dum bullets. The handguns were finally handed over to the NYPD because we no longer wanted guns in the house.

We lost all our money on the guns in the handover because we didn’t want to renew the handgun license and if we had tried to sell the guns we would have had to purchase a Gun Dealer’s Permit and that was another barrel of monkeys and far from being shooting-fish-in-a-barrel easy.

We decided the penalty we had to pay for our stupidity and innocence in seeking security in handguns instead of each other was to lose the money we paid for making a bad decision. After we gave our guns to the NYPD we once again felt safe in our own home.

61 Comments

  1. I’m not that fearful of guns, as long as the owners are well trained and the guns are locked up from kids and people who would steal them.
    Most of my relatives are in Kentucky. In the summer, when I was in elementary school, my parents would send us from northern New Jersey, where my dad was stationed, to KY to stay with my grandparents. It was nice to spend time with relatives and just spend lazy summer days hanging out away from the hometown.
    Guns are part of the lifestyle in KY. Everyone has one or more there. When I was young, my uncle took me and my brother out into a field and had us fire a handgun. He explained gun safety and told us to never play with it. I think he had us shoot it to take the mystery away from it.
    I’ve been at my other uncle’s house when he has shot coyotes that were threatening his livestock.
    I don’t own any guns now, but I’ve had two rifles in the past. In college, my roommate had a hunting rifle in our off-campus apartment.
    In law school, I knew lots of people who had handguns. I had a female roommate who always carried a small .22 cal handgun in her purse when she’d go out on dates. There were lots of guys who had 9mm handguns for some reason.
    The thing that makes a difference is having kids. I wouldn’t want to have a gun in the house because I have two small kids. It’s too much of a risk compared to the benefits that might come from having a weapon.
    If I was going to get a weapon for protection, I’d probably skip getting a handgun and stick with a shotgun of some sort.
    If I was worried about the “end of the world” due to widespread social breakdown because of a natural disaster a la Hurricane Katrina, I’d figure out a way to get away from the area, instead of battling to the death to protect property that can always been replaced.
    Most of the reports of meyham in New Orleans ended up being the result of rumors and bad communications, anyway, so the fear is mainly unwarranted. Most people were looking out for each other in New Orleans.
    We’ve been through bad snowstorms that have shut down the roads and power for days at a time, and the neighbors always come out to check on each other and to see if they can help in anyway. My generator is more important to me than having a gun.
    But, I’m not really worried about needing a gun. Most criminals want to slip in when nobody is home and get away without any fuss. Preventing a robbery while on the street is often a matter of situational awareness and projecting the confident image that we’ve discussed previously.
    Also, I live about 1/2 mile from a gas station that serves as an unofficial police hangout — usually there are cops from the State PD and three other cities gathered there to hit on the cashiers and drink coffee.
    It probably doesn’t hurt that the police chief lives right up the street from where I am and another cop lives in the neighborhood. We’ve never had to call the police, but the neighbors have never had a problem getting them to respond quickly when needed.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience with guns and rifles, Chris. Your story makes a lot of sense and serves as excellent advice for those who may be wondering about protection.
    You’re so lucky to live around those who are sworn to protect and serve!
    😀
    Your warning about guns in the house with kids is important. To really secure a gun with a proper trigger lock to stop children from using the weapon immediately defeats fast use as a defensive weapon in the matter of a break-in.
    When we first moved to New York there was a popular T-Shirt that was being sold everywhere. Printed on the entire front of the shirt was a gigantic .38 Special with the words “You’re Not In Kansas Anymore” written in bold type under the gun. As first-timers in New York that shirt was a frightening billboard to beware and we took its warning to heart as new out-of-towners settling in the Big City.
    Now, as we look back and are more desensitized to gun violence that permeates the airwaves every day, we can laugh at the T-Shirt as the sick joke it was intended to be back then.
    We were in Columbia housing when we had the handguns and there’s probably no safer place to live in New York than subsidized student housing in Morningside Heights. There were excellent security measures everywhere. We probably would have been better served if we’d kept the guns for our move to Alphabet City after we finished Columbia!

