10/94 How GOA Supporters Almost Beat Gun Ban!

Gun Ban Passes as Part of Crime Bill,
But not without a fight
— GOA and friends almost hand Clinton a “stunning defeat”

Gun owners came close to winning a stunning upset in August. On August 11, Representatives voted to prevent the crime bill, with its ban on more than 180 semi-automatic firearms, from being debated on the House floor. Newspapers across the country were labeling the August 11 vote a “stunning defeat” for President Clinton. Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) was saying the crime bill was dead for the year.

But then key Republicans — 46 in the House and seven in the Senate– broke ranks to help the Democratic leadership resuscitate the crime bill. Many of these Republicans worked around-the-clock to forge a “compromise” crime bill — a compromise which still contained billions of dollars in pork, a ban on several types of semi-autos and a ban on magazines over 10 rounds. These Republicans handed President Clinton a major victory, and in the end, succeeded in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Clearly, Clinton nearly staked his entire presidency on passage of the crime bill. He pushed hard to pass the bill, making promises and twisting arms to get the necessary votes. But Gun Owners of America worked feverishly in the weeks leading up to the vote to exert as much counter-pressure as possible on wavering legislators. GOA staff appeared on more than 150 radio talk shows in 49 states, urging listeners to call their legislators in opposition to the crime bill and gun ban.

Moreover, GOA issued alerts to our members by fax, by computer bulletin board and by mail. GOA also conducted phone calls into certain key legislative districts, and made personal contact with Representatives and staff on Capitol Hill.

All these efforts were definitely noticed in Washington, D.C. Pro-gun Rep. Rod Grams (R-MN) said that, “Gun Owners of America was instrumental in mobilizing the grassroots to fight the crime bill. They generated a massive phone and fax campaign into the Congress.”

While the grassroots response was appreciated by Grams and other pro-gun legislators, it was a bit overwhelming for many anti-gun legislators:

* Representative Bill Hefner (D-NC) was very outspoken about the heat he was receiving from GOA members. When lobbyists for the Law Enforcement Alliance of America were in his office speaking against the crime bill, Mr. Hefner went into a tirade, complaining very loudly about the pressure GOA was putting on him.

* Anti-gun Rep. Vic Fazio (D-CA) also attacked GOA as a force that was ‘intimidating’ legislators. During debate on the House floor on August 11, Fazio lauded those legislators who, in his view, were willing to stand up “courageously against the Gun Owners of America” and against the opposition of the NRA.

In the end, the pressure was almost able to counteract the pressure coming from President Clinton. The Associated Press reported on August 9 that while some Representatives were being persuaded to support the crime bill, “others in favor of it were being pulled back by gun control opponents [and] persuaded to vote against it.”

Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) is a typical example of someone who came under intense heat. While he voted against gun owners in August, the pressure from gun owners made it a difficult decision for him. Press reports had indicated that Green was being pressured by powerful Democratic legislators — like Rep. Jack Brooks of Texas — to vote in favor of the crime bill.

One Texas paper stated Green was “being inundated with calls from gun owners urging him to block the assault weapons ban.” As a result, Green was telling supporters of the crime bill — like Brooks — that it would be hard for him to support the bill. After all, he said, “the people against the assault rifle ban are so vocal and so strong.”

What follows is a brief account of how GOA worked to help generate those calls which were “so vocal and so strong.” This account will focus on four of the key legislators which GOA targeted, and will show how people’s phone calls and letters DO make a difference. This account will also detail the lying and deception which phone callers received from congressional offices; and will show how when armed with the truth, callers could “smoke out” the untruths being spoken at the other end of the phone.
Sen. Dole and gun control

To understand the impact that GOA had on Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), one needs to remember what happened last November. Dole voted for the crime bill last year when it contained the Feinstein gun ban in it. He even plugged the bill on nationwide T.V. in January, asking viewers to call their Congressman and support the bill — even though it still contained the gun ban.

Moreover, Dole worked out the compromise that allowed the Brady bill to pass without a recorded vote in the Senate. Dole’s compromise ended a successful filibuster and allowed the bill to pass with only three senators on the floor.

GOA began exposing Dole’s betrayal in the following months. GOA organized pickets against Dole and urged members to flood his office with calls, letters, faxes and mailgrams. While many pro-gun spokesmen (and organizations) were defending Dole, GOA relentlessly kept the heat on.

