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Robert B. Harris (Editor’s Mailbag, Sept. 11) continues to argue that semiautomatic firearms should be outlawed. He highlights incidents where they were used in mass murders without acknowledging that they are also indispensable for self-defense. This makes as much sense as arguing that motor vehicles should be outlawed due to the many associated fatalities without acknowledging that they are indispensable for transportation.

Given that it often requires multiple shots to stop even a lone attacker, the need for semiautomatic firearms is undeniable. Furthermore, home invasions can involve multiple attackers. Being prepared for roving bands of looters after a catastrophic event is prudent. Venezuelans bemoan the confiscation of their firearms that left them defenseless against tyranny and rampant crime.

How will disarming harmless citizens keep guns out of the hands of criminals, lunatics, and tyrants who observe no laws or ethical standards?

The fundamental question is this: Do we get to decide the firearms we will use for self-defense, or does Mr. Harris, together with any misguided associates, get to decide for us? In typical leftist fashion, he believes he is superior to us and therefore entitled to control us.

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It seems that he wants to breach our very homes and forcibly confiscate our firearms, or at least he wants to deploy his government agents against us. We merely want to mind our own business while being prepared for the worst, yet he intends to wage civil war against us while absurdly claiming that we are the ones with masculinity issues.

Richard Hirschi

Albany (Sept. 14)

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