Juvenile Injustice: What Happens Next?
Good News and Bad News on Capitol Hill
— To preserve the House victory, pick up the phone and keep up the pressure
“House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. [favors enacting] some gun control, but not so much as to turn off conservative campaign donors next year.” –Associated Press, June 19, 1999
HERE’S WHAT TO DO:
(Friday, June 25, 1999)– The hard-fought victory gun owners achieved in the House last week is still standing– for now. While the House defeated the “gun control approach” to solving juvenile crime, they did pass a separate bill which takes a more “cultural approach” to dealing with the issue (e.g., allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted on school walls, etc.). This bill (H.R. 1501) could potentially be sent to a House-Senate conference committee where it would be blended together with the very anti-gun Senate crime bill (S. 254) that passed last month.
BUT, no conference committee can begin meeting until the House and Senate first vote to send the bills to conference. Thankfully, pro-gun champion Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) has placed a “hold” letter on the juvenile crime legislation– a parliamentary maneuver that keeps any action from happening until he gives his consent. While this is a good start, a “hold” letter increases in effectiveness as more Senators sign on to the letter. Activists in Oklahoma and Wyoming especially, should ask pro-gun Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) [ [email protected] ] and Michael Enzi (R-WY) [ [email protected] ] to join Smith and sign on to the “hold” letter on H.R. 1501 (call 202-224-3121). [Note: any legislator can be reached toll-free at 1-888-449-3511.]
The Good Guys. The results of the House votes from last week display a grim picture. Out of 435 Representatives, only five voted 100% correct in regard to the 11 gun votes that GOA rated. All five were Republicans: John Doolittle (CA), John Hostettler (IN), Rick Hill (MT), Zach Wamp (TN), and Ron Paul (TX). (Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) also voted 100%, although he missed five of the votes.)
Another legislator who deserves honorable mention is Rep. Tom DeLay, who fought several insider battles to allow “killer” pro-gun amendments to be offered to the House juvenile crime bill H.R. 2122. Those “killer amendments” encouraged enough anti-gun Republicans and Democrats to vote against the bill.
The Bad Guys. Democrats on the Appropriations Committee are giving thought to trying to attach anti-gun amendments to legislation providing funding for the Treasury Department. According to the Associated Press, “Ready with amendments are Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., whose proposal would tighten requirements for sales at gun shows; Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., who wants to raise the minimum age of hand-gun buyers [sic] from 18 to 21; and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who favors mandatory safety devices with all hand guns.”
Website news of note:
In the short time they’ve been available on the web, GOA T-shirts have become quite a hit with activists. These 100% cotton shirts are printed front and back with color logos and the no-compromise message “It’s A Right… Not A Privilege!” Available in sizes M through XXL for $15.50 each, the shirts can be ordered at http://www.gunowners.org/tshirt.htm using our secure server.
Many gun owners are familiar with the mail order company Cheaper Than Dirt. As sellers of gun accessories, ammo, and military surplus, CTD knows the importance of defending firearms rights. (It’s also tough to run a business when the government keeps trying to ban your inventory.) Accordingly, Cheaper Than Dirt wishes to donate a percentage of activists’ orders to GOA. If you enter their online store from the link found at http://www.gunowners.org/links.htm#ctd the donation will be automatically calculated from your purchase total. Please also mention GOA when ordering by phone.