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Would Americans tolerate a constant barrage of rockets?

To the editor: We are pretty laid back here in Santa Barbara, though there is often some grumbling about the annoying panhandling of homeless people. ("Israel pounds Gaza; Hamas rejects PLO's proposed cease-fire," July 29)

Can you imagine what the response would be, even in this relaxed town, if dozens of rockets were being fired on us from, say, Russia? Even if only a handful of us died or were injured, would we tell the government with California panache, "Whatever!"?

As the rockets got more powerful and sophisticated, would we grudgingly acquiesce to the army trying to stop the attacks, but with great guilt because not that many of us had died yet? If our army returned fire, would we blow up our own bomb shelters so that more of us would die to make it fairer?

Beth Ruben, Santa Barbara

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