To the editors:

Thank you and Bryan Miller for a rational, balanced story on handgun ownership (“Guns & Women,” February 4). There is far too much misinformation and Band-Aid legislation being created that will do very little to reduce crime and much to restrict gun ownership rights. Crime is a sociological problem that requires solutions ranging from strengthening of values to a reassessment of the justice system. The truth is that handguns are used in less than 10 percent of violent crime.

I know firsthand about the antigun faction’s tendency to react without the basis of fact. Without attending my classes or speaking to me or my students, city council members removed my successful, three-year-old handgun safety classes from adult education curricula because it was “too controversial.” Banning handgun safety classes has nothing to do with reducing crime. The critical issue is how to stop criminals. Why not try a reasonable theory that retains freedom of choice, while holding each of us completely accountable for our own actions?

I have subscribed to your paper for years for its excellent writing and interesting topics. A suburban Chicago native, I’d forgotten how strict Illinois firearm law is. I used to be afraid of guns until I learned how to shoot and secure them safely. I thought I’d use my knowledge to help reduce firearm accidents and myths here in Virginia, but I was “banned.” Education would reduce handgun accidents, misdirected legislation and antigun rhetoric. My thanks for running a story that’s sure to support the education process in Illinois.

Linda Klinger

Alexandria, Virginia