Surprisingly, Dole himself later admitted he had helped broker the compromise to pass the Brady bill. On the Senate floor, Dole complained about the pressure GOA was generating against him and said that he was now being deluged with calls asking him to lead a filibuster. Dole said on August 23 that,

    I know the Gun Owners of America, another group, have a little different view. They are blaming me for the Brady bill that passed because I sat here with the majority leader [Sen. George Mitchell] and everybody else had gone home, and we made an arrangement. We let that bill pass. I was picketed, and they called me a traitor, and everything else, and some things I cannot repeat, because that happened. They said it was my fault. I could have stopped it. We are being deluged with calls now saying, “Filibuster, don’t cave in. You can do it, stop it. Stop this bill.”

    [Ed. note: Apparently, Dole was upset because only he was targeted, and not George Mitchell. Of course, pressuring Mitchell would have done little good.]

In the end, the pressure on Dole worked. All that “heat” Dole received actually dragged him into fighting the crime bill, instead of just cutting a deal to let it pass like he did with the Brady bill. He finally used his leadership to get other Republicans to fight the crime bill.

Dole’s resistance to the crime bill is all the more amazing when one considers that he was one of the 95 senators who voted for it in November and was one of the bill’s chief advocates during the ensuing months. The phone calls, faxes, postcards and letters dragged Dole into the fight and brought us within two votes of killing the gun ban.

And even though we fell short, it was better to fight (and get a recorded vote) rather than to get a compromise deal (without a recorded vote). Now gun owners know who the traitors are and can hold them accountable during the November elections. (One can’t hold legislators accountable if they vote for a compromise that the gun lobby has endorsed.)
GOA lights fire under Dole

When the House passed the semi-auto ban in May, GOA’s lobbying efforts directed at Dole went into high gear. Here’s the highlights of what happened:

May 16 — GOA begins polling the Senate to determine how many senators would commit to filibustering the crime bill if it contains an infringement on the Second Amendment. Only three offices said they would even consider a filibuster. (Bob Dole was not one of those three senators.)

May 19 — GOA issues a fax alert asking people to put the heat on their senators. In particular, GOA asks people to contact Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) and ask him, as the Minority Leader, to filibuster any bill that contains a gun ban. Dole’s office is then bombarded with phone calls and faxes. Soon afterwards, it is discovered that Dole’s fax number has been disconnected.

May 25 — After much effort, GOA has found Sen. Dole’s new (unpublished) fax number. GOA gives out Dole’s phone number again along with his new fax number.

Another flood descends upon Dole’s office. GOA members tell us that Dole’s fax line is so tied up that they even get a busy signal at 1:00 in the morning. As for his phone lines, Dole later admits on the Gordon Liddy show that he has had to get a private line so he can call his office. He blames health care and “assault weapons” as the reason his phones lines are always tied up.

GOA’s May 25 alert also gives an 800 number where people can get postcards to distribute at gun rallies, gun shows, etc. These postcards ask their Representative to oppose the crime bill if it has a gun ban, and asks their senators to filibuster the crime bill if it contains such a ban. A postcard to Senator Dole is also included. Eventually over 100,000 postcards are distributed — 25,000 of them going to Sen. Dole alone.

June 24 — GOA organizes two demonstrations against Sen. Dole within a four day period. The first protest is held in Idaho, were more than 20 gun owners show up to encourage Dole to fight for gun owners rights. One police officer goes as a representative of GOA and personally lobbies Dole, asking him to filibuster the crime bill if it has the gun ban in it. Dole says that he is just one man and that he just doesn’t have the votes.

Another GOA member, Phil Fanton, confronts Dole and asks the same question. Dole tries to avoid answering, but Fanton keeps pursuing Dole, asking the question again and again. Dole finally answers, stating that he is just one man, that there is not much he can do as just one man. Fanton tells Dole that as Senate Minority Leader, it is his job to get the votes needed to filibuster the crime bill.

June 28 — The second protest is held in Virginia where about 30 people converge to hold picket signs and challenge Dole to lead a filibuster. A GOA spokesman, Dennis Fusaro, asks Dole to filibuster the crime bill if it contains a gun ban. When asked if he will try and get the votes for a filibuster, Dole says he will if the racial justice quotas are still included in the bill.

Dole then says, “You ought to tell [GOA Executive Director] Larry Pratt to stop picking on his friends.” Fusaro answers, “You ought to stop cutting deals with anti-gunners like [Sen.] George Mitchell.”

