It was shortly after midnight when my wife and I were awakened by pounding at our front door. When I went to the window, I saw a large man trying to kick down our door. I warned him to stop, but he started swearing, insisting that I give him money. He then started kicking the door again.

I called 911 and was put on hold. I waited for about 30 seconds and then realized that the man at my front door probably would be inside before the 911 operator answered. Despite the D.C. gun laws, I have a gun for just such a situation.

I took the gun from my closet, went to the window and pointed it at the man. I warned him that I would shoot if he came through my door. He stopped kicking and ran away.

Every few months, people are shot and killed within a block or two of our home. It is absurd for Washington to outlaw guns; it guarantees that only outlaws will have guns.

Citizens should be allowed to protect themselves, and, as a homicide detective once told me when I confessed to keeping a gun, "I would rather be judged by 12 of my peers than carried out by six of my friends."

I thank God that Congress has some power over the District's laws.

TONY SNESKO

Washington

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Regarding Rep. Mark Edward Souder's proposal to repeal D.C. gun restrictions [front page, Sept, 14]:

Mr. Souder should go one step further and propose eliminating the metal detectors that keep guns out of Congress. Members of Congress, like District residents, will feel safer knowing that their neighbors may be carrying semiautomatic weapons.

KAREN PENCE

Washington

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Why are an Indiana representative and 228 of his House colleagues supporting legislation that would supersede the rights of people (like me) who live and pay taxes in the District -- and who overwhelmingly do not support the repeal of any D.C. gun laws?

Maybe I should call D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and ask her to sponsor legislation that imposes restrictions on the good citizens of Indiana. Hey, too bad if they do not support what she is legislating on their behalf. She's a member of Congress, and she knows what's best.

Oh, wait. Technically, Ms. Norton is not a full member of Congress. Mr. Souder and his party have made sure that she and her fellow D.C. residents don't have the same rights guaranteed to other Americans.

BARBARA E. KNISELY

Washington