Bush Administration Announces Support For Gun Ban
Bad News for Gun Owners
— White House says it favors keeping unconstitutional gun ban
(Monday, April 14, 2003) — In a surprise move this past weekend, the Bush administration announced its support for keeping the Clinton-Feinstein gun ban on the books.
The law, which bans common household firearms, is set to expire in September, 2004. But the Knight Ridder news agency had a startling revelation for readers on Saturday.
“The president supports the current law, and he supports reauthorization of the current law,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
The “current law” McClellan was referring to is the ban on semi-automatic firearms and magazines (over 10 rounds) which was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and then-Representative Chuck Schumer of New York.
The ban narrowly passed in both houses and was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
Most bad legislation lives on forever. But in an effort to corral fence-sitters in Congress, Senator Feinstein inserted a “sunset” provision into the bill. This provision means that the ban expires in ten years — specifically, in September of 2004.
At the time, the sunset provision didn’t seem like much of a victory. But it soon became clear that this provision would be our best hope for repealing the notorious gun grab. Recently, it was beginning to look like gun owners would have a better than average chance of winning.
Until the announcement this past weekend.
The White House’s statement means that people will not be able to rely upon a presidential veto if Congress musters enough votes to extend the ban in the near future.
Despite the fact that both the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans, the majority of Congressmen are either fence-sitters or anti-gun.
It is quite possible that the gun grabbers can get 51 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to reauthorize the semi-auto ban and make it permanent.
This makes the recent announcement all the more distressing. But Bush’s position is not written in stone — at least not yet.
Because the above quote was not made by the President himself or by his primary spokesman, Ari Fleischer, there is still some “wiggle room” that will allow the President to reverse course and do the right thing.
THAT IS WHY IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT EVERY GUN OWNER WRITE THE PRESIDENT AND URGE HIM TO REMAIN TRUE TO HIS CONSTITUTIONAL OATH OF OFFICE.
George Bush is President today because gun owners went to the polls and voted for him over Al Gore in 2000. Pro-gun voters delivered three key Democratic states — Tennessee, West Virginia and Arkansas — and with those states, the victory went to Bush.
This would be a horrible mistake if the President were to turn his back on gun owners and take a page out of the Clinton-Gore playbook. Perhaps this statement over the weekend was a “trial balloon.” We can only hope so. If it was a trial balloon, then we need to “shoot it down” in a hurry.
It is absolutely vital that we succeed in inundating the White House in opposition to this ban. This unconstitutional law must be repealed. Otherwise, it will be used as a precedent to ban even more guns.
TOOLS FOR ACTION: Please use the pre-written letter below and contact the President today. Please visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send a pre-written e-mail message President Bush.
—— Pre-written message ——
Dear President Bush:
I oppose the Clinton-Feinstein ban on common household firearms.
And that is why I was surprised to hear White House spokesman Scott McClellan say that you support the current ban, along with its reauthorization (Knight Ridder newspapers, April 12, 2003).
I am taken aback for a few reasons. First, you clearly ran on a pro-gun platform in your race for the White House in 2000. As a result, you were elected President because gun owners all over the country went to the polls and voted for you. Most notably, pro-gun voters delivered three key Democratic states into your column — Tennessee, West Virginia and Arkansas. Without these three states, Florida would never have been an issue.
Second, former President Bill Clinton has repeatedly stated that passage of the 1994 semi-auto ban cost him control of the Congress. In other words, many Democrats lost their jobs because they voted for this ban. Gun control is a losing issue politically.
Third, the Clinton-Feinstein gun ban is clearly unconstitutional and outlaws the very guns and magazines that millions of people have relied upon to defend their homes and families. The website of Gun Owners of America gives the statistics showing that these banned firearms are rarely used to commit crimes or murders — in fact, more Americans are killed by knives.
I hope that Scott McClellan was in error and that his statement does not represent your views. And so I trust you will be open and honest with me. Will you OPPOSE the Clinton-Feinstein semi-auto ban and OPPOSE its reauthorization?
Please let me know.
Gun Owners of America has completed its exhaustive analysis of the PATRIOT Act II draft legislation — a frightening bill which was inadvertently leaked by the Justice Department to the media and outside groups. Go to http://www.gunowners.org/patriotii.htm to see how this monstrous bill would target gun owners, while enlarging the powers of government officials to harass the citizenry.