To the editor:

Gun control zealots are out to strip law-abiding citizens of their right to keep and bear arms. Their tactics are tried and true, they feed their lies and misinformation to the national news media who in turn embellish it and pass it on to an otherwise uninformed public.Such trumped up non-issues as "cop killer" bullets and "plastic" handguns have been used in the past to discredit law-abiding gun owners while the gun grabbers work on their secret agenda, the prohibition of all firearms in private hands.

These gun control fanatics' latest scheme involves attacking semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, which they deceptively and with much emotional rhetoric refer to as "assault weapons."

The gun grabbers ignore the fact that the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that there are more murders committed with knives nationwide than there are with long guns of any description, let along semiautomatics. The same FBI report shows that there are far more aggravated assaults with feet and hands than there are with firearms of any type. The same goes for robbery, rape, etc.

If the gun control crowd were really interested in crime control, the last thing on their minds would be gun bans. A number of studies, including the Justice Department's Wright-Rossi analysis, have shown that areas with high rates of lawful gun ownership enjoy lower crime rates.

Semiautomatic firearms, whether they're classics like the Browning A-5 shotgun or the Remington 7400 rifle or modern arms with parkerized metal parts, pistol-gripped stocks, and high-profile sights, are very bit as legitimate and lawful as any other firearm protected by the Second Amendment.

People are going to have to accept the fact that the blame for America's horrendous crime rates rests not with law-abiding citizens and their lawfully owned firearms but with an impotent criminal justice system, a system that regularly turns the Patrick Purdys of this nation loose to prey on the innocent. Let those who would disarm the law-abiding address this problem first.

Clayton D. Dumas

Utah Shooting Sports Council