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Skelton on Gun Lobby

March 05, 1995

Re George Skelton's column, "Gun Lobby's Words Backfire on Itself," Feb. 23:

Let me get this straight. If a woman wears provocative clothing and gets raped, she's a victim. If gun owners have their valuable personal property stolen from them, they are the problem. This is classic blame the victim. Skelton's logic would have us believe that grand theft auto could be eliminated if only none of us owned cars. True enough, I guess, but isn't that a bit punitive on law-abiding auto owners? (Legitimate, four-cylinder, non-sporting cars only, of course). Think, if no one owned anything worth stealing, there would be no crime!

And as far as his statement, "Nobody advocates banning . . . six-shooters," doesn't he read the editorial page of his own paper? Times editorials have frequently called for the banning of all handgun ownership.

JOHN R. MURPHY

San Clemente

* Skelton trots out the usual anti-gun material. It appears he did not read his colleague's Feb. 18 article which reported the fact well known to the "gun lobby" that homicides had not increased since the turn of the century, and had been decreasing until the recent increase in young murders.

The big increase has been directly tied to the increase in deaths among drug dealers and gang members. The fact that drugs are illegal and that the billions of dollars spent in enforcement have not affected their illegal use can be applied to the prohibition of guns. Criminals will get guns from any source, including the police and military, as history will show.

Skelton also repeats statistics of people who died from gunshots which includes more than half suicides. The vast majority (99.9% of gun owners) feel maligned by being accused of being responsible for increased murder while truly being responsible citizens.

GERALD WILSON

Covina

* Re "The Yearning for Less Violence," editorial, Feb 23: You're correct in saying that there should be no disparity in the penalties for carrying a concealed knife versus a concealed gun. So in the interest of fairness, I suggest that the penalty for carrying a concealed knife also be reduced to only a misdemeanor.

Despite your position to the contrary, keeping victims helpless is not the answer. All the laws in the world don't stop a thug from attacking a helpless victim. But uncertainties about retaliation do.

RICHARD JOSLYN

Calabasas

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