It's always entertaining reading the Fullerton-based California Rifle and Pistol Association newsletter, The Firing Line. The best section, naturally, is On Target -- the letters to the editor. The March 2006 issue does not disappoint, with letters branding U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein "a loser" (her reign as county supervisor and mayor is somehow linked to the recent city law banning firearms), calling for America's immediate pullout from Washington, D.C. (because there have been 60 firearms deaths per 100,000 residents in Iraq, compared with 80.6 per 100,000 in D.C.) and the immediate execution -- within 15 minutes of conviction -- of anyone previously identified as a gang member who gets caught committing a violent crime.
The later idea is particularly intriguing because elsewhere in The Firing Line the editors seem to go to great distances to support laws that benefit (or damn laws that harm) gun owners. Don't gang bangers own guns, too?
The CRPA opposes a law proposed by state Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) that would require serials numbers on all .22-caliber rimfire and all handgun ammunition. The idea is that projectiles found at crime scenes could be more easily traced to the person who bought it, including your neighborhood gang banger with the open-ammo account at Wal-Mart. But the CRPA argues that the law would too easily be curcumvented by criminals, it would punish lawful ammo owners and it would lead to law enforcement investigating innocent people.
Now, it seems as if it'd be easy for law enforcement to mistakenly conclude someone belongs to a gang and therefore make the law-abiding automatically eligible for instant death if some CRPA members had their way. But it gets stranger. The CRPA also endorses a bill by state Sen. Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) that would exempt those holding concealed-weapons permits from firearm waiting-period requirements.
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This ticking time bomb could be totally off-base here, but you can't get a concealed weapon permit until you have the gun in hand, correct? So just because I have a permit for one gun I'm entitled to special rights for future gun purchases? That seems odd. At least no one can trace my bullets in either gun if CRPA gets its way.
(And CRPA is getting it's way -- partly. Both the Dunn and Morrow bills are stalled in committee.)
Finally, one thing the gun lobby always claims is that it is not the guns of law-abiding gun owners that are being used in crimes. They are illegally made guns or those stolen from law-abiding gun owners that are to blame. But the CRPA also opposes a state Senate bill that would require gun-theft victims to report the crime to authorities or face fines. The CRPA says such a law also criminalizes law-abiding folks.
Fortunately for the gun lovers, that one's stalled on the Assembly floor.