I have not heard yet how much the NRA gives to politicians for their support. I know gun sales are a very large, very profitable business. We have several gun shops in the Bakersfield area, and I'm sure the NRA has a friend in Rep. Kevin McCarthy. He did avoid answering the question on assault weapons, which are very high-end items, in a Jan. 13 interview ("Q&A: McCarthy talks 'fiscal cliff,' guns and role as whip"). Gun shops really profit from the sale of these weapons, and the magazines that go with them.

The only realistic chance that these assault weapons will ever be banned is if the next school massacre involves the slaughter of children, grandchildren, or close relatives and friends of either the NRA's upper echelon or their like-minded thinkers in Congress. Unfortunately, that may happen someday, and no little kids deserve this fate. Let's get together and solve this very serious problem and prevent any more slaughters.

Edward Leahy