Opinion

Readers React: California’s new gun laws are based on common sense — of course the NRA opposes them

To the editor: It’s no surprise the National Rifle Assn. opposes “common-sense steps to keep weapons and ammunition out of the hands of criminals.” We’ve had enough of their bullying and putting greed ahead of the lives of our family members and friends who are being massacred. (“Here are the gun control proposals approved by the state Senate,” May 19)

I want to thank Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) for standing up for people like those who were killed in San Bernardino. The Republicans and the two Democrats in the Assembly who failed to vote in favor of protecting the lives of their constituents — they are accountable. 

Mandatory background checks, banning large-capacity magazines and showing identification are not infringing on anyone’s rights. We must support bills that fight gun violence, but we must also address the desperate conditions in society that lead people to reach for guns in the first place: fear, poverty, intolerance, racism and mental illness. These bills are a part of that process.

David Bohnett, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Background checks for buying ammunition, outlawing semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and the other gun controls passed by the Legislature sound laudable. However, de Leon’s misuse of the facts to support his position is not. 

He talks about “30,000 people ... killed by guns every year” and goes on to talk about “our communities suffering from this horrific violence” and keeping “weapons and ammunition out of the hands of criminals.” The implication is these new laws will greatly reduce these deaths supposedly caused by criminals in California. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, 21,175 of those deaths were suicides. How will any of these laws reduce that number?

Allan Baker, Morongo Valley

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