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by Abigail Van Buren

Dangers to Children Lurk in Every Room in a House

DEAR ABBY: Never have I felt so compelled to write to you as when I read the letter from "Concerned Mom" regarding guns in the house. She shouldn't feel awkward about her young son's welfare. If safe and proper storage methods have been adhered to, there should be no reason for alarm.

I don't see any mention in that letter that indicates "Concerned Mom" wouldn't let her children play at the Smiths because of kitchen knives in unsecured drawers or in a knife block on the counter, power tools in the garage, drain cleaners and other household products easily accessible stored under the kitchen sink, medication in the bathroom, electrical outlets uncovered, or cooking pots on the stove.

Our homes contain a multitude of potential threats to children. With supervision, knowledge and safeguards, our homes can be happy and protected places for our children -- guns in or guns out. You may use my name. -- SUSANE A. GREENE, MIDLAND, TEXAS

DEAR SUSANE A. GREENE: All of the potentially dangerous items you cite in your letter have been mentioned in my column many times, as well as the danger of having a loaded gun in the house.

DEAR ABBY: I have been at my job only about nine months, so I'm a little afraid to talk to my supervisor about a problem I'm having with a co-worker. I try very hard to do the best job I can, I'm dependable, and never miss work without a legitimate reason, while she wastes time, takes off for little or no reason, and "brown-noses" the bosses.

Abby, she lies to them about me, blaming me for every error she makes and accusing me of all sorts of things. It has become almost a full-time job defending myself, but if I don't, my supervisors may believe what she says, and I can't afford to be without an income.

I'm about ready to quit, but jobs are hard to find. Help! -- FED-UP LINE WORKER

DEAR LINE WORKER: Your supervisors can plainly see that you are doing a good job. They can also evaluate the performance of your co-workers.

If it's any comfort, Abraham Lincoln was also wounded by the arrows of his "enemies." This is what he had to say about it: "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how -- the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end.

"If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference."

DEAR ABBY: My brother and I work for the same company. He has a position in the company that puts him in contact with hundreds of people. Here is my problem: It seems that everyone hates him, and I have to hear it!

What should I say to people when they tell me how they feel about him, and should I talk to my brother about this? -- "T'S" BROTHER IN ALBANY, N.Y.

DEAR BROTHER: If your brother is really making enemies right and left and it's not part of his job, he will be hearing about it soon enough from his boss -- so it shouldn't be necessary for you to counsel him. Your dilemma reminds me of an old saying: "It takes a friend and an enemy, working in concert, to hurt you to the core. The enemy to slander you, and the friend to tell you about it."

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600