As mentioned earlier, these demonstrations left quite an impression on Bob Dole. It was important for Dole to know that gun owners held him responsible for letting the Brady bill pass. After all, Dole is a probable Presidential candidate. He needs to know that gun owners are carefully watching his actions and will hold him accountable for them.

But while all these efforts were effective, there was one other effort that tremendously helped bolster Dole’s resolve to fight the crime bill. It happened when GOA got the attention of the Republican Party and helped drop their contribution level through the floor.
GOA helps drop Republican contributions by 80%

GOA learned this summer that House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (R-GA) was working actively to forge a compromise on the crime bill. None of the compromise talks even considered dropping the gun ban from the bill.

So GOA acted quickly and issued an alert asking people to call Gingrich, as well as Haley Barbour, the head of the Republican National Committee. GOA provided the phone and fax numbers to these offices, urging callers to deliver a simple message: “We don’t need this crime bill — especially not one with a gun ban in it. Moreover, we will not contribute to the Republican Party as long as they continue to support Republicans who vote for gun control.”

One would have thought a bomb had exploded. GOA activists bombarded Gingrich’s office with phone calls — 1,000 calls on the first day the alert went out. Haly Barbour’s office was also deluged. They told a GOA staffer that “you guys are hammering us” and that “we’re getting your message — don’t worry.”

The results were later recounted by Tony Snow, a nationally syndicated columnist. Snow says that “angry callers tied up the switchboard at the Republican National Committee, and ‘direct response’ contributions to the party fell a heart-stopping 80 percent. The message: If Republicans won’t show any spine, contributors won’t show any money.”

Snow also reported that “panicky party officials” passed news of the money shortfall to Bob Dole, who then acted quickly to bolster opposition against the crime bill. “For once,” Snow said, “a Republican drew a firm line and meant it!”

Indeed, Dole drew a line, but it took cutting off the contributions to the Party, organizing demonstrations against him, swarming him with phone calls, faxes, letters, postcards and mail grams. It was worth it, since our efforts brought us within two votes of killing the bill in the Senate. One would think, however, that the leader of a Party whose platform stands for gun rights and less government would not require that much lobbying.

Of course, neither would one think that GOA would have to lobby a supposedly pro-gun Democrat from Texas. But such was the reality in Jack Brooks’ case.
GOA exposes Jack Brooks’ compromises

In mid-July, GOA received word from two reliable sources on Capitol Hill that Democratic Representative Jack Brooks — the House chairman of the crime bill conference committee — was seeking a compromise on the gun ban. Moreover, these sources stated Brooks would be willing to support a crime bill even if it contained the ban on semi-automatic firearms.

July 15 — GOA issues fax and bulletin board alerts asking people to call Brooks, urging him not to compromise and not to support any bill that contains a gun ban. Within a few hours, Brooks’ office is “deluged” (their words) with phone calls and faxes. Staffers in his office claim that Brooks is 100% opposed to the gun ban.

BUT, some GOA members probe a bit further. One member asks a staffer in Brooks’ office if his boss will support the crime bill if it has a gun ban in it. After trying to avoid a direct answer, the staffer finally admits that yes, his boss would support the crime bill if it contained a gun ban in it. (After all, Brooks is the principle sponsor of the crime bill.)

Also, Brooks’ office staff tells callers that Brooks is just one man, and that he cannot kill the gun ban by himself.

July 18 — GOA issues more faxes and computer bulletin board alerts asking people to call Brooks’ again. The alerts inform people that Brooks’ answer — that he is just one man and that he is powerless to do anything — is less than honest.

After all, Rep. Brooks is the House chairman of the crime conference committee. As chairman, it is within his power to refuse to hold any more conference committee meetings on the crime bill. He can kill the bill all by himself! Thus, the alerts ask people to ask Brooks to just sit on the crime bill and not call for any more meetings until the gun ban is stripped out.

July 21 — The Associated Press reports that Rep. Jack Brooks is seeking a compromise on the semi-auto ban so he can get the crime bill passed. This is the very compromise GOA had been warning people about for days, and the very compromise that Brooks’ had been denying for days.

July 22 — People are calling GOA’s office to say that Brooks is still denying he’s working on a compromise. Nevertheless, Texas media is now reporting that Brooks is, in fact, seeking a compromise.

GOA issues a press release denouncing Brooks for his willingness to swallow a gun ban so he can pass a meaningless crime bill. The Associated Press uses the release in a later story and quotes GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt as saying, “If Jack Brooks allows this crime bill to see the light of day with a gun ban in it, then he better re-examine his oath of office.”

