I remember as a young boy in England during the Second World War that most nights we spent in an air raid shelter. We would listen as the German bombers flew overhead dropping their loads, wondering whether a bomb would hit our shelter or perhaps our home. The worst thing was the frustration that we felt and our total helplessness to respond and defend ourselves.

I hadn't thought about those days for quite a while. Then I read Daniel Akst's article on gun ownership ("Gun ownership makes your life riskier, not safer," Aug. 5) where he suggests that we throw away our guns and leave the protection of our families to providence. Akst suggests that there would be a dramatic drop in suicides and accidental deaths. I beg to differ.

I confess I don't have any answer to the tragedy of suicide. I don't have any answers as to how to reduce the number of accidental deaths. I do know that throwing away our guns is not the answer. Using Akst's logic we should also stop building bridges or high-rise apartments in case someone were to jump off. Why don't we stop building trains, buses and automobiles, that would certainly reduce the number of accidents. The list goes on.

The Second Amendment is not about hunting or sports; it guarantees a person the right to protect himself against unlawful governments and criminals. Without a person's ability to respond to aggression, we might just as well give up all rights of freedom.

Alan Carabine