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Associated Press: Gun debate revives questions about self-defense
I consider the AP not a friend of the 2A.


Gun debate revives questions about self-defense

By ADAM GELLER | Associated Press

The beam from the intruder's flashlight pierced the blackness of the bedroom at 4:45 a.m., sweeping across the down comforter and into Eric Martin's eyes. Outside, the streets of his Utah subdivision lay still and silent.

But as Martin rolled to the floor, reached into the nightstand drawer and drew out his 9 mm pistol, the 46-year-old executive's mind raced with calculation: Would this man harm Martin's fiancee or her son? Was an accomplice outside waiting? What if he pulled the trigger and hit the sleeping 8-year-old across the hall?

In the weeks since the Connecticut school massacre, some of the most intense debate has swirled around how to keep guns from criminals without infringing on the ability of lawful gun owners, like Martin, to protect themselves and their families.

Indeed, self-defense is now the top reason gun owners cite for having a firearm, a new survey shows, a figure that has nearly doubled since 1999.

But even after years of study, there is little clarity on how, exactly, Americans use guns to protect themselves in moments of jeopardy — or how often. Researchers known for sharp disagreement on the self-defense riddle say the answers may be shifting dramatically because of a steep drop in crime, an increase in guns and state laws giving owners more leeway to wield them.
Live Free or Die

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