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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Allowing the Gun Ban to Expire Is a Crime

September 13, 2004

Re "Assault Weapons Ban Ends Quietly," Sept. 10: I am deeply saddened and offended that a 10-year ban on dangerous, excessive and inhumane weapons is allowed to lapse without even a vote in Congress. That an organization like the National Rifle Assn. wields such absolute power to shut off debate on this issue is frightening; that members of Congress ignore advice of seasoned law enforcement representatives to extend the ban is outrageous.

I urge my fellow citizens to raise a howl of protest. Let's flood the offices of members of Congress with requests to have the ban extension debated and voted upon. The health of our community and our nation demands we avoid the excessive deaths these assault weapons will cause.

Mario Milch MD

Los Angeles

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Are we nuts? In an age of cruel and merciless terrorist attacks, when homeland security is supposedly our highest priority, the Congress today will let the 10-year ban on assault weapons expire. Gleeful gun manufacturers are already lining up their new semiautomatic weapons to sell to the public. When these weapons reach the wrong people -- and they will -- at least we'll know whom to blame: spineless members of Congress who got their priorities dangerously mixed up.

Lewis K. Rimer Jr.

Los Angeles

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