Your gun control editorial "A Move Toward Sanity" (Dec. 31) seems to gloss over some important facts. You refer to Patrick Purdy as a disturbed petty criminal. The truth is that Purdy had been charged with felony crimes seven times, including drugs, assaults and weapons charges, and each time the charges were either dropped or reduced to a misdemeanor. Because of this, he was legally allowed to purchase numerous firearms, even to include some 15-day background checks. One felony conviction would have prevented these purchases. Obviously we have a severe breakdown in our justice system. Why have you never called for harsher punishment of crimes and a reduction of the commonly used plea-bargaining process that allowed Purdy to evade our laws?
As a second comment, you seem to suggest that a 15-day waiting period will somehow keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It is a well-documented fact that criminals don't buy guns on the commercial market; they steal them or have access to an underground gun trade. And furthermore, the law enforcement community and Justice Department admit that they can't even conduct background checks within 15 days for handgun sales, and now we are going to more than double their workload!
Laws such as AB 497, although well-intentioned, will only result in restrictions to our law-abiding citizens. As a final comment, please tell your readers how many assault rifles have been turned in or registered by the Crips and Bloods gangs. It is my guess that on that score card, the only one which really counts, we are batting zero.
JOHN P. PEARSON