  3. Probably the best thing for home protection would be to get a good alarm system with a panic button that can be carried to the bedroom at night.
    Nobody gets hurt if the alarm accidently goes off, unlike a gun. And, usually, police are pretty quick to respond to a panic button alarm. If the system is set up right, the crook should be detected before he or she can cause any damage.
    There is a group I read about recently in the Miller section of Gary, Indiana that is patrolling their neighborhood after some robberies. Some of these citizens are armed. The patrols are being organized by upset homeowners after a couple of robberies in the area.
    The police recently captured a guy who tried to rob a woman. The woman hit the would-be thief with chemical spray and the blinded robber fled right into the path of responding police officers the woman called. I wonder if that solves the problem for the neighborhood?
    It scares me that a “citizen’s patrol” might be wandering around with weaponry and primed for a fight. It’s a dangerous situation for everyone involved. If people were concerned about supplementing their protection, I’d rather have them hire a security company that is trained to observe and has less of an emotional connection to the problem. The solution of homeowners strapping on weapons and cruising their neighborhood looking for problems might be worse than the problem.

  4. Hi Chris —
    Street Vigilantes working under the guise of protecting a neighborhood concerns me and I don’t know a police department that supports citizens patrolling the streets looking for evildoers.
    The Guardian Angels in New York still have that vigilante reputation even though they are expanding beyond streets protection:
    http://www.guardianangels.org/
    Neighborhood Watches can be a good thing if they are informal but vigilant – however, when the neighbors begin to curry together on the street to patrol it always feels to me that they’re out looking for a fight.
    A good alarm system with hardened windows and metal doors is a great way to prevent unwanted visitors! Have you seen the show “To Catch a Thief” – not the movie, the reality series — on the Discovery Channel where two former felons break into houses, with permission, to teach the homeowners hard-learned lessons about security?

  5. Dave!
    Ouch! Why were you pistol whipped? Did you resist or something or was the criminal just looking to have some fun on your head?
    Yeah, if you’re going to carry a gun you sort of need to have your hand on it at all times if you’re out on the street so you can put it to use when attacked. That isn’t a very fun way to live, though.
    Don Imus carries a handgun. He spends most of his time in New Mexico and his weapon is on him at all times. In New York, where he lives, he has a license to carry, and he does there, too.
    However, in Secaucus, NJ, where his MSNBC TV studio is located, he can’t carry a gun because he isn’t licensed and can’t be because he doesn’t have a NJ residence. So he has to take his gun on and off all day as he goes back-and-forth between New York and New Jersey. That, to me, is the height of silliness!

  6. I might have to check out the Discovery Channel program. It sounds interesting. Hardening the doors and windows is a great idea. Some of the new glass storm doors are very nice looking and provide a nice level of protection because they can have a strong lock. A key thing is to keep people out of the garage since it gives them a way to work on getting into a house without being seen.
    My neighborhood is nice because it has a mix of people, including several retired neighbors who are always keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
    If someone wants to get into your house, they are going to be able to do it. It would be easy enough for a serious criminal to get some sort of work truck and a magnetic sign to make it look half-way legitimate. If he took out a saw and cut a hole in the side of your house, nobody would think twice, because that’s what guys in work trucks do. Same thing if he put a ladder up to your second floor window and climbed in.
    Most security is just a matter of delaying criminals enough so that they might be caught before they have a chance to do any damage.

  7. I might have to check out the Discovery Channel program. It sounds interesting. Hardening the doors and windows is a great idea. Some of the new glass storm doors are very nice looking and provide a nice level of protection because they can have a strong lock. A key thing is to keep people out of the garage since it gives them a way to work on getting into a house without being seen.
    My neighborhood is nice because it has a mix of people, including several retired neighbors who are always keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
    If someone wants to get into your house, they are going to be able to do it. It would be easy enough for a serious criminal to get some sort of work truck and a magnetic sign to make it look half-way legitimate. If he took out a saw and cut a hole in the side of your house, nobody would think twice, because that’s what guys in work trucks do. Same thing if he put a ladder up to your second floor window and climbed in.
    Most security is just a matter of delaying criminals enough so that they might be caught before they have a chance to do any damage.

