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President Bush on Gun Control

February 26, 1989

I thoroughly support Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates in his running battle in the assault rifle "dust-up" (Part I, Feb. 11). Gates is a fine chief, as was his predecessor, Ed Davis. I am a Goldwater Republican and a member of the NRA, although I'll probably be drummed out of the corps for heresy.

I was raised on a ranch and have handled guns since my early teens. Also, I am a past president of the Golden State Trapshooting Assn., the state branch of the Amateur Trapshooting Assn.

The controversy over the so-called assault rifle should have nothing to do with whether it is a semiautomatic or not. The crux of the matter should more properly concern the capacity of the magazine. Several fine rifles and many shotguns used in hunting are semis, but I don't know of any with a magazine capacity of more than five cartridges. Additionally, when used on water fowl, shotguns must be plugged down to three. Any alleged "sportsman" who needs the capacity of an AR-15 or AK-47 to bring down game is obviously such a lousy shot he shouldn't be allowed in the field in any case! He would be a danger to himself and others.

The police are badly outgunned against AR-15s, AK-47s and Uzis. I would support a ban on weapons with a magazine capacity of more than 20 rounds, or even 10. I would not support any attempt to broaden this to include such widely used sporting weapons as Remington 110s, Winchester 1200s, or Browning automatics.

Neither would I support any attempt to ban handguns. These are highly useful for home protection (the police can't be everywhere at once), as long as the owner knows how to handle them.

CURTIS KING JR.

Encino

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