The Gun-Control Powder Keg Within Bush's Anticrime Bill

The editorial ``Bush's Anticrime Bill,'' March 14, rightly decries the president's doing away with the guarantees of freedom and justice, given us by the Constitution and the Supreme Court, by allowing all illegal procedures in apprehending criminals. We thus become a lawless nation. Anything goes, as the president says, when there is a ``productive relationship.'' The country is in great need of federal gun-control laws. Thirty-five mayors, deeply concerned about the rising wave of murders committed with guns in their cities, recently met in New York City and sent a plea to the president for federal gun-control laws. No response from the White House.

President Bush is even willing to contradict himself by banning the importation of assault weapons into the US but refusing to ban the manufacture and sale of the same weapons in this country.

The National Rifle Association wittingly quotes the Second Amendment out of context, never mentioning the first part of the amendment. Supreme Court Justice David Souter has emphasized that the Constitution does not give citizens the right to keep and bear arms regardless of state regulations, but instead gives authority to the states to raise and keep well-regulated militias.

Edmund Alexander, Harwich, Mass.

A reasonable waiting period to buy a handgun and a ban on the sale of assault weapons by no means deny citizens their ``right to bear arms.'' If even a few guns could be kept from the wrong hands, many lives could be saved. ``Inconvenience'' is cited as a reason not to have time for authorities to check gun buyers. But the numbers are proliferating, along with the guns, of those terminally inconvenienced - those whose ``right to life'' is denied by a gun-crazed nation.

Mary R. Roesler, Weston, Mo.

I'm the NRA. I am a 38-year old physician with a wife and two young children. I was an Eagle Scout and an honors student. I don't drink alcoholic beverages, don't use tobacco or abuse drugs, and am not obese. I don't cheat on my wife or on my taxes. I protested the war in Vietnam and supported the use of military force against Iraq. I don't hunt and have never engaged in competitive shooting. I own handguns and a Colt AR-15 semiautomatic (so-called assault) rifle because I believe it is my responsibility as a free citizen of the United States to be prepared to defend myself, my family, and my country against violence, either domestic or foreign.

I oppose a waiting period because there is absolutely no evidence that it would have any effect on the criminal misuse of guns, and yet it could be a serious impediment to a person needing a gun for defense.

I support the Police Officers Protection Act, which would mandate bright orange driver's licenses for felons and others prohibited from purchasing and owning firearms. This would eliminate the need for waiting periods while allowing time for law enforcement officials to do a meaningful background check.

Kirk P. Lindvig, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

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