Normally I don't become involved in debates about gun control, but Jay Raines' letter contained too many offensive generalities to ignore. I quote, "me and the other 2 million residents of this state (all liberals) . . . " Excuse me? I have never considered myself a liberal, and I don't think anyone can possibly classify those of us without a permit to carry a gun as liberals or those of us who do as conservatives.

The women I know who do carry guns are mainly self-professed "liberals." They have been victims of violent crimes, mainly rape, and carry a gun to ensure that they never go through that type of experience again.Mr. Raines also asked for an example of how people who carry protect the rest of us. I don't have an answer to that question directly, as I do not carry, but when our family lived in Rose Park, simply mentioning that we owned a gun was enough to deter one would-be criminal. Once, when our home was being converged upon in the darkness by four teens carrying interesting paraphernalia who had been casing the home all evening and thought we were asleep, my husband had only to go outside under the porch light and display the holstered gun and the four youths fled.

It isn't the people with permits that we have to worry about; it's the people "packing heat" without one, who have no compunctions about using our citizens as target practice, who are a cause for concern. Those of us without permits to carry are not all liberals; many liberals own guns; many people without permits own guns; many people who own guns will never give them up until a better device for self-defense against criminals with guns is available.

Heather Jensen

Salt Lake City