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.