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Businesswoman Doesn't Speak for All Gun Owners--or Mothers

May 12, 2000

In "Women Take a Stand on Guns" (May 10), I find it fascinating that Shirley Andrews states that in her Turner's Outdoorsman stores, "we don't sell to criminals!" Shirley, I direct you to the Times' Dec. 9, 1993, edition, Section A: "Train Rampage Gun Bought at Signal Hill Store." "The pistol used to kill five people and injure 18 others on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train was purchased by the suspect at a sporting goods chain in Signal Hill last spring, federal officials said." That gun was a high-capacity Ruger P-89 semiautomatic. That store was your store, Shirley. The employee was your store manager. It was that 1989-94 period you remember in the article as a time when sales flourished . . . and people stocked up before anticipated gun restrictions.

I have a gun collection left to me by my grandfather. I keep a gun for protection. I believe gun control is an issue that both pro and con sides have reduced to sound bites and photo ops. Serious work needs to be done to address the issue. We may need handgun control. If so, what is wrong with instant checks, etc.? However, as a visible spokeswoman for gun owners (including me), take some responsibility. Responsibility for lending your name and finances to any crackpot group willing to oppose even the most basic handgun or ammunition controls. Lax laws and weak enforcement allowed you and your store to sell a gun to a deranged person. I gag when you say you bear no responsibility for that. You even opposed Los Angeles' attempt to restrict ammunition sales before New Year's Eve.

How will anyone ever respect gun owners' issues without credible spokespeople? Do not speak for all gun owners. You don't represent me. You certainly don't represent any mother I know. And you have proven that you lack any form of credibility.

JOHN McCABE

Anaheim

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