GOA issues more alerts, asking people to call Brooks again and urge him to kill the crime bill. To help make this point, GOA provides callers with a quote from the July 22 issue of The Washington Post. The Post states, “As chairman of the conference committee, Brooks can control its schedule.”

In other words, Brooks could refuse to hold any more meetings on the crime bill and simply let the crime bill — with the gun ban in it — rot in committee. He could sit on his hands until other Congressmen agree to drop the ban. That is the power of a chairman!

GOA also begins phone calling into Brooks’ district, asking people to contact Brooks to oppose the crime bill and the gun ban. Because of previous GOA alerts, many people say they have already called. But almost everyone says they will call again and put the heat on Brooks.

Furthermore, GOA encourages people in Brooks district to attend gun shows and get on talk shows. The message is the same: everyone call Brooks and tell him to get off the crime bill.
Brooks office deluged with calls — again

As a result, the phone calls and faxes come pouring into Brooks’ office. One gun owner told GOA that the receptionist in Brooks’ office was “hanging by a thread.” She could “hardly speak,” he said, because of the avalanche of calls they were receiving against the gun ban. He figures there were about 100 calls an hour coming in to Brooks’ office.

Indeed, while Brooks had been heralded in the media as a pro-gun stalwart, his true colors had now been exposed. One gun owner told Brooks, “About two months ago I sent you a fax thanking you for not abandoning your principles on the Constitution, and taking a hard stand against the latest gun ban. You were a hero. . . . The latest bulletins are saying I was wrong. That’s why I’m writing this. . . .”

Finally, GOA also set up a new Western Union mailgram going to Rep. Jack Brooks and Senator Bob Dole. In addition to giving out the Western Union number through fax and computer alerts, GOA appeared on the Chuck Harder radio talk show — a nationally syndicated program — to give out the number. As a result, over 600 mailgrams pour into Brooks and Dole’s offices during the next three days.
Brooks pushes crime bill — gun ban in bill

July 25 — The Washington Post reports that Brooks is hoping to get the crime conference committee to meet the next day to resume its consideration of the crime bill. (Until now, the committee has taken a month long hiatus.) Brooks hopes to get the crime bill — even if it has the semi-auto ban in it — on to the House floor by Thursday, July 28.

With only three days to work with, there is no time for GOA to mail an alert again. So GOA issues another round of fax and computer alerts. The action item is to call Brooks again and urge him to kill the crime bill as long as it has a gun ban in it.

Another torrential downpour falls upon Brooks’ staff. One gun owner had this to say about his conversion with Brooks’ office: “I called a few minutes ago, and the harried legislative aide sounded like he was in a war zone. I asked how the calls were running, and he said they all were in opposition to the gun ban. Let’s keep it up.”

After this incredible volume of calls, one GOA member finally forces an admission from Brooks’ office. They finally admit that their boss has been working on a compromise.

After getting this admission, the caller then urges Brooks to just sit on the crime bill and kill the gun ban, rather than pass the crime bill with a partial gun ban. Their answer? “Do you want Mr. Brooks to act as a dictator and hold-up the crime bill? This country was founded on compromise.” The caller quickly reminds the staffer that this country was not founded on compromise, but that it was established on the principles found in the Bill of Rights. Moreover, he said, the crime bill and gun ban shred those very rights.

August 10 — GOA delivers a piece of information to every Congressional office showing how the crime bill would send $10 million to Lamar University (L.U.) — which coincidentally, is in Jack Brook’s district. (No wonder Brooks was pushing the crime bill so hard!)

Rep. Dick Armey takes the information and circulates it to every Republican in the House. Another legislator, speaking on the House floor, blasts the Democratic leadership for trying to hide this piece of pork in the bill.
Brooks blames GOA for loss of pork project

Soon afterwards, the L.U. pork project hits all the major newspapers from The Washington Post to USA Today. It truly becomes an embarrassing issue for Brooks, who then drops the pork from the bill.

Brooks blames GOA for killing the provision. He tells the Houston Post on August 21 that “Lamar University can thank Gun Owners of America . . . for scuttling the criminal justice project.”

Of course, the ultimate goal at GOA was to use the L.U. pork project as just one more reason for legislators to oppose the crime bill. Unfortunately, Brooks and others wanted a crime bill so bad that they were even willing to sacrifice some of their pet pork projects to pass the bill.