  8. Dave —
    What a terrible story, Dave! I am glad to know you made it out with your life. I guess they were out for human thrills and not money?
    There was a recent police sting here in Jersey City where teenagers in black hooded sweatshirts were ambushing people when they turned down a certain block. The “hoods” hid in lots of different places and they used hand signals to communicate.
    The police set up video surveillance and sent in a decoy and the “hoods” jumped at the chance to mug the guy and then 30 cops came out of their hiding place and the chase was on! Several of the “hoods” ran away but enough were caught to pressure the revelation of co-conspirator information.
    Imus is a funny guy. I like his political bent. He’s certainly everlastingly more interesting than the pre-pubescent Howard Stern.

  9. Dave —
    What a terrible story, Dave! I am glad to know you made it out with your life. I guess they were out for human thrills and not money?
    There was a recent police sting here in Jersey City where teenagers in black hooded sweatshirts were ambushing people when they turned down a certain block. The “hoods” hid in lots of different places and they used hand signals to communicate.
    The police set up video surveillance and sent in a decoy and the “hoods” jumped at the chance to mug the guy and then 30 cops came out of their hiding place and the chase was on! Several of the “hoods” ran away but enough were caught to pressure the revelation of co-conspirator information.
    Imus is a funny guy. I like his political bent. He’s certainly everlastingly more interesting than the pre-pubescent Howard Stern.

  10. Chris!
    “To Catch a Thief” is great. The family sits in a van and video cameras are scattered throughout the house. Then one of the guys “breaks in” to the house in a violent way that stuns the family into silence from their “we’re protected” bravado. He then — in five minutes or less, cleans out the house and his take is usually $25,000 worth of stuff.
    He knows where people keep their credit cards and checks (desk drawer) and their car keys (in the kitchen near the door) and guns (in the closet/under the bed) and jewelry (in a shoebox/dresser drawer) and on and on and on… his favorite thing to take when he was doing those jobs for a “job” — and just to be mean — was to take all the remote controls for everything.
    He said losing the remotes to the stereo and TV and DVD player and radios can make people more angry and furious than losing a valuable watch or ring because the remote is something they use every day for pleasure and enjoyment and you can’t easily replace them and insurance won’t cover their replacement. The remote is a daily reminder how hard he hit them in a place they care about losing.
    On the show the guy returns all the stuff and the house is hardened at the expense of the TV show. Then a few weeks later, the same guy goes back to try to hit the house again and 50% of the time he gets in through an unlocked door or window or because the new security system is not activated.
    My favorite “job” of all I watched was the woman who was working in her home office upstairs and he walked in the front door and cleaned her out while she was in the house and totally unaware! It was magical to watch him slip and creep right in front of her open door the moment she turned her back to answer the phone or type an email.
    Oh and the #1 thing he uses to rip you off are your own suitcases — he opens them up and fills them with all your best stuff and when he leaves he looks like one of your visitors going home after an overnight stay if anyone is watching. Brilliant! Lock up your suitcases and duffel bags!
    Retired people are perfect watchers! They are nosy and always around.
    There was a study in New York that in the old neighborhoods with row houses the crime rate on the street was always low because you always had “eyes on the street” that were no more than four flights up from the street. Later on, as houses and buildings became taller and taller, the streets became “smaller” and with no eyes watching, no threats could be yelled down to the street and no alerts could be shouted to other neighbors. There was something valuable in that sort of community eye that never blinked. Everyone knew what everyone’s kids were doing.
    You are so right about getting into someone’s house. Desire is all and will shall not be denied. The trick is to make your house less appealing by hardening all points of entry and you so rightly state.

  11. Dave —
    Oh, what a story! You were so smart to do the right thing and just let them have their way with you and hope they’d get bored and move on… Did that happen when you had your restaurant?
    I love it you found $100 later! Technically, I believe Karma is paid back in your next reincarnation and not during the same lifetime — but I think it was a signal from the energy of the world confirming you did the right thing!
    Yes, Stern and Imus are both full of blanks — not much difference between them though Imus’ news guests are much more interesting to me.

