Newsletters 1994-2001

Rep. Hostettler Introduces Bill To Stop Nuisance Suits

by John Velleco

As we enter the twenty-first century, even the most casual observer would admit that at no time in this country's history have firearms and the Second Amendment been under such a vigorous assault.

Right now in a conference committee of the U.S. Congress, the Juvenile Justice bill is being debated which, if passed into law, would require the registration of even private sales of firearms. This would mean even greater FBI and federal government involvement in the private lives of Americans.

In state legislatures across the country, lawmakers have passed or are debating legislation that ranges from threatened confiscation of firearms, to outright gun bans and radical "lock up your safety" proposals.


The President recently announced that his administration will be assisting the frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry (this story); and that he will push for gun owner registration (next story).

Anti-gun hysteria has even been introduced in the classroom where children have been suspended for drawing pictures of a gun, holding a thumb and index finger mimicking a gun, and writing stories about guns and violence.

Nowhere, however, is the Second Amendment under greater attack than in the courts.

In the past year, some thirty cities have filed suit against gun manufactures in an effort to bring the entire industry to its knees.

Vast left-wing conspiracy?

There is a calculated strategy behind these suits which seeks the disarmament of citizens.

Most of the legal action has been brought by big-city mayors of states which have had difficulty in passing gun control legislation.

In February, 1999, a CNN news story summed up the gun controllers' strategy:

Since efforts to toughen laws at the state and national level have been frustrated by powerful industry lobbyists, the new approach is to achieve in court what has failed in the boardrooms.

But is it powerful lobbyists acting alone, or is it organizations working together with the American people that really defeat gun control legislation? House leadership sources closest to the action on the Juvenile Justice bill told several Washington reporters that it was grassroots pressure that was most effective in stopping the crime bill.

Speaking of GOA members specifically, one House leadership aide told reporters that, "[GOA] is ... much more active. They moved quickly and we heard from their people."

Experts have also acknowledged that court victories are not necessarily the only way that gun control advocates can achieve their ends. The suits themselves are enough to bankrupt the industry.

According to Lester Brickman, a law professor and expert on tort at the Benjamin Cardoza Law School, 20 simultaneous lawsuits could cost the industry as much as "$1 million a day." A spokesman for the American Shooting Sports Council added that, "Even if we win the suits, the expense of fighting means we lose."

The latest Clinton Administration scheme, this time in the form of a threatened class action suit through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is designed not to go to court, but force the industry to accept gun control legislation.

One HUD official said that the lawsuit (projected to reach $1 billion) is not about money, but its "primary [purpose] will be to change the way the gun industry does business."

Polling data does not support gun suits

Although those who push lawsuits like to claim that polls support their actions, most American have indicated when polled that they are against legal proceedings against gun makers.

A Zogby International poll taken one month after the Littleton shootings framed the issue this way:

Some cities have filed lawsuits against gun manufactures. They say that gun manufactures have not done enough to prevent violence and crime that involve the use of guns in their cities. Do you believe cities should be allowed to sue gun manufactures?
71% of the respondents said, "NO."

A Gallup Poll, taken shortly after Littleton, asked a similar question. Sixty-one percent of those that responded were against the suit.

The results of these polls are good news for gun owners. As the 2000 election approaches, grassroots pressure could force Congress to enact some federal lawsuit protection legislation.

Bill introduced to protect gun makers

John Hostettler (R-IN) introduced the most recent bill to protect the gun industry from nuisance suits. His bill, H.R. 1577, would prohibit lawsuits against an industry if the harm resulted from the criminal or intentional misuse of a lawfully manufactured and sold product.

Another bill, H.R. 1032, sponsored by Representative Bob Barr (R-GA), is specific to the gun industry and would prohibit federal or state lawsuits against gun dealers, manufactures, or trade associations for damages from the unlawful misuse of a firearm. A third bill is Senator Bob Smith's Second Amendment Preservation Act (S. 954) which would effectively bring to an end the harassing lawsuits by limiting attorneys' fees to $150 an hour and it would require the legal expenses of the industry to be paid by the loser of such cases.

While most pro-gun legislation has met with resistance from both parties in Washington, the overwhelming public opposition to the radical left's "sue the gun industry out of business agenda" could translate to pro-gun votes in both the House and Senate before the November elections.



