Do-Nothing Congress Continues Dragging Its Feet
-- While pro-gun bills languish, gun ban still being considered

Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
(703)321-8585

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Politics is full of irony.

On the one hand, it looks like some folks in the nation's capital are finally starting to realize that banning guns is political suicide. On the other hand, those who have benefited most from "gun politics" are about to shoot themselves in the foot.

Several media reports within the past few weeks have reported that Democratic presidential candidates are running to the center, trying their best to distance themselves from the Brady Bunch.

The Washington Post reported in October that "the gun issue contributed to Gore's defeat" in 2000 and could "backfire on the party again next year" if Democrats do not quickly lose their anti-gun image.

For this reason, Democratic presidential candidates are "distancing themselves from tough gun control," the article said, "reversing a decade of rhetoric and advocacy by the Democratic Party in favor of federal regulation of firearms."

To be sure, many top-level Democrats have finally realized that support for gun control cost them control of the House, the Senate and the White House.

Thus, given the politics of the issue, it is surprising that the only legislation likely to pass on firearms issues, as this session of Congress comes to an end, are anti-gun bills.

And Republicans are leading the charge! Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) are the chief sponsors of legislation extending the ban on non-existent "plastic guns."

This legislation is expected to be rushed to the Senate floor shortly. While such a ban may seem harmless, it sets a dangerous precedent. If non-existent guns can be banned as a means of preventing danger, certainly real guns, which stand ready to defend millions of homes, can be seen as a greater danger.

While the ban on non-existent guns is on the fast track, consider the pro-gun bills that are still languishing in Congress:

* Legislation to protect the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits (S. 659) has awaited action in the Senate for several months. Such lawsuits threaten the very existence of gun makers, rendering them unable to produce real firearms, not to mention futuristic firearms.
* Concealed carry reciprocity is a vital issue which has yet to see the light of day in either chamber. Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) is the primary legislative sponsor in the House and now has 64 cosponsors on H.R. 990.
* Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) is still awaiting an initial hearing on his Citizen's Self-Defense Act (H.R. 648), a bill which would protect citizens who use a gun in self-defense from anti-gun prosecutors and judges, even if the gun was carried without a permit or possessed without a license.

The Republican leadership suspended the rules in the House and passed the plastic gun ban on a voice vote. Why not employ the same determination and pass any of the above-mentioned bills that would advance Second Amendment rights?

Why not force the Transportation Security Administration to REALLY start arming pilots, rather than letting them proceed at their current snail's pace? (At the agency's current rate of arming pilots, it will take 15 years to arm all the pilots who wish to defend their passengers and crew.)

ACTION: Please urge your Senators to oppose ALL versions of the gun ban that is being rushed to the President's desk. The three versions currently floating around Capitol Hill are bills introduced by Hatch (S. 1835), Kennedy (S. 1774) and Sensenbrenner (H.R. 3348).

Instead, ask your Senators to pass S. 659 (the gun industry protection act) without ANY anti-gun amendments attached to it. This bill is vitally important, as the gun industry could be crippled if the anti-gun lawsuits that have been launched by the Brady Bunch crowd are not brought to an end.

TOOLS FOR ACTION:

Please visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send the pre-written message below to your Senators.

You can also call your Senators toll free at 1-800-648-3516.

----- Pre-written message -----

Dear Senator:

The Washington Post reported in October that "the gun issue contributed to Gore's defeat" in 2000 and could "backfire on the party again next year" if Democrats do not quickly lose their anti-gun image.

For this reason, Democratic presidential candidates are "distancing themselves from tough gun control," the article said, "reversing a decade of rhetoric and advocacy by the Democratic Party in favor of federal regulation of firearms."

To be sure, many top-level Democrats have finally realized that support for gun control cost them control of the House, the Senate and the White House.

Thus, given the politics of the issue, it is surprising that the only legislation likely to pass on firearms issues, as this session of Congress comes to an end, is an anti-gun bill.

Instead of passing a ban on non-existent "plastic guns," please push for S. 659 -- a bill that will protect the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits. This bill has been awaiting action in the Senate for several months now and has 54 Senate cosponsors.

Again, please vote AGAINST any gun ban, whether it is offered by Sen. Hatch (S. 1835) or Sen. Kennedy (S. 1774). I would also urge you to oppose the plastic gun ban which passed in the House (H.R. 3348).

Instead, I would urge you to vote for S. 659, without ANY anti-gun amendments being attached to it. Thank you.

Sincerely,

****************************

"Live Fire" radio with Larry Pratt is now broadcast by the Information Radio Network on Saturdays at 12:00 Noon Eastern. "Live Fire" is simulcast on the web at http://inforadionet.com and previous episodes are archived at http://www.soundwaves2000.com/livefire/ in RealAudio. Recent episodes have included:

* A County Treasurer who is being politically attacked for handing out copies of the Citizen's Rule Book, a GOF booklet explaining jury rights that includes a copy of the Constitution;
* Attorney Bill Olson discussing the ramifications of GOA's Supreme Court challenge to the Incumbent Protection Act (phony "Campaign Finance Reform"); and
* Charlotte Iserbyt documenting how public schools are dumbing down our children and turning out waves of anti-gun activists.