  12. Dave —
    Ooof! It’s even worse you were just sitting around minding your own business. I thought maybe they’d scoped you out and thought you had a lot of money on you after your restaurant closed or something.
    Imus, and his crew, are boring — but his guests are often fun.
    I, too, prefer the old stuff. I am now loving “Yes, I Can!” the four CD set from “The Sammy David Junior Story.” His renditions of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “Hey There,” “Birth of the Blues,” “As Long as She Needs Me” and “The Lady is a Tramp” are all purely incredible. He was a fantastic singer but was too often seen as the foil, the buffoon or the dancer.

  13. That’s a wild story, Chris! I am so glad nothing bad happened and what a great thing the “Tac” officers arrived so fast! They must have seen a weapon to react so quickly and visually and that might explain why the students froze dead.

  14. Handguns are a frequent culprit in accidental fatal gun wounds. They are relatively easy to obtain and all so easy to use. In the home they provide a sense of security and greatly increase the chance of an accidental fatality in the home (see: The Center for the Advancment of Health for stats. What are the rational justifications for gun ownership in an urban environment? I personally favor restricting the ownership of handguns. People fear that in giving up their guns they become sitting prey for criminals and the police, who will undoubtedly continue to carry guns. Feelings of fear are further distorted by perceptions about crime and safety. Random violent crime isnt as common as nightly local news would make it seem. By choice I live in West Oakland, one of the poorest neighbordhoods in the Bay Area. By all accounts I should have felt unsafe, but I frequently walked the streets late a night without incident. During the two years that I lived there only a single homicide occured and it was gang related. No homes/cars in the immediate vicinity of the my apartment were vandalized. Violent crime can occur at random, however ‘street-smarts’ will likely go further in protecting your life than a gun. The crime rates and typical types of crimes in most neighborhoods do not justify keeping personal firearms. Guns are not a deterrent to crime, do not provide a real increase to personal safety and likely detract from public health.

  15. I personally, have never seen the need for a gun. I’ve never owned one, never held on, nor even seen a gun, apart from in pictures and on the Television.
    I have a link here from one of the blogs I read regularly. the guy posted This Article in december of last year. I think it really says it all, but the comments also show just how many differing views are out there. Hope it helps.

  16. Jonathan —
    I agree with the logic of your fine argument against handguns.
    I know there are others lurking here who vehemently disagree with us and I hope they will feel comfortable enough to express their thoughtful and considered arguments in favor of handgun ownership.
    Thanks for that great link!

  17. I bought my first gun to learn target skills, I have since purchased several for different things from personal defense to just collecting them. I do not see why people think that having a gun means your violent or are going to be quick to shoot someone or that it will be used on you only if they know where you keep it or that you don’t know what you are using you never buy a gun without knowing how to use it and if you think that rigouris testing like getting a drivers license is going to help with knowing what you are doing look at the fools that are issued a license

  18. Everybody here is aware of the fact that guns cannot magically fire themselves? Right? I’ve lived in houses with guns in them for my entire 34 years. None has ever fired by itself.
    I feel that my life and the lives of my family are worth protecting. That means I own, and know how to use, several firearms. There is no excuse to not be able to protect yourself.

  19. Minimum of 30 minutes were I’m at. A criminal can commit a lot of murder, rape or mayhem in 30 minutes.
    Like the items I mentioned earlier, a gun can be used to save lives.

  20. So you see yourself as cop, judge and jury with your gun?
    If not you, who else decides to pull the trigger to shoot?
    Guns are more often used to kill their owners or the family of the owner. Rarely do guns justifiably kill an intruder.
    Your gun is giving you a false sense of security that threatens the very lives you claim to protect.

  21. I see myself as defender of my family. I suppose you think it would be better to stand aside wringing your hands while watching your family be murdered, or worse?
    Your little factoids are incorrect also.

  22. I do not accept your predictable and false characterization my factual conversation with you.
    The evidence, and the police and the law — and the entirety of human consciousness — are on my side, not yours.
    You’ve overstayed your welcome here, so we won’t be continuing our conversation on this matter any longer.
    Good luck.
    I hope your own gun doesn’t kill you, but common sense predicts it will.

