I wish to rebut Professor James Fyfe's recommendations concerning citizens' use of firearms for protection {Close to Home, Dec. 20}. In the unfortunate James Gordon case where one officer mistakenly shot another, Mr. Fyfe's recommendations to police are probably germane. But his recommendations to citizens are just well-disguised antigun tripe.

He states that "the best way for citizens to protect themselves . . . from intruders is to leave as quickly as possible and to call police from the nearest telephone." In many cities and rural areas, response time to police calls (if the phone and the 911 system work) is at least 20 minutes. Can you live with a 20-minute wait?

Mr. Fyfe also suggests leaving. This could be a ridiculous and even fatal response. In my absence, how can I be assured that my family could flee in time if awakened by an intruder? My wife just can't safely assume that the intruder is after only her jewelry. Tell the many women who have thwarted an attempted rape in their home with a gun that they should have fled to a phone booth instead of defending themselves. Tell the thousands of citizens who defended their person and family this year with a firearm that they could have been accidentally shot by a cop.

And what does Mr. Fyfe suggest for attacks outside the home? Had it not been for a handgun that I was licensed to carry, I would have been maimed or killed by a vicious dog that attacked me after chasing two children into my yard. If I had called 911, I'd have been dead meat.

The response time of my two friends, Smith & Wesson, is the one upon which my family and I will rely, thank you. We can live with it. DON NOLAN JR. Williamsburg