GOA Attacked On Senate Floor

Senator Boxer Attacks GOA for not Compromising …
— Then watches her anti-gun amendment die by one vote!

(Friday, March 3, 2000) — Sparks flew on the Senate floor yesterday as Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) attacked Gun Owners of America for refusing to compromise on firearms restrictions. Boxer, trying to squeeze political advantage out of the horrible shootings that occurred this week, was offering a gun control amendment to an education bill yesterday.

To her chagrin, GOA refused to go along. Boxer complained:

I could not understand why we could not walk, hand in hand, down the Senate aisle and vote for the Boxer amendment. But when I got back to my office, I found out why because there waiting for me was a letter from the Gun Owners of America attacking my amendment, saying, essentially, that I was taking political advantage of a horrible tragedy in Michigan…. The Gun Owners of America has every right to take this position. They have every right to do it. We should look at what their logo says: ‘Gun Owners of America, 25 Years of No Compromise.’ That is their slogan. That is their logo: ’25 Years of No Compromise.’

My friends, when we voted out those sensible gun control amendments 8 months ago, we did compromise…. We did it in a bipartisan way.

Unfortunately, Sen. Boxer is correct in a lot of what she says. There was indeed a bipartisan effort leading the compromise last year. Most notably, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the biggest offender — as he sponsored gun control amendments, worked to keep “poison pill” amendments off the bill, and ultimately voted for final passage of the anti-gun crime bill.

Boxer’s amendment yesterday was a non-binding resolution that would have called on Congress to move the crime bill out of conference committee and to the President’s desk by a specific date.

As her amendment came with little warning, there was no time to enlist the grassroots in the fight. But GOA went to bat for gun owners’ rights and delivered a statement opposing the amendment to every Senate office. Thankfully, enough Senators did the right thing — the Boxer amendment failed on a tie vote of 49-49.

ACTION: Contact your Senator if listed below and express your disappointment with his or her vote for the Boxer gun control amendment. All the Senators listed below voted wrong. To call: 1-888-449-3511 (toll-free) or 202-224-3121 (Senate switchboard).

Abraham (MI) Akaka (HI) Ashcroft (MO) Baucus (MT) Bayh (IN) Biden (DE) Bingaman (NM)
Boxer (CA) Breaux (LA) Bryan (NV) Byrd (WV) Chafee (RI) Cleland (GA) Conrad (ND)
Daschle (SD) Dodd (CT) Dorgan (ND) Durbin (IL) Edwards (NC) Feingold (WI) Feinstein (CA)
Fitzgerald (IL) Graham (FL) Harkin (IA) Hollings (SC) Johnson (SD) Kennedy (MA) Kerrey (NE)
Kerry (MA) Kohl (WI) Landrieu (LA) Lautenberg (NJ) Leahy (VT) Levin (MI) Lieberman (CT)
Lincoln (AR) Mikulski (MD) Moynihan (NY) Murray (WA) Reed (RI) Reid (NV) Robb (VA)
Rockefeller (WV) Roth (DE) Sarbanes (MD) Schumer (NY) Torricelli (NJ) Wellstone (MN) Wyden (OR)

Note: Senators McCain (AZ) and Inouye (HI) were absent for the vote.

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