  23. If your first experience with a handgun is buying one to protect your family you’re off to a bad start. I just can’t visualize anyone thinking that having a handgun is an effective solution to violence in a private home.
    I was brought up around guns, handguns, and rifles, and our family used them for hunting and protection in the bush,–not against people. I carried a handgun in Massachusetts and New Hampshire legally with concealed carry permits in those states. Did I really need to? Probably not. It did give me a little ease of mind when on public transportation late at night. The key to purchasing a handgun for protection is good training, both physically and mentally. If you’re up against a bad situation are you mentally prepared to shoot to protect yourself? I venture to say most late to gun ownership types out there will cause more trouble by buying such a weapon.
    I enjoy them for hunting and sporting (target practice). But I have prepared myself mentally to use one if needed to protect myself. That’s the lesson that needs to come from this,–are you prepared for gun ownership?

  24. I have several hand and long guns. I am ready. Remamber Watts? and Katrina? The law will arrive in time to fill out the paper work but not to protect you. Hitler took all the guns…..then declared the country safe…..tell that to the Jews who were lead away like cattle.
    The book ”more guns-less crime” tells the whole story.

  25. I work for a propane company. I have been through the experience of having a gun pointed at me. This person then pointed his gun at his propane tank and said I’m going to put a hole in it. He rambled about is experiences in the jungles of vietnam while he explained that he could kill me where I stood, and get away with it because he is a pschye case. (thinking I’m never going to see my wife or children again) I spoke calmly and explaining that he was going to kill me, himself, his family in his house and a coworker sitting in our company truck. He had a change of heart and threw his gun on the ground. He then invited me to pick his gun up. I explained that I couldn’t and wouldn’t do that. my coworker and I got a safe distance away, reported the incident. He got five years probation, and weeks of therapy. (After dealing with the court system two years.) I have always had a great deal of respect for the authorities, law and order. I have handled all kinds of rifles, shotguns, pistols my entire life. I love target shooting with my family and taught a few boy scouts how to safely handle a rifle and shoot. I respect the law and the rights of others and will not carry my gun where prohibited. I will always listen and use reason to try and resolve a conflict. Steal my property , it can be replaced. Respect my right to defend my life or the life of my family if necessary.

