Gun Control: Restricting Criminals vs. Citizens

Regarding the editorial "Sensible Gun Control," Feb. 11: I am a member of the National Rifle Association and as such, I disagree with the claim that additional gun control laws are needed. I am greatly offended by the suggestion that the Bradys have the right idea regarding gun control.

In the case of John Hinckley's assassination attempt, the handgun he used had been purchased far enough in advance that no reasonable waiting period could have prevented the attempt. Instead, let us consider that as a mental patient, Mr. Hinckley was not supposed to have a gun at all and that when tried, he was found to be insane.

Perhaps we should try enforcing existing gun laws before adding new ones. It is noteworthy that Washington and New York have two of the toughest gun bans in the country and two of the highest murder rates in the world. Instead of further restricting citizens' rights to keep and bear arms, let us restrict criminals' abilities to avoid punishment. After all, is it not better to restrict criminals rights' than to violate citizens' rights? James E. Gwyn Jr., Greensboro, N.C. Nix the tax increase

Regarding the front-page article "Clinton Gives New Council Wide Scope on Economy," Feb. 4: We do not need more taxes. When will the Clinton administration and Congress learn? Increased taxes simply lead to increased government waste. Whatever happened to adopting the recommendations of the Grace Commission? This bipartisan commission showed how we could save $430 billion in three years without sacrificing essential government services. Now, the Committee Against Government Waste, an offshoot of the Grac e Commission, has revealed how to save $900 billion in four years, again without sacrificing essential services.

The American taxpayer is fed up with a wasteful Congress. The urgent demand is to eliminate government waste - not to raise taxes. Harvey L. Bunn, Tualatin, Ore.

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