Michael Halberstam, the 48-year-old physician shot to death Friday when he surprised a burglar at his Northwest Washington home, was a regular commentator for the Cable News Network. In a commentary broadcast Nov. 21, he said:

"I'm not one of those doctors who's always warning his patients not to take chances. I think one reason for that is I rather like to take chances myself. I'd rather ski downhill than cross-country. I like football rather than Frisbee. I still prefer baseball to softball.

"But I want to take my chances, not someone else's. That's why I'm in favor of handgun control. Not banning handguns, but licensing and registering them, keeping them out of the hands of criminals and psychopaths.

"Each year in this country, 20,000 Americans are killed by handguns. Half of them [are] suicides, but the rest, accidents and murders.

"I don't wanna be the guy shot when I honk at the guy next to me and he reaches in his glove compartment and starts blasting away. I don't want my son shot when some punk holds up the filling station where he works, panics, and starts shooting.

"Handgun control has nothing to do with banning handguns, but altogether, it has to do with keeping them under control and registered. That has nothing to do with hunting. We're gonna keep hunting in this country. It has everything to do with the national epidemic of sudden, violent, foolish deaths.

"It may be true that guns don't kill and people do, but handguns make it a lot easier. Too easy.

"I'm Dr. Michael Halberstam."