Would you put this sign in front of your house: "There Are No Guns In This House?" Of course you wouldn't, because such a sign would be a magnet for home invaders, thieves and rapists.

So why do you send your children to schools where such signs are posted? The same logic applies: any mentally unstable person who wishes to work out his frustrations with the unfair way life has dealt with him knows that schools -- and many theaters, malls and other private and public places -- are "gun free" zones, or in one critic's words, "target-rich environments."

The two major influences on our development are our parents and our schools. I am sure that most of us can recall unpleasant experiences with both: parental punishments and restrictions, teachers whom we disliked or hated, and teasing (or bullying, which is related) from fellow students.

If one is not able to learn from these experiences and grow, if one is mentally handicapped in certain ways, then these unpleasant experiences can grow to be an obsession -- and if the bonds of civilization in one's soul are too weak -- can lead to events like the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Eliminating the "gun free school zones" would bring an element of uncertainty to the situation; the same element of uncertainty that give home invaders pause as they drive through your neighborhood -- "what if there's someone there with a gun?"

I am not suggesting that we allow students to bring guns to school -- be sensible. But if legally armed people having business in a school knew that they didn't have to leave their gun locked in their car, it would add some uncertainty to the mind of a potential killer. Better yet, if qualified teachers, staff and administrators were allowed to have a gun locked in their office, they would be able to mount a more realistic defense in the event of an attack. And, far more important, the publicized fact that there might be guns and people willing to use them in a school (or other venue) would have a definite deterrent effect.

Please note, that while these attackers may be insane, they are not totally irrational. My understanding is that the recent mass murder in Aurora, Colo., occurred at the only theater in that city to have a "gun-free" policy. Why that one particular theater? We don't hear about many attacks on police stations or gun clubs or public buildings like courthouses where there are armed guards. Why not? There's a logic to this, and the way the equation is currently set up, it favors the insane attackers. I think it's time to turn this logic around.

The answer is not further disarming of the people, but allowing law-abiding armed citizens to perform the duty that the founders of our country envisioned: the protection of society from predators. We all know that "when seconds count, the police will be there in minutes." Nothing against the police, but their duty is to maintain public order, not to be bodyguards for individuals or garrison forces for schools, theaters and shopping malls.

Finally, I would note that the liberal and progressive forces that wish to disarm the American people -- and this includes President Obama -- have been utterly shameless in immediately exploiting this and other tragedies, not even giving people a chance to work through their grief before beating the drums for more gun control.

I feel ashamed to be writing this letter at this point in time, and would not have done so if the "gun-control" lobby had not swung into full action almost before the bleeding stopped in Newtown. And as a final thought, given the logic of the matter, I wonder just why disarming the people is so important to these liberal and progressive "gun control" advocates? Is their real goal perhaps "people control?"

BROOKS LYMAN

Groton