----- "They obviously got your message loud and clear. It was the most lopsided gun vote I have ever seen." -- As told by a Senate office to GOA after the overwhelming vote yesterday -----
Friday, July 14, 2006
Good news! The Senate voted yesterday 84-16 to pass the pro-gun Vitter amendment.
The language, offered by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) as an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill (HR 5441), will make it illegal for federal agents to confiscate firearms during an emergency or major disaster. The provision must now survive a conference committee -- where House and Senate negotiators will iron out differences between the spending bills passed in both chambers.
If the Vitter language makes it to the President's desk, it will perfectly complement what has been happening in the states. This year, one of GOA's highest priorities has been to address the problems with so-called "emergency powers" across the country.
GOA-supported bills have made it absolutely certain that no government official could disarm the citizenry during an emergency, and several states -- ten in all -- have already enacted their bills into law.
Sen. Vitter, who less than a month ago was presented with the Legislator of the Year award by Gun Owners of America, made special mention of this groundswell of support that has been rising around the country. It was especially significant that his own state of Louisiana recently enacted a ban on confiscating firearms -- an action taken to correct the gun thefts which occurred there in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
GOA spent a lot of time in Louisiana, getting gun owners in the state to lobby their own legislators this spring. The results were astounding.
The sponsor of the Emergency Protection legislation in the state, Rep. Steve Scalise, told GOA that, "I've had a number of [Representatives] come up to me asking to co-author my bill because they heard from members of Gun Owners of America in their districts in support of my bill," Scalise said. In the end, 80% of the House cosponsored his bill.
If you have ever wondered if your activism makes a difference, then wonder no more.
One U.S. Senate office told GOA after yesterday's vote, "They obviously got your message loud and clear. It was the most lopsided gun vote I have ever seen. There was some serious hand wringing on the democratic side."
Why was there "serious hand wringing"? Because your efforts made it VERY difficult for anti-gun Democrats to vote against the Vitter language.
Again, there were only 16 Senators who voted wrong. If you look at GOA's Senate rating -- at http://www.gunowners.org/109srat.htm -- you'll see a lot more than just 16 F's in that chamber.
So who were the Senators who were arrogant enough to stand by their anti-gun convictions and vote against this common-sense legislation? They were:
Akaka (D-HI) Boxer (D-CA) Clinton (D-NY) Dodd (D-CT) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Kennedy (D-MA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Levin (D-MI) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Reed (D-RI) Sarbanes (D-MD) Schumer (D-NY)
Basically, these senators said that when your life is in danger, you don't have the right to defend yourself. You are just supposed to pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1. Your guns are part of the problem because they could be stolen by bad guys. And you don't need guns anyway because the police are there to protect you.
These are actually the talking points from the anti-gun side of the aisle yesterday. They told the Senate -- and the country -- that YOUR guns were the problem. Your duty is simply to call the police when you're in danger.
Of course, calling 9-1-1 doesn't work very well when the neighborhood is flooded, the phones aren't working and chaos is in full bloom. Sen. Vitter made this point very eloquently, and he should be commended for his efforts in defense of our gun rights.
Again, GOA thanks all of you who took action yesterday. Your activism and your financial support is greatly appreciated and is necessary to allow us to remain here fighting for your rights.