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Letter: Beware of gun legislation

To the editor:

Beware of HB 135 which is currently being reviewed by The House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee in Concord. It’s insidious provisions are best exemplified by the following excerpted text:

“III. A person is not justified in using deadly force on another to defend himself or herself or a third person from deadly force by the other if he or she knows that he or she and the third person can, with complete safety:

(a) Retreat from the encounter...”

This bill empowers criminals by forcing their victims to be in the unenviable position of having to guess, in what could be seconds or less, whether he/she (one) has an avenue of escape, (two) can successfully access the avenue of escape and (three) can utilize the avenue of escape without succumbing to a criminal’s threat to inflict grave bodily injury or death.

As an example scenario, consider the plight of a petite, 105-pound, elderly woman who wisely ignores the detestable lie of “Oh, you don’t need to carry a gun for self-defense; the police will protect you.” If this legislation passes, upon being confronted by a 225-pound, knife-wielding attacker, this vulnerable woman’s ability to protect herself will be severely compromised. She would be forced to decide, within what could be a split-second, whether to use her handgun to stop her assailant or to gamble on accurately guessing, “Do I have an avenue of escape and can I get to it in time? If I use the faster and less risky option of stopping him with my handgun will an activist, anti-defensive-gun-use prosecutor make my life and finances a living hell by leisurely second-guessing me on whether “I knew” if I could successfully retreat from this threat?

No woman, elderly or otherwise or any other victim facing a potentially lethal criminal threat, should be forced to make the split-second, life-or-death decisions this imbecilic legislation mandates.

Larry Jones

Peterborough

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