I would like to reply to a letter written by Lohren Applegate pertaining to the comment he made about the National Rifle Association in the Feb. 25 edition (Don’t bond GA with the NRA).
The NRA is probably the most patriotic organization in the country and believes in the Constitution and the Second Amendment. Contrary to Chief Justice Burger, the U.S. Attorney General ruled that the Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of states or a right restricted to persons serving in militias. The opinion was made public by the U.S. Department of Justice on Dec. 17, 2004.
His statement “the NRA fought to keep military type assault weapons available to anyone entering a gun store” is an outright lie and distortion.
Define assault rifle: a military weapon, which is fully automatic, i.e. machine gun. Machine guns have been banned in the U.S. since 1930. The quasi, so called assault rifles (look alike, are semiautomatic and no different than conventional sporting rifles, which are also semiautomatic) have been available in the U.S. for the last hundred years. There is no way a person can walk into a gun store and buy a military assault rifle.
I have been a pilot for 50 years and presently own a Cessna 310 and belong to AOPA and EAA. They are great organizations; however, look at all the freedoms general aviation has lost since Sept. 11.
Item: The TSA has finally allowed transient operations to resume at College Park Airport, Potomac Airfield and Washington Executive Hyde Field. Before flying into any of these airports, transient pilots must undergo a security background check, perform special flight plan requirements for every flight into and out of the airports, be fingerprinted and view security procedures on videotape. Is this freedom? Perhaps Mr. Applegate thinks so. General aviation has never been a threat to this country. It’s all about freedom! That’s what the NRA stands for!
Sioux City, Iowa