GOA Hits The Airwaves, Derides Clinton's New Gun Restrictions

by Erich Pratt

Wishing to leave a politically-correct legacy, the President trumpeted several new anti-gun proposals during his State of the Union address in January.

Clinton's call for massive new gun restrictions brought notable anti-gunners in the audience -- like Sen. Charles Schumer of New York -- to their feet, clapping in wild adulation.

Gun Owners of Amercia moved quickly to mute the media frenzy, pointing out problem after problem with such an approach.

GOA's press releases were used on Capitol Hill by pro-gun Congressmen who were looking for more ammunition to shoot shown the President's arguments.

And outside of Washington, GOA reached millions of readers and viewers through both print and television media the following day, as Larry Pratt, Executive Director of GOA, appeared on several media outlets, including Fox Cable News and WorldNetDaily.com.

Bill Clinton and King George-birds of a feather . . .

Pratt compared Clinton's wish list to that belonging to one of the greatest tyrants from the past.

"President Clinton's message would have brought an admiring smile to the face of King George III," said Pratt.

"The British tyrant was so eager to confiscate American guns that he fired on law-abiding colonists in Lexington on the historic morning of April 19, 1775."

While President Clinton may be moving slower than the impulsive King George, he is certainly moving more methodically.

"King George never knew where all of our guns were," Pratt said. "But Bill Clinton will if he gets his way licensing handgun owners."

Do gun haters really want to treat guns like cars?

During his State of the Union speech, the President did his best to regurgitate the agenda of Handgun Control, Inc., trotting out the old "let's-treat-guns-like-cars" rhetoric.

"Every state in this country already requires hunters and automobile drivers to have a license. I think they ought to do the same thing for handgun purchases," Clinton said. "I hope you'll help me pass that in this Congress."

Such a proposal would unquestionably violate the Constitution. Nevertheless, there's a bit of irony in the President's proposal.

As Pratt pointed out on one talk show the following day, is the President really suggesting that a "handgun license" will allow people to carry their handguns anywhere they want?

A driver's license allows people to take their cars to shopping malls, churches, schools, restaurants, government buildings, etc. Will Clinton's handgun license do the same?

Don't bet on it.

So if Clinton is not really serious about treating guns like cars, then one thing is for certain: his purpose for registering handgun owners is more about identifying gun owners than it is about "treating guns like cars."

Why would anyone want to identify handgun owners anyway?

Well, one only needs to look abroad to Australia and England, or here at home to the jurisdictions of New York City and California, to find the answer.

The harsh truth is that gun owner registration is often -- if not always -- a prelude to confiscation of firearms.

Clinton calls for more BATF agents

Clinton's speech also showed that he has been the latest one to jump on the "let's-just-enforce-the-existing-gun-laws" bandwagon.

He asked Congress to give him 500 new BATF agents and inspectors, plus 1,000 more prosecutors focusing on gun crime at all levels.

Again, GOA threw down the gauntlet, pointing out that gun owners should be the first people to object to this horror.

After all, hasn't the gun rights community as a whole opposed every federal gun law that has been passed in this century as an unconstitutional infringement of the Second Amendment?

Haven't gun owners asked the anti-gun Schumers and Clintons of the world "What part of infringed don't you understand?"

So why do some gun owners think it's a good idea that Clinton is now going to enforce these infringements with 500 new BATF agents -- the very agency that is notorious for violating the rights of American gun owners?

Consider the BATF's track record over the last 25 years:

* Shredding the Constitution.
The BATF "has trampled upon the second amendment by chilling exercise of the right to keep and bear arms by law-abiding citizens. It has offended the fourth amendment . . . [and] ignored the Fifth Amendment." (Source: Report of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, February 1982, pp. 22-23.)
* Going after mom and pop.
"Approximately 75 percent of BATF gun prosecutions were aimed at ordinary citizens who had neither criminal intent nor knowledge, but were enticed by [BATF] agents into unknowing technical violations." (Ibid., p. 23.)
* Called "jackbooted American fascists" by Congressman.

Rep. John Dingell
"I have described [the BATF] properly as jackbooted American fascists. They have shown no concern over the rights of ordinary citizens or their property. They intrude without the slightest regard or concern." (Source: Rep. John Dingell, Congressional Record, February 8, 1995, p. H1382.)

