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I was confused by Michael Beebe's front-page report on Project Exile in the Sept. 18 issue of The News. He describes Project Exile as a gun-control program.

The article is titled "Going After Guns." Beneath it, in smaller print, it reads "Project Exile aims to take criminals off the street."

As I understand Project Exile, it is an effort to impose more severe punishment on felons and certain others who have unlawfully acquired or attempted to acquire firearms. It is a way to enforce the already existing laws to get these criminals off the streets for long periods of time.

Of course the criminals' firearms would be confiscated. This is criminal control, not gun control.

The National Rifle Association is not an "unlikely ally" in support of this effort. The NRA has always advocated the maximum sentencing for illegal use and/or possession of firearms. Project Exile looks like a very positive first step.

You can't punish guns, automobiles, claw hammers, knives or any other weapon a criminal chooses. I believe that crime can be reduced by enforcing our existing laws to the fullest. Most of these hardened criminals should have been arrested, tried and imprisoned long ago. Instead, they're sent back into our midst as examples of what our justice department calls "low priority" cases that clog the courts.

It seems they would rather blame all guns, their law-abiding owners and the Second Amendment than the real perpetrators, the criminals.

There is a big difference between crime-fighting and "gun control." I sure hope that the combining of the two in The News article was an oversight, and not intentional.



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