Administration Support For Gun Ban Creates Uproar

As Semi-auto Issue Heats Up…
Official denials, attacks and silence abound

“The president supports the [semi-auto ban], and he supports reauthorization of the current law” — White House spokesman Scott McClellan (The Washington Post, 4-12-03)

Hats off to all of you who took action last week in response to the White House’s distressing announcement.

After GOA alerted activists like you, we saw almost 10,000 e-mails generated to the White House IN THE FIRST 24 HOURS ALONE.

Many websites posted the GOA alert, and Internet news agencies picked up GOA’s message as well. ran with the story and quoted GOA’s Executive Director as saying that this ban was “anti-Constitution and anti-homeland security” since these guns are clearly protected by the Second Amendment.

The Brady Campaign responded by attacking GOA as a “radical gun group” that was calling for these guns to be “legal and available to all.”

How ironic. Aren’t they the “radicals” who are out of step with the American people?

After all, the overwhelming majority of the American people correctly view the Second Amendment as safeguarding an individual right. The Brady Bunch doesn’t think it does.

Meanwhile, a poll on the website reports that 90% of the respondents will NOT vote for President Bush in 2004 if he signs a bill reauthorizing the 1994 Clinton-Feinstein ban.

This would not be a surprise. Former President Clinton found out just how unpopular this semi-auto ban was when he lost control of the Congress as a result of it.

“The fight for the assault-weapons ban cost 20 members their seats in Congress,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer after the election, and is “the reason the Republicans control the House.”

Well, he almost got it right. The real number of Congressmen who lost their seats because of that ban was over 60, according to the Dec/Jan 1995 issue of Campaigns & Elections magazine. And contrary to Clinton’s assertion, the semi-auto ban doesn’t cover real assault weapons at all.

Poor guy… Clinton never could get his facts straight.

But he was right about one thing. The ban did cost him control of the Congress as gun owners abandoned the Democratic Party in droves.

Understandably, the recent Bush administration announcement has touched a sensitive nerve in the pro-gun community.

Knight Ridder and The Washington Post carried the above statement by White House spokesman Scott McClellan, and a mini-firestorm has resulted.

Some have speculated that with the President riding very high in the polls as a result of the war, the White House was using the opportunity to reveal its support for a very unpopular gun ban.

This may explain the timing of the announcement. Regardless, the official response from the White House has been less than encouraging.

Some of you reported that White House operators accused callers of not knowing what they were talking about — that there was no Scott McClellan at the White House and that no such announcement had been made.

(Yes, Scott McClellan is a spokesman for the White House; and you can read the original news story at on the Internet. McClellan’s official title is: White House Deputy Press Secretary.)

Others reported that White House staff would not discuss your concerns unless you could give them the exact law number or the exact section from the US Code. We have provided the White House with the appropriate information, so hopefully that won’t be a problem anymore.


Last week’s GOA alert has resulted in thousands upon thousands of e-mails going to the President. There is still no official retraction from the White House, however.

If you haven’t sent the pre-written e-mail to President Bush yet, please go to to do so. For those of you desiring additional ways to contact the President regarding the semi-auto ban, you can use the following information to call, fax or snail mail him:

President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461 or 202-456-1907
Phone: 202-456-1414

If you have not contacted the White House at all yet, please use this opportunity to make your voice heard. It is absolutely vital that we continue inundating the White House in opposition to this ban, and that we do everything we can to repeal it. The pre-written letter from last week’s alert has been included below for your convenience.

—— 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 (The Washington Post, 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.