Gun Owners Want Some Respect

Once again it seems the National Rifle Association is to blame, not for crime this time, but for discourteous behavior, in the View From Capitol Hill article ``Radical NRA Tactics Backfire for One Longtime Member,'' Sept. 15. Senator Campbell says that this venomous ``behavior is what the NRA unleashed.'' I have been an NRA member for many years. This organization encourages us to contact our representatives and let them know where we stand on crime and gun-control issues. Not once has the NRA urged me to use name calling or obscenities.

Mr. Campbell berates the NRA because it is an organization that refuses to compromise. In the past the NRA compromised and compromised, and if it compromises any longer, there won't be a Second Amendment.

Although I don't condone the callers who were malicious, I can understand why they were upset. Gun owners who are law-abiding citizens are tired of being punished. Federal and state governments have been punishing millions of gun owners because a small fraction of the guns are used to commit crimes, despite the fact that millions of people use them for legitimate purposes. To punish the many for the faults of the few doesn't serve the purposes of justice or democracy.

Gun owners are tired. They are tired of being blamed for crime, and they are tired of voicing their complaints to their elected officials who are supposed to represent them. I agree with you, Mr. Campbell, that the voting booth is the place to get even, and when your Senate seat comes up for election, I hope to see it filled by a person with a sense of democracy and a sense of justice. John W. Ostler, Lawrence, Mass.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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