In the end, Brooks still ended up betraying gun owners. But GOA’s efforts have truly exposed him. Many gun activists were surprised to see the run-around they received from Brooks’ office and to see their Texas representative pushing a bill fraught with gun control.

Brooks’ actions have allowed GOA to run op-eds in several newspapers in Brooks district exposing his betrayal of gun owners. The truth is now getting out in Brooks’ own backyard and he is truly feeling the heat. One owner of a shooting range told a campaign staffer of Brooks not to bother coming to visit the range when he inquired about appearing before the members. The owner told the staffer he might get “beat up.”

Banners are appearing all over the district — next to highways and in gun shops — stating that Jack Brooks has betrayed gun owners. In fact, Brooks’ office called one shooting range and pleaded with them to remove such a sign from their premises. The owner of the shooting range refused.

Several unions — which had supported Brooks in the past — have pulled their endorsement of Brooks because of this latest betrayal on the gun issue. Gun shops all over his district are telling their patrons how Brooks sacrificed their gun rights.

Brooks is in a close race against a pro-gun candidate. After this November, it is possible that the name Jack Brooks will serve as a message to other wavering “pro-gun” legislators — just like the names Jim Florio and Mary Sue Terry serve as reminders that gun owners can make a difference in an election. Their races for governor, in New Jersey and in Virginia respectively, prove that being for gun control can ‘shoot down’ a political career.

This would be an important lesson for Congressmen to learn. After all, if the legislators who campaigned as pro-gun had in fact voted pro-gun, there would not have been a gun ban passed in late August.

Truly, Jack Brooks is now receiving the wrath of gun owners all over his district — a district which is one of the most pro-gun districts in the entire country. But he is not the only supposedly pro-gun Democrat who has turned against gun owners this year. John Dingell — a Democratic Representative from Michigan and an NRA Board Member — has also just ended a long honeymoon session with gun owners.
GOA activists overwhelm Dingell’s office with calls

In early August, GOA learned that Rep. Dingell was leaning in support of the crime bill. So GOA acted quickly, issuing alerts by fax and on computer bulletin boards.

Immediately afterwards, Dingell’s office was inundated with phone calls. (Also, his fax number was changed to stop the incredible number of faxes coming into the office.) In calling Dingell, many people discovered his office to be quite rude. One person told GOA that he had called Dingell’s office, only to have them hang up on him when they determined that he was not from Dingell’s district. In fact, every report GOA received indicated that Dingell’s office did not care about people’s opinion if they lived outside of the district.

GOA issued another alert asking people to call Dingell back and remind him that as an NRA Board Member, he had better be interested in what NRA members think. After all, he must rely upon their vote if he wants to retain his board member status.

Rep. Dingell still voted for the crime bill, thus betraying the gun owners he represented. But the effort was not without consequence for Dingell. By GOA’s exposing his treasonous act, he was no longer able to maintain his hypocrisy — Dingell resigned from the NRA Board after his vote for the crime bill.
GOA helps McCollum ‘see the light’

Another key legislator that was indicating a willingness to sacrifice the Second Amendment to pass the crime bill was Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL). McCollum is an important voice in the debate on gun control in the House of Representatives. He was the lead sponsor of the National Rifle Association’s “instant background check” scheme in 1988. And because of this, other members of Congress may have thought that what Rep. McCollum would accept was also acceptable to the NRA.

On April 18, Rep. McCollum was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying that he might accept a crime bill containing an assault-weapons ban. On July 18, Roll Call, a newspaper specializing in Congressional affairs, suggested that the semi-auto ban may remain in the crime bill. Nevertheless, McCollum said that “it’s too important not to pass a crime bill.”

So GOA issued a fax alert asking people to contact McCollum’s office to urge him not to accept a crime bill that has a gun ban in it. As a result of the alert, faxes and phone calls poured in to McCollum’s office. Three days later, McCollum makes an about-face and is quoted in the The Washington Times as saying he will oppose the crime bill. Why? Among the reasons he gives is his opposition to the ban on semi-automatic firearms.
GOA: the ‘no compromise’ gun lobby

The Republican Party, Sen. Dole and Rep. McCollum all have the same thing in common: they all ‘saw the light’ after feeling the heat.

The examples recounted here are few, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other legislators could be named — legislators who at first were on the fence, but then ‘saw the light’ after the fax alerts generated floods of calls into their offices.

These battles show how important it is to keep the heat on legislators who are on the fence, and sometimes, on those who are supposed to be on our side. We need to keep them honest. After all, many of these legislators are already receiving pressure from the media and from their party to vote against us. We need to hold them accountable.

