Tom Smart, Deseret News
Thousands demonstrate at a pro gun rally sponsored by Guns Across America at the Utah State Capitol Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Salt Lake City.

Tens of millions of Americans choose to own semi-automatic firearms with ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds for the same reason as law enforcement officers: they are effective for self-defense. One never knows how many rounds he or she will need for self-defense or defense of others, or how many criminals may attack. Thus, having a firearm that allows its lawful user to discharge multiple shots can often be the difference between life and death. In fact, a number of studies have shown that firearms are used for self-defense hundreds of thousands of times to 2.5 million times annually. This amounts to guns being used three to five times more often for self-defense than to commit a crime.

Rather than expanding previously failed legislation that won't curb violence but will affect law-abiding gun owners, I urge you to support legislation to enhance school security and improve our nation's ailing mental health system.

I own guns, and in my 50 years I have never done any thing that would have harmed me, or more certainly anyone else. Now because law makers and the press want to vilianize an organization instead of listening to the people, I may lose this right.

Terry R. Campbell

Salt Lake City