Clinton's anti-gun agenda threatens decent Americans

Clinton's proposals should be put into perspective.

Enforcing the existing anti-gun laws means that average citizens could face several years in jail for committing the most minute, technical violations of the federal gun law.

Succumbing to the "let's-just-enforce-the-gun-laws" mantra means that Americans could experience:

* More Ruby Ridges.
Ordinary citizens who make technical (non-violent) infractions -- like Randy Weaver did -- can be viciously assaulted and fired upon by federal agents.
Clinton's proposal would put decent Americans in jail: whether one owns a magazine that holds too many rounds (in violation of the '94 semi-auto ban) . . . or whether one tries to buy a gun from a dealer while forgetting about a felonious tax evasion offense from 40 years ago (in violation of the '93 Brady law).
* More Wacos.
Gun owners who use firearms in self-defense can still be prosecuted in federal court for technical possession charges. That was the lesson of the Waco trial, where the jury effectively ruled the Davidians acted in self-defense -- but then sent many to prison on firearms possession charges.
* Fewer heroes like Joel Myrick of Mississippi.
Remember assistant principal Joel Myrick who used his gun to save many lives from a gun-wielding teenager in 1997? Well, more BATF agents means that teachers or assistant principals who keep firearms at school, like Joel Myrick did, could be hauled out of their classrooms and sent to prison for 5 years for the terrible "crime" of simply possessing a firearm.
Some teachers have already been dragged out of their classrooms when it was discovered that they possessed a firearm on school property -- even though they only possessed the firearm for self-defense and no violent crime was ever committed.
* More harassment of gun owners.
Del Knudson of Colville, Washington, was at work when BATF agents raided his home. Del's wife, Malisa, was bathing their 21-month-old daughter when 30 agents piled out of a van and swarmed over their property. Malisa was forced to come outside in spite of her repeated requests to first get her baby out of the bathtub.
For three hours the house was searched and Malisa was interrogated about the family's religious and political views. Thankfully, no harm came to the baby. But as for Del, BATF agents seized all of his firearms, although they were eventually returned after finding them all legally owned.
* More entrapments of gun owners.
Gun Owners Foundation defended Wayne Scott of Florida, who was arrested on three felony counts under the National Firearms Act. The jury acquitted Scott of all charges and determined that the BATF had employed tactics of entrapment on a law-abiding citizen. The BATF informant was subsequently jailed for attempting to extort money from Scott.
* More lies, lies, lies.
The BATF was instrumental in charging Sgt. James Corcoran of the Pennsylvania State Police with "machine gun" offenses. The firearms involved were semi-automatic AR-15 rifles sold by Corcoran. The judge threw the case out after learning that the BATF, not Corcoran, tampered with the rifles, making some of them double fire.

This list of BATF horrors is just the tip of the iceberg.

Readers who wish to see more examples can order some of the resources that Gun Owners Foundation offers. (See the box below for a web special on BATf abuse videos.)

Return law enforcement back to the states

Violent crime -- and that includes violent gun crime -- is a state issue.

It's not a job for the federal government, at least not constitutionally.

Passing technical gun possession laws only criminalizes good, decent gun owners -- a problem that Congress should be working to correct.

Congress should repeal existing gun control; they should not be pushing to enforce the existing, unconstitutional gun laws.

And most definitely, pro-gunners should not be asking the President to enforce these unconstitutional laws which, if recent history is any indication, will be enforced by the BATF in such a way that a good amount of time and energy will be focused against non-violent, decent Americans.

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, III, has lamented how Congress has increased its criminal jurisdiction from three crimes to more than 3,000 in over 225 years.

"Perhaps the most compelling reason to oppose nationalizing crime is that it contradicts constitutional principles," said Meese.

"The drafters of the Constitution clearly intended the states to bear responsibility for public safety. The Constitution gave Congress jurisdiction over only these crimes: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations."

One only has to read the Declaration of Independence to realize that the founding fathers had to deal with their own "special agents" from the crown-officers who were "harassing" the people.

The founders were wise to leave the power to punish criminals at the state and local level, where it is closest to the people.

Get armed with the facts!

