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A gun might come in handy these days
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For years I've been thinking about getting a gun. I'm now exploring my options, which means it'll probably happen.

Friends have given me pointers on what kind to buy and I think I want a 9 mm.

My experience with guns is somewhat limited. As a kid, however, I had a chance to target practice with my Dad's .22 and had a chance to shoot bigger guns later as a young man, so I'm not afraid of them.

My hope is that I'll never have to pull my gun - let alone squeeze the trigger - on someone but if I do it will be as a force for good. No, I'm not under the influence of having just watched Tombstone, although I admire the way Wyatt Earp whipped 'em into shape. I just think it would be nice to have a "neutralizer" at my disposal seeing how things are going in the world. Police, after all, can't be everywhere and sometimes good people have to act before they arrive.

We've had a heads-up for thousands of years on what kind of world we'd be living in. A passage in II Timothy 3 explains that "... in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money ... disobedient ... without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited... holding to a form of godliness..." Which is to say, we haven't seen nothing yet, as scary as that may sound.

My first real feeling of vulnerability occurred about three years ago when I was preparing to walk out the front door off to work when a darting shadow darkened the door. Someone was running into our side yard. I opened the door and my eyes met an officer's who was about 15 steps behind him. I had no idea what was going on and suddenly my "castle" felt as though it were under siege.

I made sure the back doors were secured and then ran around the side yard to see if I could assist the officer, who had no backup. He had a burglary suspect on the ground under our planting table, yelling that he place his hands behind his head or he would Taser him (with a few expletives mixed in to make him understand that this was no joke.)

What if I had needed a weapon to assist the officer if things had gone especially bad?

Those who say guns are evil are misguided. Guns are merely tools which can be used for evil or for good. The world would be a safer place if more good people armed themselves and defended themselves against vermin preying on them. There are times when you can't wait for the police. Case in point: An 18-year-old gunman entered the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City on Feb. 12, 2007 with a shotgun and randomly shot five people to death and wounded four others. Sulejman Talovic would have killed more had it not been for Kenneth Hammond, an off-duty Ogden, Utah officer, who was having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his pregnant wife and ended the ordeal since he was armed with a gun. Hammond obviously used his gun for good.

If I had been Hammond, would it have bothered me to shoot the gunman? Certainly; I'd probably be haunted by it the rest of my life. Would I have been happy that I spared more people from being gunned down like jack rabbits? You betcha. There'd be no better feeling than to save an innocent life.

Hence, the gun.

It's too bad that gun owners in the Yuma shopping center didn't stop crazy-as-a-loon Jared Loughner when he was taking aim at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others on Jan. 8. Loughner was able to shoot 19 people, killing six, before he was able to be tackled by brave onlookers.

Remember the Jan. 17, 1989 Stockton school yard massacre in which five students were killed and 29 injured? It would have been nice to have someone locked and loaded and ready to drop Patrick Purdy before he did as much damage.

Recently a Whitmore Avenue liquor store clerk pulled his weapon on two would-be robbers, one of which was armed. The clerk would have had the legal justification to plug both of them but they fled like cockroaches dodging the heal of a shoe. My hope is they had to clean out their britches and rethink their path in life.

Two weekends ago my blood boiled when I heard reports of some teen punks on bicycles forcing two girls to take their clothes off in a Sacramento park. Wish I would have been there to end that nonsense real fast. A cell phone pressed to my ear on 911 the other hand on a gun aimed at the jerks.

Hence the gun.

I plan to take a gun safety course before I actually purchase the gun. There's a lot I don't know about proper gun handling and storage. I don't want to break any laws nor have any accidents. I will be a responsible gun owner, which means it will be in a location that is secure away from others,

It's insane to think that with the exponentially increasing possession of illegal weapons in the hands of brazen Valley gang punks - police find illegal weapons in traffic stops daily - that a gun wouldn't come in handy if faced with a direct assault that needs to be ended quickly.

How do you feel? Let Jeff by e-mailing him at