02/95 Talking Points And Answers

Talking Points and Answers to Common Objections

by Gun Owners of America

GOA has encountered three common objections to attaching the gun ban repeal as an amendment to the crime bill. The following questions and answers may help you in arguing your case to your Congressional office:

1. Objection: The gun ban is too controversial and is not in the Contract With America. Let’s put this off until after the first 100 days.

Answer: The gun ban should be considered a part of the Contract since the crime bill is a part of the Contract. Last year, the gun ban was given to us as part of the crime bill, and it would be very legitimate to repeal it as part of the Contract — especially when a popular crime bill might help squeak the repeal through. Furthermore, if it was not for the help of the gun rights community, there would not be a Republican majority or a Contract to be pushing. They need to “dance with the ones who brung ’em,” and not push us into the corner.

2. Objection: The gun rights crowd will get their vote in 90 days. Let’s wait until we have hearings so that we can really define the issue and change public opinion.

Answer: The vote in 90 days (if it really happens that soon) will be on a stand-alone bill that has little chance in the Senate and no chance when it gets to the President’s desk. That’s why we need to pursue the repeal as an amendment to the crime bill in addition to pushing a stand-alone bill.

Second, the hearings are good and they will help keep the momentum for the fight in the Senate. But if we bypass the opportunity now, it may be next year until the Senate considers the stand-alone bill — if at all. The momentum of the March (or now May) hearings will have been lost. But if we pass the repeal now as part of the crime bill, then the Senate could be dealing with the crime bill at a time when the House will be holding its gun hearings. That could help bolster the resolve of Senators to leave the repeal amendment in the crime bill.

3. Objection: We cannot jeopardize a veto of the crime bill. The President has promised to veto a gun ban repeal. Let’s not give him an excuse to veto the crime provisions.

Answer: When has the President ever made a promise and stuck to it. Why should we give him a victory without even giving him a fight? Why should we make this easy for him? Let him veto the bill, and then — and only then — we can negotiate. But at least we’ll have forced him to veto the bill! That will put a mark on his back for the 1996 elections.

Furthermore, repealing an unconstitutional restriction upon a guaranteed right should carry far more importance than passing crime legislation — especially considering that the Constitution is almost silent in terms of giving the federal government authority in crime matters. Consider what little authority the Constitution gives to Congress over crime matters in Article I, Section 8:

* “The Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States,”

* “To define and punish piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations,”

* “For calling forth the Militia [i.e., the people under local authority] to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”

Obviously, the crime bill does not deal with the crime matters that the Constitution authorizes. (By the way, Article I, Section 8 does give Congress authority for a crime bill in governing the District and other federal territories.)

This alert was posted by Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151, ph: (703)-321-8585, fax: 321-8408.