For more examples of BATF abuse -- like the ones mentioned in this newsletter -- you can order three different videotapes from Gun Owners Foundation.
Waco: A New Revelation. This is the film that triggered a new Congressional investigation of the Waco tragedy, and caused the Justice Department and the FBI to reverse their long-held positions on Waco. It has generated a firestorm of events unprecedented in the history of documentary filmmaking. After six years of painstaking investigation, the complete story of the tragedy near Waco is finally coming to light. This compelling feature-length documentary presents new revelations about the events that led up to the deaths of 79 men, women and children at Mount Carmel on April 19, 1993. The video's price is $24.45.
Waco: The Rules Of Engagement. This is the shocking documentary (2 hours and 16 minutes) that has won rave reviews from even liberal newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Explosive film footage reveals BATF and FBI lies and their role in the tragic events that led up to the April 19, 1993 inferno. This must see video can be yours for $24.95.
Breaking the Law in the Name of the Law: The BATF Story. This video presentation documents the harassment and intimidation tactics employed by the BATF. Live interviews with victims of the persecution reveal the shocking truth about the obvious anti-gun mentality of the bureaucrats, their arrogant disregard of the law, and how they have destroyed the lives of many innocent law-abiding citizens. David Koresh had a copy of this video. He showed it to, among others, the undercover BATF agent in Mt. Carmel. When the BATF went for their search warrant, the affidavit gave as a reason to raid Mt. Carmel that Koresh had this tape! The video is $19.99.
Please use the GOF Secure Server to order online. You can get all three videos at a special cost of $59.99 + $7.50 shipping and handling. (Note: shipping and handling is $4.50 for one video, and $5.50 for two videos.)

With a credit card in hand, you can call GOF at 1-888-886-GUNS (4867) and press #1 to order any videotape(s).

Or, you can send your check to GOF, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151.


Why gun owner registration won't help catch criminals

Some people just feel the government should register everything, just to keep control. . . .

But the U.S. Supreme Court, in a widely known case (Haynes v. U.S., 1968), has already determined that a felon who has a gun cannot be compelled to complete such forms, because it violates the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. That's right, registration -- not in your case of course but in the case of a criminal -- is a self-indictment of a crime, and is therefore prohibited.

-- Alan Korwin, Author of Gun Laws of America

 

How You Can Help GOA

Have you thought of including GOA in your estate planning?

Our forefathers warned us that: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." We will fight as long as it takes.

Your memorial gift will enable GOA to fight for the freedoms of your children and your grandchildren.



GOA In The States

by Dennis Fusaro

Compromisers Attack Gun Raffles in Maryland

A "civil war" is brewing in the Maryland Republican Party.

Maryland GOP have jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon to criticize Carroll County Republicans for raffling a Baretta 9mm handgun as a way to raise funds and show support for the Second Amendment.

GOP Chairman Dick Bennett and U.S. Congressman Robert Erlich (R) are the two who are spearheading the attacks against the raffle.

In the case of Rep. Erlich, grassroots gun owners are wondering why someone who claims to be pro-gun is spending time attacking his base of support.

As predicted, this has only whetted the appetites of anti-gunners, for Democrats know opportunity when they see it.

Maryland Senator Barbara Hoffman (D-42) has taken advantage of the complaints leveled by Erlich and Bennett to introduce a bill to ban all gun raffles.

This, of course, shows that compromise never appeases the other side; it only fuels the drive for more restrictions.

Ohio GOA members mobilize against "lock up your safety" bills

Using a series of hearings in the Ohio state legislature, anti-gun advocates and leadership compromisers have tried to bring anti-gun legislation to the floor.

The legislation in question is HB 526 -- a Burglar Protection bill designed to force gun owners to lock up their safety.

But an outpouring of opposition by GOA members, allied groups and other gun rights activists flooded the Capitol with protests.

Pro-gun testimony at the hearings was also compelling and effective (as seen at right).

Testimony against the bill and the upcoming primary election on March 7, 2000 seems to have thwarted Governor Bob Taft's anti-gun agenda for the moment. Taft (R) has been dubbed "Governor Gun Control" for his opposition to concealed carry and support for burglar protection.

Gov. Taft -- and his anti-gun insider allies Speaker Jo Ann Davidson (R-24) and Majority Leader Pat Tiberi (R-26) -- continues to stand publicly in the way of concealed carry and the right of self-defense.


