Dole’s Contradictions And Spin
Dole Still Spinning the News
— Callers bring out more contradictions
by Gun Owners of America
“It is disturbing to me when the Congress is faced with a decision to increase protection for the people by chipping away at the edges of freedom. But in this case . . .”
— Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), on explaining her reservations with the anti-terrorism bill, before she voted in favor of it (6/7/95)
(Monday, June 19) — You guys have done a great job at punching holes in the arguments of Dole’s staff for the past couple of weeks. Callers to Dole’s office have reported that his staffers are making two bold statements:
1. They are saying, “The only gun control provision that passed was the extension of the statute of limitations under the 1934 Act, and that can be deleted in conference committee.” First of all, it is interesting to note that Dole’s office at least acknowledges that SOME gun control passed. However, there is certainly more than just this provision, which by itself, is not the most onerous provision that could have been passed. [The bigger issue here is that despite the mandate of the November elections, Congress continues to run the opposite direction and inflict upon us the “death by a thousand cuts.”]
Almost every one of you that has called our office has noted that the provision increasing the BATF budget by $100 million is clearly a “gun control” provision. At a time when Congress should be cutting this agency back, a $100 million increase is a slap in the face of gun owners. But there are other troublesome provisions as well, which Dole’s office has ignored.
2. Dole’s office is claiming that the bill does not get the military involved in enforcing civilian law. This directly contradicts what fellow Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) said on the Senate floor on June 7:
“One of the hallmarks of a democratic society is the separation of the military . . . from internal law enforcement responsibilities. Military dictatorships use soldiers to enforce their laws; democracies do not. . . . I do not believe that it is necessary to give the military arrest powers within the U.S. . . . The notion that military personnel will be operating without accompanying civilian officials is very troubling.” (Page S 7854 of the Congressional Record.)
Further complicating matters, Sen. Feingold admitted, was the manner in which the military enhancement provision was added:
“This broadening of the authority of the military, albeit in a narrow area, was not part of a bill reported by the committees of jurisdiction, but rather was introduced and voice voted within the span of a few hours. . . . This is not the way to deal with such a fundamental issue.” (Ibid.)
One final point: Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) pointed out that among his objections to S. 735 was “the new wiretapping authority” which expands the government’s ability to wiretap the homes of innocent parties. Sen. Craig pointed out that “there are conflicting opinions even among my colleagues who are lawyers about whether some of these provisions will survive court review.”
* Those of you who have called Dole’s office know that he is quite upset with GOA. That’s O.K., that just means that he’s starting to feel the heat. Don’t let up! Dole’s numbers are: ph) 202-224-6521; fax) 202-228-1245. Urge him to sit on any anti-terrorism bill that comes from the conference committee and contains ANY violation of our rights. That means, you want him to squelch the anti-terrorism bill (that is, keep it from coming up for a vote) if the bill contains any of the following provisions:
(1) A provision to increase the BATF budget by $100 million ($20 million a year through the year 2000); (2) A provision to extend the statute of limitations for violations under the 1934 Act from three years under current law to five years; (3) A provision to expand the ability of the military to enforce civilian law; or (4) A provision to allow the government to wiretap your home if a person subject to a wiretap order visits your home. * Urge your senators (by phone: 202-224-3121; or by mail) to vote against the anti-terrorism bill (when it comes back from the conference committee) should it contain any of the above provisions.
* Many of you have told us that the Republicans and Democrats are starting to look a lot alike. Well, that might be a good message to give to Haley Barbour, Republican National Committee Chairman. His numbers are ph) 202-863-8700 and fax) 202-863-8774. Tell him that the Republicans in Congress seem determined to make the President look good by passing an anti-terrorism bill that he likes, but one which constituents of Republican Congressmen don’t like. Ask him to get this message to Republican members of Congress.
This alert was posted by Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151, (703)321-8585, fax: 321-8408.