  26. I would like to share some of my own beliefs about gun ownership. I would like to have a mature discussion, and I hope that I will be returned the same courtesy.
    I believe that gun ownership is something that anyone can participate in, but it is the individuals decision. I choose to own firearms, currently only handguns and rifles. Just some of my background information is that I have experience with over 50 models of firearms (and I am not yet out of high school) I can safely use just about any firearm from my experiences. I have been personally taught gun safety by military and the police.
    Now, on to my beliefs. Many of you feel that if you are attacked by an armed person, you won’t have time to reach for your firearm. This is only a myth, because to tell you the truth, the robber is very scared and nervous, which equals a slower reaction time. With some practice, you can become very efficient with drawing your weapon, which in most cases, even against an armed assailant, will be enough to drive them away. Also, if you are in a high crime area, I’d suggest taking some self defense classes because if the person is close enough, you can safely disarm the person, which will ruin any confidence they had and they will surely retreat. That was just one of the issues I had a problem with. I do not wish to offend anyone, as I am only stating my beliefs from experiences and my teachers experiences (including police officers and military personnel)
    Another issue i had was with some of you saying that guns and children in the same house are a bad mix, which can be true. It is only true if you do not practice safe gun handling. The best way to keep your firearms out of the reach of children is to use a gun safe. I can assure you, that if you hid the combo, no child will be able to get into a safe and get a gun. I know a reply to this would be, what is the point of having a gun then? Simple. The same companies make a similar safe that goes in your wall, which requires a finger print (i believe they can hold up to around five individual finger prints – yourself, wife, family in the area can gain access to the gun if needed) the door to the safe drops down, exposing the gun. It is a quick access to a gun when you absolutely need it. You can put this in your wall above a child’s height to prevent them even tampering with it. The technology is out there to keep your family safe from your fears of accidental shootings. Just most choose not to use them.
    Another thing is police response time. For many of you it may only be a few minutes tops. Where i live, it is around 30 minutes. If you accidentally dial 911 and let the phone go unanswered, the operator will hang up and the police will call the house around 45 minutes later. Not to safe, huh? prepping your house in all the ways people have listed above are great, but a gun for home protection is a last resort to those, because i can guarentee all of you that someone could get past metal external doors and thicker windows. Also, make sure your security systems cover all windows, even on multi story houses, because most don’t and criminals know this.
    I saw one of you above mentioned a friend who would keep on removing his firearm each time he switched states. Yes, it is a little ridiculous, isn’t it? There is only one other answer to that problem. If you have a concealed license in one state, but often travel to another state, simple make the gun unconcealed. Switch it to an external holster so everyone can see it. This falls under the “open carry” laws, which makes this kind of firearm carry (for any type of firearm, be it a handgun, rifle, shotgun, assault rifle) perfectly legal for people 18 years of age or over.
    I also saw someone post a message asking why a person thought he had the right to decide what the police, jury, and judge decides by using a gun to protect himself. My answer is simple. If the other person is deciding for himself to rob me, cause me harm, or my family harm, then i have the right to skip the same steps that he did. Most would call this me lowering myself to their level, but really it would be saving lives at the expense of one life. Would you rather sacrifice one criminal for the benefit of the community, or sacrifice the community for the benefit of one criminals so called “rights.” The moment someone decides to end a life by murdering or threatening, they just took away all their rights to life. That is the way i feel.
    Just some final thoughts. I own guns because i can. I am not old enough yet to carry a gun or buy my own guns, but i do competitive target shooting, which is one of my favorite hobbies. I think that if you have never had gun training, even if you don’t plan on owning a gun, you should go through training in case you are ever in a situation where you are required to handle a firearm safely (such as being around a group of kids who find a firearm so you will be able to safely unload the firearm so no one gets hurt.)
    Thank you for letting me express my beliefs.

  27. Chris Pain is some other person who apparently uses the same user name. the only name associated with me is David, which is my real name. idk who the other person is. many people have copied my online screen name. I do things related with network security, and many took my name as a hackers SN and started using it.

  28. Chris Pain is some other person who apparently uses the same user name. the only name associated with me is David, which is my real name. idk who the other person is. many people have copied my online screen name. I do things related with network security, and many took my name as a hackers SN and started using it.

  29. From Reuters today:

    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.
    U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

    http://tinyurl.com/2bcjek

  30. I appreciate everyone’s comments, and I understand both sides of the issue. I’m a retired law enforcement officer and I’ve dealt with the criminal element first hand. I personally believe in owning a firearm and I own several, however, I have no small children living at home, my spouse and I have been married close to 30 years, and are madly in love to this day. I believe in the old adage “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” I personally believe that owning a firearm is fine, providing the one owning and using the firearm is well trained, has moral integrity, if married, the spouse doesn’t oppose the idea, and the firearm is kept in a safe place. I see no problem. That of course, is my personal opinion.

  31. I guess i should really chime in on this one. 😉
    I’m a firm proponent of civilian gun ownership, though I currently have no firearms in my possession – I live in NYC. Firearms are an effective deterrent and response to criminal invasion.
    I have had to use my weapon in defense of my home. It was a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun. I racked a shell and the perp left quickly! Fortunately I have never – in my civilian career – had to fire a weapon at a person in anger.

  32. I can’t imagine anyone going to all the trouble of buying two handguns in New York City, and then being so terrified and uninformed as to turn them in and “hide under the bed”. This is a mortal world; you pay your money and take your chances. It isn’t a safe place and never has been. Your risks, apparently perceived as severe enough to buy the guns suggest that you probably still have concerns about your safety. The risks you engage are still as real and the percentages are still the same as before you bought the guns. The point is : Unless I am a wacko, a felon or a terrorist, I should have the right to excercise my civil liberty in this matter.
    -Glenn