I wish to compliment The Californian on the Q&A session with Rep. Kevin McCarthy ("McCarthy talks 'fiscal cliff,' guns and role as whip," Jan. 13). The reporter tried valiantly to get a straight answer from him as to whether or not he supported California's ban on assault weapons. It was to no avail. McCarthy evaded the questions by speaking in generalities, such as the need for mental health services and the rights of hunters. There is no doubt that more care is needed for people with mental health problems -- however, that would require a lot more money and might (gasp) cause the U.S. to go further in debt.

As for hunters or sport shooters -- anyone who needs an assault weapon with a 60-round magazine to bring down his prey is a disgrace to the sport. And how much skill is required to hit a target if you get more than 10 shots at it? California's gun laws are sensible and should be the model for the rest of the country.

McCarthy was equally evasive in explaining his no vote on the fiscal bill. His vote came late in the session, when it was obvious it was going to pass. He was able to avoid angering his conservative base with a yes vote, knowing that his vote didn't make any difference in the outcome. We need representatives who have the courage to do the right thing, even it means endangering their political career.