I'll attempt to be brief, courteous (by not going on a vitriolic tirade!), articulate and to the point in responding to Chris Honoré's Tuesday guest opinion "Romancing the gun."

I'll attempt to be brief, courteous (by not going on a vitriolic tirade!), articulate and to the point in responding to Chris Honoré's Tuesday guest opinion "Romancing the gun."

First, guns in proper, legitimate hands save lives. This is alluded to by a Gun Owners Of America Fact Sheet posted online at www.gunowners.org. Enter "Guns Save Lives" into search. Also, JPFO Inc., at www.jpfo.org, has posted three outstanding pro-gun videos for public viewing on firearms and the Second Amendment. These are: "2A Today for the USA," "No Guns for Negroes," and "No Guns For Jews," respectively. Both GOA and JPFO, Inc., have no affiliation with the NRA and deserve the moral high ground on the gun debate. In fact, they collectively are far better qualified than myself, Chris, or the vast majority of the American public in addressing this debate and have the research, resources and academia at their disposal.

Second, I have asserted previously (and without apology) that "a .38-caliber revolver defines cheap, affordable life insurance and homeland security. It's the most affordable bodyguard/security system available to the honest working-class citizen." So are other firearms too. No, I don't own a Glock and have never fired one. The same holds true for so-called "assault weapons." In fact, I posted this same declaration at a pro-gun site. A black person who I don't even know responded back with an affirmative. Here is what this individual wrote:

"It applies to my dad's life as well. One time he was walking from his motel room to his car. Seems that some lowlifes with knives decided a black man didn't have the right to exist and lay in wait for him.

" 'We're gonna cut up a (N-word), boys!' they said. Sure ... right up until my dad showed 'em his own .38 Special. Their minds changed in a hurry, and they quickly left the scene. Sadly, he's had to face this kind of thing more than once, and for the same reason. But he is alive today because his own portable "life insurance policy" was always with him.

"Dial 9-1-1 and Die!" (1992) is posted also on the JPFO Inc. website and reveals some shocking revelations on the myths of dialing 9-1-1, police protection, etc.

Martin Luther King Day was observed recently on Jan. 17. Talking about equality, the Second Amendment is the original equal rights amendment.

Finally, a saying on the 19th century Western frontier was "God created all men equal, but Colonel Colt made them equal." Thus the entire firearms and Second Amendment issue is likewise a basic fundamental civil rights issue that morally deserves far more attention and scrutiny than it has received.

James A. Farmer

Ashland