Important Senate Votes Coming Up

Clinton’s Anti-gun Choice for Surgeon General

The Senate will soon be taking up its consideration of Dr. David Satcher for Surgeon General. Dr. Satcher, who heads up the virulently anti-gun Centers for Disease Control (CDC), was nominated by President Clinton last year to take on the “Top Doc” position.

Under Satcher’s watch, the CDC, along with its subordinate agencies and grantees, has regularly used its position to tarnish gun rights. Satcher’s hired guns have called firearms a “virus that must be eradicated” and stated that such weapons should be viewed as cigarettes: “dirty, deadly and banned.”

Gun owners should register their opposition to Dr. Satcher for Surgeon General by calling their Senators at 1-800-522-6721 or 202-224-3121.

Restrictions on Gun Owners’ Speech

The Senate is also soon expected to begin debating so-called “campaign finance” legislation. The legislation your Senators will be voting on would seriously hamper (if not prevent) the ability of gun groups and other political organizations to publish the anti-gun records of incumbents.

In reality, this legislation is “Incumbent Protection” masquerading as campaign finance “reform.” Consider how these bills (S. 25 and H.R. 493) will seriously prevent gun owners from removing anti-gun politicians from Congress:

Analysis of Free Speech Restrictions in “Incumbent Protection” Bills

1. Regulate GOA’s Communications. As introduced, both the House and Senate bills would seriously hinder the ability of groups to help pro-gun candidates and to educate pro-gun voters. If a group like GOA had ever communicated with a candidate or his campaign at any time, it could possibly be barred from making independent expenditures (mailings, advertisements, etc.) on behalf of that candidate (section 251, H.R. 493). Both bills would also regulate GOA’s educating of voters: GOA mailings which ask recipients to contact their congressman, and exceed an arbitrary money threshold, would have to be registered (sec. 241, S. 25; sec. 254 H.R. 493) — and could even be outlawed.

2. Slash the Political Power of the Pro-Gun Movement. S. 25 would ban political action committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates (section 201). For Second Amendment groups, this ban on PACs — coupled with the elimination of independent expenditures — would outlaw virtually any involvement in the national political process. Incumbents are handed over $5 million of taxpayer funds to conduct their operations (including their pro rata share of the general operations of Congress). Used effectively, these resources can be channeled into a formidable reelection effort. Without seed money from PACs, challengers will find it considerably more difficult to take on this type of taxpayer-financed publicity machine.

3. Insulate Anti-gun Incumbents. Because incumbents already have strong name recognition — and because pro-gun groups would be prohibited from being active in the political process — it would be virtually impossible to attempt to remove congressmen for their anti-gun votes. The media would, of course, be free to continue its anti-gun drum beat. The result is that a pro-gun vote would politically jeopardize an incumbent’s political career, while an anti-gun vote would enhance it. How long would the manufacture, importation, sale and ownership of firearms in America continue under this system?


* Contact your Senators (1-800-522-6721 or 202-224-3121) and urge them to oppose S. 25 or any campaign finance bill. When the Senate voted on these restrictions in October, the anti-gunners only mustered 53 votes — which was seven votes short of killing the filibuster.

* Gun owners should also focus on the eight Republicans who voted for the anti-gun bill: Chafee (R-RI), Collins (R-ME), Hutchinson (R-AR) [Note: he later asked GOA to “call off the dogs” and then switched his vote], Jeffords (R-VT), McCain (R-AZ), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA) and Thompson (R-TN).

* Keep on the look out: There may very well be a “compromise” bill that, while scaled back in some respects, will still ban or limit a lot of political activity in which citizens currently engage. Ask your Senators not to settle for any compromises that would limit your 1st Amendment rights, or the rights of those groups (like GOA) that represent you.