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Concealed Weapons

November 27, 1994

* You still don't get it, do you? I am referring to the Nov. 18 editorial about the proposal in Stockton to issue concealed weapons to citizens of that city. (The City Council rejected the measure on Nov. 21.)

What could be wrong with that? The state of Florida has had such a law on the books for several years now, and the state of Tennessee has recently passed the same kind of law.

Has there been an increase in gunplay in those states? Hardly. Is it a coincidence that it was foreign tourists in Florida who were the targets of robberies and murders recently? I don't think so.

I am a police officer and have been for several years. The threat to my fellow officers and me is from guns being carried illegally by criminals, not by otherwise law-abiding citizens for their own protection.

I do agree that there should be some training before a person is given such a permit, along with the proposed criteria in Stockton. There are those who shouldn't be anywhere near a gun, as well those who don't know how to safely handle a gun.

BRUCE JAMES

Indio

*

"Give everyone a gun and run for cover, fast" your sub-headline says; give me a break. To begin, the average citizen in Stockton, or any city, would not have the desire to carry a firearm with them. The City Council's proposal would allow law-abiding citizens the option to do so. The state of Florida has the same basic measure and approximately 2% have obtained a CCW permit. Of those, many carry their firearms only as a precaution when working late and alone, traveling in unfamiliar areas, or for protection of their family.

I believe that a safety training program should be included with the measure that would involve firearms handling, target practice and children's safety. National Rifle Assn. members are very well-versed on firearm ownership and safety. Many members, including myself, would be more than willing to provide instruction.

The Second Amendment is not just for the protection of life, but to ensure that the First Amendment remains a part of the Constitution.

KEITH GILBERT

Orange

*

Law-abiding firearms owners are fed up with the near-constant chiseling away of our rights. We showed our anger in the Nov. 8 election. According to exit polls, roughly 70% of gun owners voted Republican. It's logical to conclude that we decided to punish those who voted for the Clinton crime bill by throwing them out of office.

Your Nov. 14 editorial, in which you once again trotted out a photo of wheelchair-bound James Brady, repeats the tired mantra of blaming firearms for this nation's crime problem. Further, you continue to decry ownership of "assault weapons" even though they differ from other legal firearms only in appearance. I realize that Democratic President Clinton will likely veto any attempt to repeal the "assault weapon" ban and the Brady bill. This makes it even more imperative to elect a pro-Second Amendment Republican to the White House in 1996.

How does President Gingrich grab you?

MICHAEL T. PARKER

North Hollywood

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