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CONCEALED WEAPONS PROMOTE FEELINGS OF SAFETY AND SECURITY

Just when you start to believe that all the news is bad and there's no hope for America, something happens that gives you new faith in the country.

The other day I opened Time magazine, and its lead story concerned laws being passed by more and more states allowing people to carry concealed weapons. "It's a tidal wave," a delighted Tanya K. Metaksa of the National Rifle Association was quoted as saying.Every Republican presidential candidate seems to be getting on the pro-gun bandwagon, which makes me sleep soundly at night.

I've always been a concealed weapons' type of guy.

It's sensual with me. I love to feel a Smith & Wesson or a Glock against my chest. I like to hold a 9 mm in my hands and, when no one is looking, stroke the barrel or rub the grip. But I'm wise enough to know that you have to use some discretion.

For example, I would never shoot at another motorist unless he tried to take my parking place at the supermarket.

I am the kind of American that the NRA points to as an example of a law-abiding citizen who can be trusted with a hidden handgun.

When I go into a store and the clerk gives me the wrong change, I am not going to shoot him. That would be tacky. At the same time, if I'm at a basketball game and the fans sitting behind give me a lot of guff, I believe they should have the daylights scared out of them.

When a state gives its citizens the right to carry concealed weapons, it also assumes that the person will be responsible and remove all the bullets from it when he comes home.

There have been accidents in the house - children shooting children, adults shooting children, children shooting adults - but that's the price you have to pay if you want a normal, happy family.

I have friends who think that I am paranoid about carrying a gun. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Of course, I keep one in the drawer at my office - but what choice do I have? Suppose some salesman tries to sell me a bottled water service and I don't want it.

He'll leave a lot faster if I point the old Uzi at his forehead.

The big argument against concealed weapons is that a deranged person could carry one and shoot up the White House. Well, the answer to that is, why should the rest of us suffer because one person has a grudge against the administration?

If you're thinking about jumping the line in a Pizza Hut, don't even try it, or you'll be eating lead before you order the pepperoni.

Most of all, with a gun I feel good about myself. I feel as if the NRA cares about me. It's the first time I've been this secure since Sen. Robert Dole said that he would repeal the assault weapons ban by this summer.