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Two Letters to the Los Angeles Times

by J. Neil Schulman

August 3, 1997 letter to the Los Angeles Times
Re: August 1, 1997 Editorial:
"This Could Be The Year for Killing Off Junk Guns"

A[ssemby] B[ill] 488 and S[enate] B[ill] 500, endorsed by the Times, not only denies poor people the right to buy affordable handguns which have never been the subject of a single liability lawsuit for harming a consumer, but by banning manufacture of these firearms in California, destroys an industry in which California leads the nation, driving jobs across the border.

I don't know where the idea came from that only people who park in security garages and can afford $800 handguns have the right to protection, but the California Constitution disagrees. Article One, Section One reads "All people are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy." The California Government Code likewise relieves all government entities and employees for any responsibility in protecting the public in Sections 845 which states, "Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish a police department or otherwise provide police protection service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service." Other provisions in sections Sections 820, 845, and 846 expand on these immunities.

The best criminological data shows that handguns are used 1.9 million times each year in the United States to stop a crime or prevent violence. Two thirds of these uses are in and around the home, and many gun defenses are women protecting themselves and their children from violent molesters. Almost all these gun defenses do not even require pulling the trigger but just displaying the presence of the firearm.

Governor Wilson, who in his January 7, 1997 State of the State Address mentioned job preservation and creation fifteen times, should veto these bills if they reach his desk.

August 26, 1997 Letter to the Los Angeles Times
Re: Assault Weapons Series

Once again, the hidden agenda behind the latest gun-control fad becomes obvious.

On page A-10 of the August 25, 1997 issue of the Times, we're shown a color photo of a victim of "an assault weapon attack": the wounded white skin of Mr. Kent Wingerd. On page A-11, facing, three times larger and also in full color, we are shown "California resident Julian Campbell" holding "a Ruger Mini 14, one of two weapons he bought at a Las Vegas gun show. The other was a Colt-AR-15." Mr. Campbell is black, muscular, wearing a reversed cap and sunglasses.

Charlton Heston, in a recent TV interview, revealed that Schindler's List director, Steven Spielberg, owns a collection of "assault weapons." The Times can't honestly argue that it expects its readership to feel equally threatened by Mr. Spielberg's possession of firearms, and Mr. Campbell's possession of them. The Times has played the same race card played by the white establishment through U.S. history, from the laws passed by whites in the postbellum South to disarm freed slaves who were then terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan, to New York's Sullivan law designed to disarm immigrants, to the California legislature which passed the law forbidding carrying of loaded firearms after the Black Panthers lobbied them while armed.

The Times repeatedly asks why anyone needs an "assault weapon." The semi-auto civic-defense arms which the Los Angeles Times slanders as "assault weapons" are designed for home and business defense during extended periods of disorder, such as would follow a major earthquake. When Hurricane Andrew wiped out telephone service to large portions of Florida for three months, semi-auto firearms of the type the Times wishes to ban were the only line of defense Florida residents had against roving bands of looters.

And yes. It was semi-auto firearms which homeowners and businesses used to defend themselves against roving bands of arsonists and looters during the Los Angeles riots, a few years ago.

I'm white, but I do not fear armed blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, because only a fool could believe that a person's race or ethnic origin makes them incapable of the reasoned use of deadly force when necessary to protect their lives and livelihoods.

Unless the Times readers are equally afraid of Steven Spielberg's guns, and Julian Campbell's, I implore them to ignore the Times factual distortions, emotional propaganda, and one- sided reportage, and urge their state legislators to focus their attention on fighting crime rather than eliminating the public's means of civic defense.

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