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Most people are better off not owning firearms

People who think they need a gun for protection should ask themselves this question: Do you know how to use that weapon when your heart is pounding at 140 beats a minute? Have you practiced what it is like to be in the dark and reaching for a gun? Have you ever aimed a weapon at anyone before?

It's easy to go to a shooting range and fire at paper targets. But it is almost impossible to fire at a another human being with the same ease unless you take the time to train for it.

It is not just about firing a weapon; it is the strategy that a self-defense student must practice as diligently as any golfer or tennis player. Where do you position yourself? How steady will your hands be in aiming? Remember, this is not your day job.

When I returned from Korea and was discharged, I decided I would never again use a gun for self defense, because I knew that over time I would lose the fine edge I had acquired as an infantry soldier. As a result I could put myself in greater danger with a gun than without one. I would not have the skill when I needed it due to lack of use.

Law enforcement officers train at an academy, have scheduled shooting practice and carry a weapon daily. They are ready. For the rest of us, don't think that the weapon you have in a dresser drawer and haven't looked at for months will make you safer, better prepared or protected. It won't.

John Holter, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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