As one of America’s more than 100 million “gun extremists,” I felt compelled to write to you after reading Cathie Whittenburg’s April 28 Maine Voices column (“NRA, conservative lobbyists rush extreme gun bill through Legislature”).

In attempting to explain why allowing legal gun owners to keep their firearms during times of social unrest opens the door to “chaos, vigilantism and an every-man-for-himself mentality,” Ms. Whittenburg (perhaps unwittingly) put forth the best argument against confiscating privately owned firearms during an emergency. “Emergencies,” she writes, “are very chaotic situations.”

Exactly. Confiscating guns from me and my wife in a time of chaos and social disorder would not make us safer. On the contrary, it would make our family easier prey for those who would use the chaos of a natural disaster as an excuse to do violence.

Look at the situation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (the inspiration for the Maine law), when rioters attacked business-owners and raped refugees; when some police officers looted stores and used department-issue weapons to murder civilians while their more disciplined comrades struggled to restore order.

Some people do crazy things when they think the law isn’t looking. Depriving trained, disciplined and conscientious people of the ability to protect our lives won’t make the crazy people any less crazy, or any less dangerous.

I’m glad I live in Maine. What happened in New Orleans after Katrina is very unlikely to happen in my hometown of Scarborough. But I’m also glad that the Maine Legislature chose to uphold the people’s right to protect themselves and their families from death and grievous bodily harm if such an unlikely event should occur.

Robert E. Milholland is a resident of Scarborough.