Andrew Fusaro's first deer, a six-point non-typical, is celebrated by a proud father -- GOA Director of State Legislation, Dennis Fusaro

One young activist reports on his lobbying trip to the Ohio legislature

This week I went on a field trip to Ohio with my dad. My dad is a lobbyist for Gun Owners of Amercia. One of the reasons he went was to oppose House Bill 526.

The bill would punish gun owners if a minor got his gun and committed a crime with it. It would basically force gun owners to have trigger locks on their guns and keep them in a locked box. Obviously, this makes having a gun for self-defense difficult, if not impossible.

My dad and I testified before the House Criminal Justice committee. My dad had me recite the safety rules for handling a firearm. He didn't tell me that I would speaking to the legislators until we were walking into the committee room. I spent the next hour of waiting for my turn frantically going over the rules in my mind.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ann Womer Benjamin, was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch as saying, "I wish more parents would teach their children gun safety."

My mom and dad expect me to be responsible and ready to help defend my family from criminals while my dad is away at work.

-- Andrew Fusaro, Age 12

On the whole, HB 526 and its Senate companion SB 230 (Drake) are bills that will:

* In Orwellian fashion, define an unloaded firearm as a loaded firearm, when the ammunition is "ready at hand" -- a term that is virtually meaningless in law.
* Force dealers to offer so-called trigger locks and other devices for sale with the guns they sell. This could actually make new gun owners less safe because many guns can still be fired with a trigger lock in place. Thus, using a trigger lock can create a false sense of safety.
* Effectively force gun owners to lock up their guns . . . and punish them if they fail to do so and, subsequently, some young person steals it.
* Put more victims at risk, as trigger locks can make it very difficult for a gun owner to use a firearm in a self-defense emergency.
* Punish fathers and mothers as criminals if a "child" gets hold of a gun, even if no one is hurt.
* Finally, punish parents as felons if a "child" gets hold of a firearm and someone is actually hurt.

There is no provision for self-defense in this legislation. If a teenage child -- trained and educated in the safe, ethical use of firearms -- uses the family gun to stop a criminal home invader from killing their mom or another family member, that teenager (and both parents) can be punished as criminals by the state of Ohio.

The bottom line is that HB 526 and SB 230 will make people virtually defenseless in their own homes. Even some anti-gun spokesmen have conceded this point.

Former San Jose Police Chief Robert MacNamara, who at one time also doubled as an HCI-spokesman, had this to say about gunlock legislation:

You can't have it two ways. If you really safeguard your gun so that innocent people in your house -- your children or visitors or someone else -- can't get hurt with it, then they won't be able to get that gun for the kind of emergency that they bought it for in the first place.

Anti-gun supporters of the above legislation apparently could care less that an intruder breaking into one's home would find their victims fumbling with their gun -- their safety -- because it is locked up and useless.

New Mexico Governor rejects Vermont-style carry

In spite of claims to support concealed carry, Governor Gary Johnson (R) has refused to ask the New Mexico Legislature to take up real concealed carry legislation.

The 2000 New Mexico legislature is limited by the state's constitution to dealing with fiscal issues unless Governor Johnson makes a special call -- known as "messaging" the legislature -- to address the concealed carry issue.


Pro-gun Lisa Lutz (R)

Governor Johnson rejected a true right to carry bill drafted and sponsored by Rep. Lisa Lutz (R-60).

Despite the opposition, Representative Lutz has told Gun Owners of America she will to continue the fight for Vermont-style right to carry.

Such legislation allows gun owners to carry firearms concealed without being registered, taxed, fingerprinted or licensed.

Gun owners can thank Rep. Lutz by contacting her at Lisa Lutz for Congress, 1620 Borealis Ave., Rio Rancho, NM 87124. Her phone number is 505-892-8091.

Missouri Gun Ban Buried in Committee

Senator Gary Wiggins (D-8) has introduced a so-called assault weapons ban (SB 532), but it has stalled in the Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

SB 352 specifically bans many semi-automatic firearms by name. The bill includes registration -- complete with thumbprints -- and apparently allows collection of any information the registration agency wants.

Wiggins' legislation would also freeze the supply of semi-automatic firearms by limiting transfers to dealers only.

GOA advises its members and supporters to remain watchful and ready to mobilize as the price of liberty will be eternal vigilance.

This issue of The Gun Owners went to press during a time of great flux in state legislatures across the country.

