Violent death is violent death, Miguel, whether it's inflicted by some tough with a gun, or by a moron with an automobile. Twist it any way you want, but the US is no more violent than Portugal or many other countries. rejecting the facts because they are unpalatable doesn't change the facts. I assume you are an average Portuguese citizen, as I consider myself an average American citizen. You state you have been mugged three times, I have never been mugged. I did once, however, find it necessary to display my holstered handgun to a young man who was brandishing a large hunting knife in what he apparently thought was an intimidating manner. After I demonstrated that his knife wasn't nearly as intimidating as he thought, he became very polite and conciliatory. Criminals here are VERY careful about whom they attack, but they often make fatal mistakes. Our news media are full of stories about citizens who use guns to protect themselves and I assure you it's not nearly as difficult as you think. Some time ago, in California, a wheelchair-bound man who lived by himself had his home invaded by five vicious young gang members. The man armed himself with his shotgun, and the gang members made the mistake of coming down a hall way after him; three died and two ended up in the hospital. My wife is a nurse practitioner and midwife who sometimes finds herself driving deserted streets at night to aid her patients. She carries a handgun, as do many of her colleagues. Recently, a nurse whom she knows, was assaulted by two young men who thought she carried drugs in her car. She killed both of them. According to studies Americans defend themselves with firearms hundreds of thousands of times each year: There are approximately two million defensive gun uses (DGU's) per year by law abiding citizens. That was one of the findings in a national survey conducted by Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist in 1993. Prior to Dr. Kleck's survey, thirteen other surveys indicated a range of between 800,000 to 2.5 million DGU's annually. However these surveys each had their flaws which prompted Dr. Kleck to conduct his own study specifically tailored to estimate the number of DGU's annually. See: http://http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html If you prefer to be protected by the police that's you choice, but I, and many other Americans prefer to carry firearms to protect ourselves, because the police frequently aren't around when they are needed. The mugger who you think may have wished he had shot you, may try to do just that the next time around. But if you are armed, he at least must risk his life in order to do so. Most criminals just aren't that stupid because they know if they continue as criminals, sooner or later, an armed citizen will kill them, whereas a cop will more than likely just arrest them and send them to jail. The felons themselves say that they try to avoid armed citizens because they are much more likely to be killed or injured by a citizen than a police officer.