Tom Ridge Drops Out — Opposition to Health Care Gun Ban Intensifies
— Plus, gun owners gain ground in opposition to Health Care Gun Ban
Friday, May 8, 2009
Earlier this week, GOA alerted email activists that certain prominent Republicans were pushing former Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge to run against pro-gunner Pat Toomey in a Pennsylvania primary.
GOA members flooded the Republican National Committee (RNC) office with phone calls and emails, highlighting a few of Tom Ridge’s anti-gun actions:
* As a Congressman, he provided the pivotal vote to pass the Clinton semi-auto ban.
* As Governor, he signed into law the infamous Act 17, which registered and taxed long gun buyers and placed other restrictions on Keystone State gun owners.
* As the first director of DHS, Ridge opposed arming commercial airline pilots in defense of terrorism.
In contrast, former Rep. Pat Toomey stood 100% for the rights of gun owners.
GOA also sent a letter to every RNC official nationwide, assuring them that gun owners and sportsmen would not accept an anti-gun candidate like Tom Ridge.
Well, good news! Tom Ridge “decided,” with the help of activism like yours, to stay out of the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race. He withdrew his name yesterday.
That means Pat Toomey, who has been endorsed by Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund, could face Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter next November.
Specter, you may recall, provided crucial support to confirm gun-hating Attorney General Eric Holder; was one of two Republicans to vote against arming commercial airline pilots; and singlehandedly passed the so-called economic “stimulus” bill, which contained several provisions of grave concern to gun owners.
Update on Health Care Gun Ban
Two weeks ago, GOA asked you to urge your Representative and Senators to vote against the budget resolution conference report. The vote was a key battle in the larger war over whether to create a national health database which would allow BATF to troll your medical records for information about whether your mental state subjects you to a gun ban.
Well, it looks like we took a couple of small steps forward, even though the resolution passed the House and the Senate. The Senate only passed the resolution by a 53-43 vote, which means that despite the pleas of the Obama administration — thanks to your efforts — all Republicans, plus Specter, Bayh, Nelson of Nebraska, and Byrd voted against the conference report.
This means that, with all senators present, we are only about a half dozen votes away from defeating the vast, hugely controversial health package when it comes up for a final vote in September or October. And, when the package is unveiled later this summer, we will have a good shot at picking up the additional votes we need, based on its controversial details.
Got Form Letters?
Recently, several legislators such as Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia have been sending activists interesting form letters whenever those activists contact them via GOA’s Legislative Action Center. Essentially, the form letters state that a detailed reply will not be forthcoming because the e-mail was generated through an “outside third party website,” or include similar sentiments. This has some GOA supporters understandably concerned that they are being ignored.
Rest assured, our contacts on Capitol Hill report that GOA-generated e-mail IS being received and the contents noted by staff of the offices in question. If the legislators choose to respond with a nothing-burger form letter, fine. They know they have to pay attention to gun owner concerns when the votes are taken. So please do not be discouraged if you receive a less-than-forthcoming response. Your views are being heard.