GOA activists are encouraged to pay close attention to state legislative alerts throughout the spring.



Live Fire is back...
on both radio and internet!

Larry Pratt's show, Live Fire, can once again be heard each week.

To catch the show live on the internet, simply go to http://www.gunowners.org/radio.htm at 11:30 AM EST on Saturdays.

On radio, Live Fire is carried by the Information Radio Network. Check the GOA website to find the station nearest you -- and if that affiliate doesn't carry the show, ask them to!

Have you missed a show? Well, don't worry. Start at the GOA website (using the above URL) to find the last several weeks archived in RealAudio.

 

Why I Own A Gun

The prospect of more mass shootings is frightening, but so is the idea of the government attempting to seize every privately owned gun. Even if it were possible for the government to commandeer every gun in the country, do we really want the assault on civil liberties such a plan would entail?


Linda Chavez

Prohibiting guns today would be about as successful as prohibiting alcohol was in the '20s.

I hope I never have to use my gun for self-protection. But living as I now do, in an isolated rural area, I can't count on the police to come to my rescue if I ever encounter another intruder. So long as there are criminals out there, I feel safer knowing that I can protect myself.




Go on the offensive and get extra postcards to help save your gun rights!

2. Interstate Commerce Freedom Act (H.R. 1577). This bill, sponsored by Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN), goes even farther than the bill above. While H.R. 1577 would increase protections for manufacturers of all kinds of products, gun owners will also like this bill. If a gang member engaged in a criminal act by shooting another person, it will be the gang member, rather than the gun manufacturer, who will be civilly and criminally accountable after H.R. 1577 passes.

-- Order the Lawsuit Protection Pak at 1-888-886-GUNS

3. Second Amendment Preservation Act (S. 954). This bill, introduced by Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH), is the only bill in Congress that would effectively bring an end to the harassing lawsuits that have already been introduced against firearms dealers and manufacturers.

Use our toll free number or simply hit the postcard section of the GOA website to order the Lawsuit Protection Pak today.

When you order the Lawsuit Protection Pak, you get three sets of postcards (a total of 50) that help advance your Second Amendment right to defend yourself with a firearm:

1. Firearms Heritage Protection Act (H.R. 1032). This bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), would prohibit federal or state lawsuits against gun dealers, manufacturers, or trade associations for damages resulting from the unlawful misuse of the firearm.

ACTION: Call GOA's toll-free number at 1-888-886-GUNS and choose option "4" to place your order for the postcards. Or go to http://www.gunowners.org/pcards.htmLawsuit Protection Pak. The Lawsuit Protection Pak contains 50 postcards and includes a representative sampling of the three postcards above. Here's the sliding price scale: on the GOA website. But whether you're using a phone or the web to place your order, make sure you ask for the legislative

  • $6.00 for one set of 50 postcards,
  • $10.00 for two sets (100 postcards),
  • $2.50 for each additional set of 50 postcards.


GOA Life Member Runs for U.S. Congress

by Larry Pratt

Jeffery Pollock, a GOA Life Member and concealed handgun carry permit holder in Portland, Oregon, is running for the U.S. Congress in the state's third congressional district.

Pollock, a conservative Republican, does more than talk about the right to keep and bear arms. A once avid IPSC competitor, and holder of four Firearms Instructor Certificates, he is also extremely active and generous with the Oregon Firearms Federation. In addition to all this, he is a Factory Certified Glock Armorer.


Jeffery Pollock

Pollock spent several years in commercial real estate management. On one occasion, residents in an apartment property he managed were ambushed by a man who had over several hours converted himself into a mobile chemical cocktail lounge of drugs and booze.

The perpetrator decided that he wanted to slit the throats of some women in Apartment 14. As he made his glassy-eyed way toward the building, Pollock met him with his cell phone, and his at-the-ready .45.

With some difficulty, he convinced the perpetrator that he had put himself in grave jeopardy, and that he'd better drop his foot-long knife. Once that was accomplished, Pollock called 911 and reported the incident, being sure that the cops knew that the good guy was the one with the .45.

The perpetrator was so intoxicated that he had trouble remembering that a .45 was right behind him, but he eventually made his way to the sidewalk, as he was told.

He got down on the pavement, but had to be reminded several times that it was in his best interests not to get up. Only the .45 was eloquent enough to convince his frenzied brain to tell the body to stay down.

