Talk to your neighbors | Letter

In reply to “Give up now!” (Reporter, Sept. 27).

Perhaps because I don’t watch cable news, I don’t understand how people are afraid to go out because of “assault military-style weapons.” I checked the numbers. Under 300 people die a year from all rifles, and less than 400 in all mass shootings. Over 35,000 people die per year from car accidents. I don’t worry about driving.

What I saw two weeks ago was my mailbox hanging open stuffed with stolen mail.

What I saw last week was our neighbors having two of their cars broken into.

On a well-lit, open street with clear visibility between many neighboring homes.

I know if such increasingly bold thieves were to break into my home, the police wouldn’t be there before they were able to do harm to myself, my wife, or our children. That is why — though neither myself nor my parents ever owned guns — I told friends online I’m looking into buying a gun to protect our family.

Immediately, I received support. Not from the political crazies on my feed, but from the quiet, humble, good people I knew from work, from church, from community connections, who were also using guns to protect their families and messaged me with their practical wisdom.

They explained how all of those scary accessories — pistol grips, laser sights, and large magazines — were not for “military,” but rather for making it easier for someone less experienced like me to defend my home from one or more intruders. They offered to teach me and invited me to the range. I look forward to learning more.

Instead of getting scared of the TV and politics, look outside and talk to your neighbors. You may be surprised how many not-scary people who you respect own those guns that you’re scared of.

David Johnson