* Joe Davis, a private gun dealer (letter, Aug. 27), apparently was not at the same gun show I attended at the Pomona Fairplex. I was appalled at what I, as a former gun collector, found on site.
Along with a few booths selling pro-Nazi books, magazines, posters and videos glorifying the atrocities of WWII, there were displays of combat weapons including antitank rifles. These were not just museum displays. They all had price tags. Parts and manuals for the express purpose of converting formerly semiautomatic military weapons to fully automatic function were also on display at various vendor tables. Back when I was still a collector in the '60s, there was a real law on the books making it illegal to offer ammunition magazines or clips exceeding a five-round capacity for semiautomatic, center-fire rifles. At this show, there were tables covered with boxes full of high-capacity magazines formerly available only to the military and authorized police organizations.
Then, of course, there were the roving, uniformed white supremacists talking it up in the aisles to anyone who would stop and listen.
Make no mistake, there were thousands of well-meaning sportsmen and collectors with their families. But there were too many representatives from street gangs and white supremacists with their hatemongering tattoos glaring at all who passed by. And, to be sure, they were crowding the tables and booths selling high-tech weapons.
We know who is attending these shows and most vendors, legitimate or otherwise, know it. The operators of these gun shows owe all of us better protections from those who use this venue as a shopping center for illegal weapons.
Michael Ramirez's Aug. 25 cartoon implying that gun control would make no difference in crimes of violence misses the truth by a country mile. Consider the numbers of children killed in one year in Germany, France, England and Canada combined, where they have gun control: 338. In the United States, without gun control: 5,285. How many children have to die (not to mention the thousands of adults), before gun lovers are willing to have their deadly toys placed under at least the same limits as driver's licenses?
ROBERT B. McLAREN