When the cops arrived, they took the would-be murderer into custody and thanked Pollock for having made their job easier.

These particular police officers further stated their sincere appreciation for legally armed, law abiding citizens like Pollock, adding that it was people like him who they considered to be their extra set of eyes and ears -- able to stop crimes before they were committed.

Pollock also had the need to draw his .45 on two other occasions. Once in defense of a young lady who was being accosted by a fellow tenant at one of his properties, and again in defense of his own life while interrupting the armed break-in of a nearby home.

Thankfully, as numerous studies have shown, he did not have to fire a single round. The mere presence of an armed citizen was sufficient to bring closure to both events.

GOA is hoping that the people of Oregon's third congressional district will elect Pollock over radical anti-gunner Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

Those interested in contributing to Pollock can do so by sending a personal check to Friends of Jeffery Pollock For Congress Committee, P.O. Box 30539, Portland, OR 97294-3539. Their phone is 503-255-4915 and their web page is http://www.pollock4congress.com.



GOA Moving Forward On 2nd Amendment Case In Federal Court

by Larry Pratt
Executive Director

One of the most insidious and outrageous attacks on the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms is the attempt to exercise so-called "prior restraint" by denying a person a firearm when there is no reason whatsoever to do this.

One such case we at Gun Owners of America are involved in, a very important case, involves a citizen in Texas. This case is before the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (No. 99-10331). It's known as United States v. Emerson. We're on the side of Timothy Joe Emerson, the defendant.

Under federal law, Emerson was indicted for possessing a firearm while under a routine restraining order issued in the course of a Texas divorce proceeding between him and his former wife.

The district court dismissed the indictment on the grounds that the statute was unconstitutional under both the Second and Fifth Amendments. The U.S. Government appealed this dismissal.

Our argument is very clear: The Second Amendment codifies a fundamental -- we would say a God-given -- right, an individual right to keep and bear arms, independent of and unrelated to any power of the States to create and maintain a military force, and independent of an unrelated to any power of the government to regulate commerce.

Thus, this right is severely infringed when the mere passive possession of a firearm is criminalized by the issuance of a boiler-plate domestic relations restraining order not based upon any evidence or finding of a threat directed toward the person protected by the order.

In our legal brief defending Emerson, we document in detail, with scores of references, the fact that the Second Amendment says what it means and means what it says. And we note that what is most impressive about this almost total academic consensus is that many of the scholars we quote are either self-identified "liberals" or unconnected with the pro-gun movement.

But, in a tribute to the intellectual honesty of these scholars, they tell the truth about the Second Amendment and what it means -- even though some of them are for gun control.

And by agreeing with the true meaning of the Second Amendment, these scholars are in line with members of the US Supreme Court who from 1857 to 1990 have said, in what is known as dicta, that the right to keep and bear arms is a personal and individual right of free citizens.

And this brings us back to Timothy Joe Emerson who is, obviously, a person, an individual. As we argue, his personal, individual Constitutional right to possess firearms was not merely infringed. At the instant the state court judge entered a domestic relations restraining order against him, his Second Amendment right to possess firearms was destroyed, negated, nullified.

Emerson was instantly transformed into a Federal felon and -- this must be repeated -- this was done even though there was no evidence and no judicial finding that he was a threat to his wife.

The Second Amendment is unfairly and repeatedly singled out for "prior restraint" attacks that would be found totally unacceptable -- and have been so found by the courts -- if they were launched against any other amendment.

For example, most people would not even think of going to court to try and deny, in advance, someone's First Amendment free speech right because of what that individual might say if allowed to speak -- whether that person was a public speaker, a preacher in a pulpit, a talk show host, an editorial writer or even a judge.

The Supreme Court has stated that one cannot use his "freedom of speech" to falsely yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. And yet, no one argues that officials should gag everyone who goes into the theater, thus placing a prior restraint on movie-goers.

The proper response is to punish the person who does yell "Fire." Likewise, citizens should not be "gagged" before exercising their Second Amendment rights; rather they should be punished if they abuse that right.

In defending our freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, we must tell the Congress "No prior restraints"!

We, of course, have no idea how the Fifth Circuit Court will rule. But we hope and pray they will uphold the true meaning of the Second Amendment. This is a bell tolling for all of us.