Where concealed firearm permit holders are concerned, naysayers have predicted Dodge City style shootouts and general mayhem. Such prophesies have failed to come true. In fact on Nov. 30, 1997, a South Carolina paper, Greenville News, reported: "Since the measure became law in 1936, more than 8,800 people have received permits. . . . Authorities cannot cite a single case where a legally concealed gun was used unlawfully."

Author Gary Kleck has pointed out that those cities with the toughest gun-control laws also have the highest crime rates. Washington, D.C., which bans private owner-ship of handguns, also has the highest per-capita murder rate in the country.LaVarr Webb claims that opinion polls show that 90 percent of Utahns favor banning armed permit holders from churches, private businesses, etc. Boy, I'd sure like to know where he got that one. I guess he hasn't considered the possibility that a gun ban might act as a "magnet" for armed criminals, who might target those places with "no guns allowed" signs, knowing that armed permit holders are not allowed on the premises. What the sign really says is "Hey, come on in. We're helpless." So much for creating a safer environment.

Mike Cannon claims that the Second Amendment is a collective and not an individual right. I'm afraid the Founding Fathers, if alive today, would not agree with him.

Samuel Adams affirmed: "The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their arms."

Anybody for gun registration and/or confiscation? This is what Adolf Hitler, in 1935, had to say about gun control: "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our land into the future."

Sound familiar?

Thomas S. Steinmann