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GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE - THE BULLETS DO

When I saw news of the gunman who killed a half-dozen people in Florida with a semiautomatic rifle, I thought of my friend Charlton Heston and his NRA commercials.

To hear Charlton tell it, guns are as safe as Hershey's almond bars. But when you have a mass killing like the one in Jacksonville, there are always going to be a few skeptical souls.It is at times like this that we have to make the pro-gun-lobby TV commercials stronger, not weaker.

That is what I've been doing for the past few weeks - writing commercials to keep the naysayers from huffing and puffing on the pro-gun lobby's doors.

The first would show a man holding a Colt semiautomatic rifle in his hand:

"Hi, I just lost my job at Mom's Diner on Route 66. As you can imagine I don't feel too good about this, so I bought myself a semi. I'm not saying if I'm going to use it or not, but the nice thing about this state is that I didn't have to wait to buy it, in case I get the urge.

"The man in the store handed it over as if it was a loaf of French bread. That's why I belong to the National Trigger Association. We have 10 million members, give or take five or 10 thousand who get shot accidentally every year."

My second commercial would feature a woman firing a .357 Magnum from her hip. She'd turn to the camera and say:

"The National Trigger Association prides itself on teaching women how to shoot. I'm a widow and I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this gun under my pillow.

"How did I become a widow? I shot my husband George when he tried to sneak up the stairs after a party down at the American Legion hall. I felt terrible about what I did, but everyone tells me not to worry - at least I proved I was a good shot."

The third commercial would have an Army general in full uniform:

"I've been around guns all my life," he'd say. "And all the stories you hear about them killing people are malarkey. What kills people are the bullets.

"This country needs every gun it can get its hands on. We have our choice of fighting the anti-handgun people on the sands of California or on the shores of Tennessee. Write to your congressman today and tell him that if he is even thinking of passing anti-gun legislation, he'll get his jockey shorts filled with lead."