11/03 Score Another Grassroots Success

Score Another Success For Grassroots Lobbying
Larry Pratt

The Hill is a Capitol Hill newspaper covering Congress and politics. A recent article was devoted to what seemed to The Hill as a surprising story: Gun Owners of America has stalled an education bill that passed the Senate 90-0.

The bill, H.R. 1078, would throw $25,000,000 dollars at the left-wing history establishment to run so-called Presidential Academies. The Academies would train teachers how to teach the new history and civics standards mandated by the federal government.

GOA learned that the existing standards in the taxpayer subsidized textbook, We the People, makes short shrift of the Second Amendment and individual freedom in general, the fight was on. The GOA e-mail list was notified of the bill, and the members of the House of Representatives immediately began to hear from their constituents.

To quote from The Hill:

    The fact that the broadly supported bill has been put on hold shows the effect that one influential lobbying group can have on legislation.

    Before the group’s lobbying effort, the bill was sailing through Congress. It has attracted more than 200 co-sponsors in the House and is supported by President Bush.

    But over the past few months, six House lawmakers have formally pulled their support of Wicker’s bill, and it is not expected to reach the House floor this year.

The Hill’s article went on to say that, “Even though it does not attract headlines as the NRA does, Gun Owners of America is regarded as a key player…. A Trancredo [Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)] said the concerns raised by Gun Owners of America played a major role in the lawmaker’s decision to withdraw his name as a co-sponsor.”

In an interview with the bill’s sponsor, Roger Wicker (R-MS), it was clear that Wicker expected the same smooth sailing for his bill in the House that the companion bill in the Senate experienced. “Wicker said he is shocked by the influence that Gun Owners of America has had on his bill.”

The article concluded on this note: “Some have speculated that before it is voted on in the House, the Wicker bill will be amended to address the Gun Owners of America’s concerns.”

Gun Owners of America’s concerns will be addressed best by letting this legislation acquire the label “Rest in Peace.”