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by Abigail Van Buren

For Estranged Sister, Casual Queries Are a Thorny Issue

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 33 years. All my life I have been vehemently opposed to having a gun in our house. Our three boys didn't even have toy guns.

I just found out that my husband recently bought a handgun and hid it from me! His reason? "I wanted one." Needless to say, I am furious. Your thoughts, please. -- UNDER THE GUN IN MIAMI

DEAR UNDER THE GUN: A few come to mind. Before buying the gun, your husband should have had enough respect for your feelings to discuss it with you so some ground rules could be established. It would be interesting to know why, after all these years, he feels so vulnerable that he thinks he needs a gun in the house.

Also, if you haven't already done so, both you and your husband should take a gun safety course as a precaution against an accident. Check with the police department to see where they are offered so you will know how to safely store and handle the weapon.

It goes without saying that your husband should never point the gun at anyone unless he actually intends to use it -- a frightening thought in itself. If your home should be burglarized and the gun stolen, the chances are great that it will be used for criminal activity. If your husband can live with that, then so be it.