Juvenile Injustice Passes Senate

Senate Republicans Join Clinton in Sacking Gun Owners
— Send your strongly-worded comments to top Republicans

(Friday, May 21, 1999)– On May 19, Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle (SD) said, “There may not be much difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore.” Gun owners need to let the above words sink in. It remains to be seen if Republicans in the House show more spine than their Senate counterparts. In the Senate, Daschle made the comment as he reflected on the Republican “concessions and reversals on guns in the past week.” Not much difference indeed. Led by high-ranking Republicans such as Majority Leader Trent Lott (MS) and Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (UT), thirty-one Republicans voted with the Democrats to pass a crime bill that was loaded with gun rights restrictions:

* Private sales at gun shows will be BANNED unless the buyer submits to a background registration check;

* Dealers who sell handguns will be forced to include “lock up your safety” devices with every handgun sold, and gun owners are now encouraged to “lock up their safety” or else face the possibility they could be liable in court if another person steals their gun and misuses the firearm;

* A ban on the further importation of ANY magazine that holds over 10 rounds; and

* A various assortment of other anti-gun provisions, including, a ban on the mere possession of certain firearms by young adults, massive increases in funding for the BATF, and more.

[Readers should also check the GOA web page next week for a final compilation and more detailed analysis of everything that passed the Senate.]

What’s the difference? One day after the Republicans handed President Clinton and Sarah Brady an incredible media relations victory, many gun owners have publicly been asking: If there’s not much difference between the two parties on Capitol Hill, then why should I make a distinction between the two parties at the ballot box.

Even Republican Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Smith of New Hampshire just recently launched a “shot across the bow” and shocked Party chieftains. He said that as he travels around the country, he is seeing a growing frustration with Republicans, specifically over the gun rights issue. “I believe you may well have seen the beginning . . . [of] the end of the Republican Party,” Smith said. “If it happens, I’m not leaving my party– my party is leaving me.”

The Battle Now Moves to the House

As the anti-gun juvenile crime bill now moves to the House, top Republicans are already lining up in support of certain gun restrictions. House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) have both announced their support for some of the anti-gun provisions included in the Senate bill. This is not surprising, considering the respective “C” and “D” ratings that they have earned from Gun Owners of America.

ACTION: Contact the top honchos in the Republican Party to express your outrage over the sell-out of gun owners nationwide. GOA has included a sample letter for you to send to Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson. You can reach him at (ph) 202-863-8500, 863-8700 (e-mail) [email protected] or (fax) 202-863-8774, 863-8820.

It would also be worthwhile to contact Representatives Hastert (ph: 202-225-2976, e-mail: [email protected] or fax: 225-0697) and Hyde (ph: 202-225-4561; fax: 225-1166; no e-mail). You can tweak the same letter and send it to them.


How they voted in the Senate. When the smoke cleared yesterday, the final tally in favor of passing S. 254 was 73-25. Go to http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1061/legis_rollcall_vote1061.html on the web and click on vote numbers 121-140 to see how Senators voted on all amendments relating to Hatch’s bill, S. 254. Listed below is a breakdown of yesterday’s vote on final passage.

Did Your Senator Vote Against the 2nd Amendment?

All Democrats voted in favor of S. 254 except Senators Russ Feingold (WI) and Paul Wellstone (MN) who voted against the bill. Not voting were Senators Fritz Hollings (SC) and John McCain (AZ). Twenty-three Republicans voted correctly and opposed the bill (those not listed below). The Republicans who betrayed gun owners and voted for the anti-gun crime bill (S. 254) were the following:

Abraham (MI)     Frist (TN)       Roth (DE)            
Allard (CO)      Grams (MN)       Santorum (PA)     
Ashcroft (MO)    Hagel (NE)       Sessions (AL)   
Bennett (UT)     Hatch (UT)       Gordon Smith (OR)
Bond (MO)        Jeffords (VT)    Snowe (ME)           
Chafee (RI)      Kyl (AZ)         Specter (PA) 
Cochran (MS)     Lott (MS)        Stevens (AK)
Collins (ME)     Lugar (IN)       Thurmond (SC)   
DeWine (OH)      Mack (FL)        Warner (VA)
Domenici (NM)    McConnell (KY)                      
Fitzgerald (IL)  Murkowski (AK)

——– Clip-n-Send ———–

Dear Mr. Nicholson:

Words can not express the outrage that I feel over what Republicans in the U.S. Senate just did to gun owners’ rights. Watching Republicans stumble over themselves to violate their oath of office and pass restrictions upon the 2nd Amendment was simply disgusting.

The media says there has been a public “mood shift” following the Colorado shooting. But that’s just a figment of their collective imagination. A new poll released by the Denver Rocky Mountain News on May 20 showed that “Gun-control opinions [are] unchanged” following the Littleton tragedy.

The poll found that a full 65-percent of Coloradans FAVOR allowing decent citizens to carry concealed firearms. This is barely down from the 66 percent figure that was taken in February– a difference well within the margin of error.

So why then have Republicans run for the tall grass? Why have they betrayed their oath of office to sacrifice my constitutional rights on the altar of gun control?

While I probably disagree with Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle most of the time, he hit the nail on the head just recently. On May 19, he said, “There may not be much difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore.”

Indeed, if there is “no difference” between the two parties legislatively, then why should I make a distinction between the two monetarily? Moreover, why should I make any distinction at all– like at the ballot box? Please tell me.