In 2002, nearly 10 in every 100,000 Californians died at the hands of a firearm, for a totaly of 3,410 deaths according to the Center for Disease Control and Injury Prevention. In 1999, using the same CDC data, Handgun Control noted that more Americans were killed by firearms between 1979 and 1997 than were killed in battle in every war waged by America. Finally, a study by the Journal of Trauma pointed out that guns at home were 22 times more likely to result in an unintentional death than to injure or kill an attacker in self-defense.

But we weren't surprised by the story of a lesbian couple in the Mission with matching nines and a Winchester rifle anxious that their guns might be taken away from them, even though the main subject of the story is from England, where the incidence of gun violence is negligible when compared to the United States. We totally understand the fear that can grip groups marginalized by discrimination. Hence our support of second amendment rights. It's one of the few things the Black Panthers and the Ku Klux Klan can agree on.

The problem is, there's a big difference between a jittery person in a rough neighborhood and a well-regulated militia. What's good for the goose is not always good for the gander, and statistics have shown that a handgun in the home is much more likely to kill someone accidently, be stolen, used in a suicide or escalate an encounter from a property crime to a mortal crime than it will save you. Of course criminals will always have access to weapons, and of course you have a right to defend yourself. We bet you could trade that Glock in for a nice double-barrelled, pump-action 12 Gauge. Hey, they're banned in combat by the Geneva Convention, they can't be all bad.