1999 No-compromise Stance On Major Legislation Saves The Day
|It’s tempting, all too often, for people to despair from the bad news that appears in the media. But gun owners should cheer some of the positive gains made this year– gains that could not have been achieved without your help.
Here’s what they’re saying about GOA and its activists:
“GOA is close to standing alone in Washington. They do not tell their members one thing and do another inside the beltway. They are tough and they don’t give up.” U.S. Representative Helen Chenoweth-Hage, Idaho
“Gun Owners of America is considered the most aggressive pro-gun lobbying organization.” Roll Call, the newspaper of record on Capitol Hill, 8/12/99
“You and your members are great patriots” U.S. Senator Bob Smith, New Hampshire
“Gun Owners [of America] is… much more active. They moved quickly and we heard from their people,” said one House leadership source close to the juvenile crime issue.
Thanks For Helping GOA Deliver A “No Compromise” Message To Congress!
GOA Grassroots Helped Gain Victory In The House
Clinton administration operatives went to [Rep. Hill of Indiana] and told him they had done a survey in his district that showed an overwhelming majority– 77 percent to 23 percent– supported the gun control legislation. However, Mr. Hill pointed out to them that… his office had received more than 1,100 phone calls against gun control and only a “half dozen or a dozen” in favor. In the end, Mr. Hill joined a substantial number of Democrats who helped block gun-control legislation passed by the Senate.
GOA Putting Your Money To Good Use On The Front Lines
Although the Republican House leadership and the NRA urged support for the final version, they were hampered by opposition from [GOA] who were unhappy it required gun safety locks and raised to 21 the legal age for owning a handgun. “Please vote no on passage of HR 2122,” urged a letter from Gun Owners of America. And many conservative Republicans did just that.
If You’re Not Yet A GOA Member, Is It Time You Became One?
We’ve been through a lot together this year. Remember the media frenzy that kicked in after the Colorado shooting in April? As the weeks passed, gun owners were demonized once again for the actions of a few miscreants. At the national level, the media began relying upon GOA spokesmen almost exclusively to give the pro-gun response to the Columbine tragedy. GOA talking heads appeared on dozens of TV, radio and newspaper outlets.
From CBS’ This Morning to CNN News, and on countless radio shows around the clock, GOA debated with Handgun Control, Inc. and others who would try to take away the guns of law-abiding citizens.
At the same time, Gun Owners of America was ginning up its grassroots machine, generating thousands upon thousands of postcards, faxes, emails and phone calls into Congressional offices. For several months, gun owners stood with GOA to lead the charge in opposition to all of the gun control provisions in the juvenile crime bill.
GOA activists made it absolutely clear that no compromise would be acceptable. In alert after alert, GOA pounded away at the crime bill, exposing the many ways it would rob gun owners of their Constitutional rights. But the White House was also busy during this time. The President had selected a list of targets, and was relentlessly hounding fellow Democrats in support of greater gun restrictions. Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana was one of the Democrats on that target list. He was a freshman, and he had only won with 51% of the vote in 1998. The White House pressed its case, thinking this conservative Democrat might buckle under the pressure. Thankfully, the President was sorely disappointed.
In June, The Washington Times reported what happened, and clearly showed what grassroots action can do:
According to the article, Gun Owners of America was labeled “the most aggressive pro-gun lobbying organization,” a testimony to the hard work and dedication of its grassroots. This effort by GOA members cannot be underestimated.
Roll Call reported that some lobby groups had sold Representatives on the idea that their constituents would “not care” if they voted for gun control. But GOA members were instrumental in disabusing Congressmen of that notion. After an avalanche of postcards, letters, faxes and emails from GOA activists,Representatives realized that people “did care,” and these legislators were “not happy” they had been tricked into thinking their constituents would not mind, Roll Call reported. As it stands now, the anti-gun juvenile bill has been buried in a House-Senate conference committee. Many legislators have reported that they don’t want to “walk the plank” again, and they are lobbying the leadership to just let the bill die.
Again, this shows how the grassroots can trump the media and political pressures inside the Beltway!
From its national headquarters in northern Virginia, GOA staff also focused their lobbying efforts on key Congressional offices. GOA’s lobbying efforts, combined with a dynamic grassroots campaign, provided the one-two punch that produced the dramatic results that were reported in the June 19 issue of The New Haven Register.
“Pro-gun Congressional offices heap praise on GOA and its activists. Following the defeat of the anti-gun crime bill, one Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, surveyed several Congressional offices.” This article reported that pro-gun offices on the Hill were quite appreciative of the work done by GOA and its activists.
Of course, this was not the only victory that GOA was involved in. While there were other noteworthy accomplishments at the state and local level that GOA took part in, clearly the victory over the juvenile justice bill was the most significant. GOA and its activists led the fight against this bill; and in all candor, you guys are the reason that the anti-gun juvenile bill has now become a “hot potato.”
The ability of GOA to continue putting pressure on politicians depends on loyal activists like yourself. So if you would like to keep up on other issues; if you would like to get our special Fact Sheets which are only provided to GOA members; if you would like to receive our very informative newsletter and get pre-printed postcards that enable you to easily lobby your own Congressmen– even to the point of becoming an “arm chair lobbyist” while watching TV commercials– then please become a GOA member today! Join GOA today online at http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoa.htm or call 703-321-8585.
U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas says, “Your membership in Gun Owners makes a difference on Capitol Hill every single day…. I know that GOA will continue to be the ‘no compromise’ leader in defending America’s gun rights and personal freedoms.”