Clinton Unveils Draconian Gun Control

Clinton Unveils Draconian Gun Control
— Make sure your Rep. is not on the anti-gun bandwagon

(Friday, April 30, 1999) — Well, Bill Clinton and the anti-gunners in Congress are doing their best to use the horrible tragedy in Colorado for their own political gain. Even Reuters pointed out yesterday that, “The White House has expressed hope that shock over the 15 deaths last week . . . will help fuel support for the [anti-gun crime] bill.”

No doubt, you heard the President this week parading his laundry list in a nationally televised press conference. His unconstitutional agenda calls for just about everything but the “kitchen sink:”

* Background checks on buyers at all gun-show sales. With this provision, Clinton is seeking what his ideological predecessor, King George III, was never able to obtain– a registration list of all gun buyers.

* Raising the legal age for handgun possession from 18 to 21. 1 This provision will add a little spice to your next target shooting session with the young adult in your house. Your son or daughter will commit a felony as soon as they touch the handgun, if they do not– as required by federal law– have a written note of permission from you on their person while engaging in the handgun target practice.

* Banning juvenile possession of certain semiautomatic rifles. Like the provision before it, this one will do nothing to stop juvenile thugs from using guns. Rather, it will punish law-abiding kids that go target shooting with their parents, or in some cases, will punish those brave teenagers that have used their family semi-auto to kill attackers in the home.

* Mandatory prison sentences of three to 10 years and $10,000 fines for adults, including parents, who allow children access to guns. To avoid liability, parents will be forced to lock up their safety. How about a novel approach, like punishing the young thugs who use a gun to commit a crime for at least 10 years. The killers in the Ark. schoolyard shooting are going to be out of jail in about five years, which means that the grandparents– whose guns were stolen to commit the crime– could spend more time in jail under this provision than the actual perpetrators of the crime!

* Mandatory “safety locks” on all guns sold. This provision will simply lead to the requirement that parents lock up their guns (see above). But locking up your safety means that a gun will not be immediately usable in an emergency and will actually cost lives. Need proof? The Wall Street Journal (4/23/99) noted how when Beretta tested a “Saf T Lok,” it caused 18 of 27 rounds to “totally malfunction.” And when Handgun Control’s chief attorney attempted to demonstrate the same trigger lock at an HCI-sponsored event, he found, to his embarrassment, that he was unable to disengage the lock.

* Making buyers of explosives subject to the same Brady law background checks as gun purchasers. This is one of the more comical of the President’s proposals. Are we going to have to go through background checks to buy gasoline for our cars, propane tanks for our barbecues, nails for our building projects and fertilizer for our yards– all common items which can be used to make bombs? This could also mean that sportsmen who use muzzleloaders would have to undergo Brady checks every time they buy a can of powder.

* Halting imports of ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds. Don’t tell the President, but a shotgun can pump more lead in less than five seconds, than a semi-automatic (with large magazine clip) can put out in a minute. 2 If Clinton finds this out, then he might go after shotguns next.

* Limiting individual handgun purchases to one per month. If Clinton can ration a constitutional right to one-per-month, then he can later make it one-per-year, one-per-lifetime, etc.

* A lifetime ban on gun ownership for people who commit violent crimes as juveniles. The language for this provision needs to be viewed very carefully. After all, a mere verbal threat to damage property is a “crime of violence” under current federal law. Does this mean that an ill-advised, idle threat made in one’s youth should keep that person from protecting his future family for the rest of his life?

* A three-day waiting period for all handgun purchases, with an additional two days if law officers need them to complete their investigation. Waiting periods endanger the lives of innocent people who need self-protection. Just ask the residents of Los Angeles who fled to gun stores during the riots of 1992 to buy a gun for self-defense– only to discover that they had to wait through a fifteen day waiting period.

GOA “duking” it out in the marketplace of ideas

The President isn’t the only one from the administration stumping for more gun control. GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt briefly debated Vice-President Al Gore during MSNBC’s national town-meeting this Wednesday. Gore rejected the notion that citizens should carry concealed firearms, and advocated more gun control instead.

Pratt referenced the John Lott studies showing that concealed carry laws reduce crime rates, and even used the Clinton Justice Department’s own figures to show that as many as 1.5 million people use a gun in self-defense every year. (You can visit the GOA website at to link to these studies.) Pratt also pointed out that decent citizens– like Assistant Principal Joel Myrick of Pearl, Mississippi in 1997– have used guns to halt mass shootings in schools.

Earlier in the week, Pratt defended gun owners’ rights in USA Today and The New York Times. He also appeared on the NBC Today Show and CBS’ This Morning; and later debated anti-gun zealot, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), on CNN’s Crossfire. Other GOA spokesmen have continued to take to the air, as well, and have appeared on shows ranging from NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw to Fox Cable News and more.

It’s time for action in the heartland

Of course, the political battle in Congress is not going to be won through mere debate. Gun owners nationwide must rally the troops and let their Congressmen hear from the grassroots back home.

On Capitol Hill, the President is trying to enlist the help of anti-gun Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) who is also head of the House Judiciary Committee. In a letter to the powerful Committee Chairman, Clinton requested his “bipartisan support” in pushing his anti-gun crime package.

To date, no comprehensive bill has been introduced that includes all of the President’s proposals from this week. But there are bills in the Congress that contain bits and pieces of the President’s goals. Expect Chuck Schumer and others to introduce more bills in the near future. Please stay tuned.

Here’s what to do: Ask your Representatives and Senators to avoid any knee-jerk reactions and to COMPLETELY OPPOSE ALL of the President’s agenda (202-224-3121; see the GOA website for fax and e-mail contact info). Tell them the President’s behavior is shameful– using a tragedy like this to perpetuate laws that only exacerbate the problem is disgraceful. For additional talking points, you might also mention some of the following:

The criminals in Littleton, Colorado broke at least 19 gun laws in perpetuating their crime. Adding a 20th or 21st gun law (or more) won’t make a difference at all.

None of the President’s proposals– not one– would keep those kids from having engaged in the massive carnage that they had planned for more than a year.

Passage of the unconstitutional Gun Free School Zones Ban has not resulted in gun free schools. While criminals disregard the law, decent teachers and principals are forced to commit felonies if they want a gun to defend themselves while they are at work.

A new study by John Lott (University of Chicago Law School) shows concealed guns prevent mass shootings. Visit on the web to read the study.

In particular, the legislators below should be contacted by large numbers of activists. They need to hear that you oppose the President’s ENTIRE anti-gun agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott 202-224-6253

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch 202-224-5251

House Speaker Denny Hastert 202-225-2976

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde 202-225-4561

House Crime Subcommitee Chairman Bill McCollum 202-225-2176

Representative Bob Barr (NRA director) 202-225-2931

1 The current age for possessing a handgun is 18 years of age; the age for purchasing a handgun is 21 years.
2 A shotgun can pump six 00 buckshot shells in less than five seconds– these six shells containing a grand total of seventy-two .33 caliber size pellets. Each of these pellets is about the size of a 7.62×39 round– the type of ammunition which is fired from a semi-automatic rifle such as the SKS.