We cannot compromise.

Last November, the politics of compromise resulted in 95 senators voting against us on the crime bill. One might wonder why so many senators — including pro-gun senators — would vote for a bill that contained a gun ban.

One conversation between GOA representatives and the office of a particular pro-gun senator might prove insightful. In mid-November, GOA was urging senators to filibuster the crime bill because of the Feinstein gun ban. But on November 18, one pro-gun senate office speaking on condition on anonymity told GOA that our request for a filibuster put the senator “in a pickle.” The office said that the NRA did not want to filibuster the bill, but rather wanted get it off the floor so that the Senate could get to the Brady bill.

The NRA, said the senate office, wanted to amend the Brady bill with a preemption amendment. Remember that even without the preemption amendment, the NRA would later tell The Washington Times (11/25/93) that the passage of the Brady bill was a “victory” for gun owners because of the instant background check included in the bill. As for the gun ban in the crime bill, NRA was hoping to later pull out the ban during a House-Senate conference committee.

The senator’s office told GOA they would not filibuster. They said, “If you can get the NRA to change its mind, the senator will be down there in a second objecting to the unanimous consent agreement.” Objecting to a unanimous consent agreement would have prevented the senate from agreeing to limit debate on the crime bill. This could very well have allowed the senate to delay the bill through the holidays and into the next year.

But, there was no filibuster. GOA was virtually the only gun group pushing for a filibuster last November. In the end, Bob Dole brokered an agreement that limited the amount of time for debate on the crime bill. The bill passed easily.

This August, the situation was different. There was unity in the gun lobby during this last battle, as groups joined GOA in pushing for a filibuster of the crime bill. We fought from principle and refused to endorse a “compromise” gun ban that would have the gun lobby’s signature on it.

Again, if the gun lobby signs off on a compromise, how will we ever hold the legislators accountable when they vote for the gun control “compromise”? In the recent battle, legislators saw they would be held accountable for their votes. Their was no “gun-lobby-approved” bill to vote for. As a result, we went from having 95 votes against us (last November) to only losing by two votes (this past August).

And now we know who the traitors are. We know who needs to join Jim Florio and Mary Sue Terry in the unemployment lines this November.

But we have to fight from principle and be willing to make the Constitution an issue. ‘We the people’ created this government. If our civil servants start violating their oaths of office, then we need to find other servants who will keep their oaths. And then we can work on a bill to repeal the gun control passed during this Congress.

There’s much to do. You can bet that Gun Owners of America will continue fighting in the trenches. Please stay tuned.
What they’re saying about GOA’s grassroots network

    “It was GOA that helped to ‘kill’ the crime bill on the House floor in early August, and it was GOA that brought us within millimeters of victory again in late August.”
    — Meg Daniel, TAPCO, Inc., Georgia

    “ACT would like to thank the one group we believe most effectively motivated the grassroots in opposing this [crime] bill: THE GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA . . . . Under the direction of Larry Pratt, this group inundated members and friends with moment by moment action faxes as the bill meandered through Congress.” (Emphasis in the original.)
    — The Associated Conservatives of Texas

    “Gun Owners of America sent out numerous faxes to interested parties among its membership, updating them on the progress of Billary’s pork-laden ‘Hug-A-Thug’ crime bill and telling them what they need to do. Whereas by my count, the NRA sent out one.”
    — Robert K. Brown, NRA Board Director,
    in Soldier of Fortune, December 94

    “Congratulations on your massive efforts and total success in the [August 11] defeat of the rule on the House Crime Bill. It’s encouraging to see that GOA finally got the credit it deserved . . . . You folks ‘carried the mail’ on this issue, and have demonstrated to other gun organizations how the grassroots effort should be directed.”
    — E.P., North Carolina

    “I feel that your organization was the major player in defeating this legislation [on August 11]. The GOA mailers and fax alerts were invaluable to the fight.”
    — T.H., Pennsylvania

    “I received innumerable fax alerts from GOA concerning the crime bill . . . . You will be receiving the majority of my donation money in the future.”
    — M.H., California

    “We need a pit bull to defend the Second Amendment. We have one. It’s called Gun Owners of America.”
    — Don McAlvany, Colorado

    “GOA is right there in the trenches. . . . I will guarantee that you will get more for your money from Larry [Pratt] and Co. than you will anywhere else in the gunrights movement.”
    — the Bullet, publication of the Western Mo. Shooters Alliance