Dear Gun Lover:

Last week the government imposed a ban on the importation of semiautomatic weapons from abroad, including the AK-47, the Uzi and other "hunting and target weapons" absolutely essential for sport.But don't get too depressed. It's only a temporary measure to give the administration an opportunity to "study the problem." President Bush wants a cooling-off period until the NRA finds a legal way to get the Chinese weapons into the country, as guaranteed by the Founding Fathers who never lived in a drug-infested neighborhood.

The good news is that there is no ban on the manufacture and sale of domestic weapons. You can buy all the semiautomatic weapons you need as long as they are made by Americans.

The reason why gun lovers should remain calm is that the president, a life-long member of the National Rifle Association, doesn't see any difference between a hunting rifle and a weapon that can knock over a bus.

Bush's embargo on foreign semiautomatics is just a temporary way of appeasing the country's police forces who get hysterical every time they see an armed dope gang walking down the street.

While the machine-gun ban is on, we gun lovers need to remain cool and keep our powder dry. They may stop us from importing our guns from China, Italy and East Germany for a few months, but most of us can easily manage with what we have in the ol' linen closet.

If you want to know what is really threatening the safety of the American people it's Chilean grapes. Nothing can rip apart the fabric of our society as much as two grapes with cyanide on them. The truth of the matter is it isn't safe to go to the grocery store.

The National Grape Association has one of the strongest lobbies of any group in Washington. Its slogan is, "Cyanide grapes don't kill people - people kill people."

The NGA says that the panic about the poisoned grapes could lead to people having to register each grape before they eat it. Most citizens who use grapes for sports or target practice would not even be allowed to stomp on them for wine.

That's the kind of hogwash that the NGA is putting out. But people like Charlton Heston, another life-long member of the NRA, does not believe that everybody should be permitted to buy grapes without any restrictions. "There are a lot of kooks out there and you have to have laws to keep them from spitting seeds at innocent Americans," he told an Egyptian Pharaoh in Cairo.

For reasons none of us will understand, the government has banned grapes and guns on the same day. It's like mixing apples and oranges. You shouldn't confuse them because guns can't hurt you but grapes can kill you.

If you want to reduce the hysteria of the anti-gun propaganda in this country, then I urge all of you to write to George Bush and tell him that we are never going to have a safe and sane gun policy if he keeps letting Barbara Bush push him around.