I live in an "up-and-coming" neighborhood in Oakland. When my wife and I moved in, there was a house about a block from us that was dilipated and had several young men who would go in and come out at all hours. This being Oakland, we lovingly dubbed the house "Stoner House" (pronounced like Dean Wormer saying "Delta House!"). And it was fun to chuckle about Stoner House and how the guys in there were just a bunch of burnouts and blah blah blah.

It stopped being funny about a month ago when, at 4 a.m., an entire clip of bullets was discharged right outside my apartment. Stoner House was now Drug House. We started noticing things, things like the two security cameras duct-taped above the entrances with a cable running inside the house through a broken window. Things like guys just standing outside of Drug House at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning in 43* weather. Things like cars pulling up to Drug House at all hours to buy drugs.

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Last night, at 4 a.m., there were more gunshots. Again, from Drug House. This time they were shooting at people.

Like the last time, I dialed 911. And the police arrived in short order.

One of my acquaintances is a police officer in Stockton. He suggested that it might be time to get a gun. However, I disagree.

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First of all, it's not going to stop a burglary. Most burglaries happen during the day or the holidays. That's because the point of a burglary is to avoid confrontation. A gun does nothing to stop a burglary because, most likely, I wouldn't be home to use the gun to stop the burglary. All that would happen is my gun getting stolen.

Second, I live in an apartment building. In order to get into my home, someone needs to get through the big steel front door. Then, that person needs to get through my front door, made of solid oak, with two top-of-the-line Schlage locks. In my apartment, I have a dog. He is a chihuahua-rat terrier mix. Obviously, he's not an attack dog. However, he is an excellent alarm dog. When he hears keys in the lock to the front door, he barks. It's what he's trained to do. So, in case of break-in, while the intruder is jimmying the lock, I'm calling the police.

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And that brings me to the third point. I have learned that even in a city of 410,000 that only has 250 police officers on-duty at any given time protecting those 410,000 people (Oakland has the fewest police officers per person in the nation), the police get to my house in less than 3 minutes. They arrive lights flashing and sirens blaring.

So what would a gun do? Am I to respond to shootings by running outside and adding to the gunshots?

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As we have seen from last week's killings, there are simply too many guns out there and it's far to easy to get them. More guns are not the answer. Better and more enforcement of existing laws is the answer.

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