Let me be the first to defend the NRA. Every day there is a letter to the editor blaming the NRA for the gun violence in this country. NRA members are made up of law-abiding citizens with one common denominator: They all believe in the U.S. Constitution and Second Amendment. That's the right of the people in this country to own firearms.

Looking at the school and concert shootings in the last decade, not one of those shooters were members of the NRA. We currently have laws on the books preventing felons, people with mental problems or domestic problems from purchasing guns. The NRA agrees with these laws. So why are they not being enforced?

The left would like to ban all "assault rifles" up to and including BB guns. So who is affected by this ban? Law-abiding citizens. Criminals by definition don't obey laws, so they wouldn't be affected by the ban.

So who needs an AR-15? Nobody, until it hits the fan. There are millions of these guns out there, and many are in the possession of criminals. I am pretty sure the law-abiding citizen is not willing to give up his AR-15, and I'm certain the criminals won't.

One last question: Why do only the military and police officers need assault rifles? If nobody else has them, why do they? If you need a gun and don't have one, you probably won't need one again! Same thing for a fire extinguisher.

— Frank Simon, Bakersfield