An Open Letter To The Pro-gun Community
An Open Letter To The Pro-gun Community
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
Thursday, October 4, 2007
It may be a cliche, but it is true: This letter is written not in anger, but in sorrow and concern. It is written to our friends about NRA staff who, tragically, have taken a course which, we believe, would be disastrous for the Second Amendment and the pro-gun movement.
Two of us are Life Members of the NRA -- one of whom was an NRA board member for over ten years. And our legislative counsel was a paid consultant for the NRA.
So we certainly have no animus against the NRA staff, much less our wonderful friends who are NRA members.
In fact, over the last thirty years, GOA and its staff have worked with NRA to facilitate most of our pro-gun victories -- from McClure-Volkmer to the death of post-Columbine gun control to a gun liability bill free of anti-gun "killer amendments."
But those who staff the NRA, without consulting the membership, have now made a series of strange and dangerous alliances with the likes of Chuck Schumer, Carolyn McCarthy, and Pat Leahy. And we believe that, if allowed to continue, this will produce anti-gun policies which the NRA staff will bitterly regret.
Christ said, in the Sermon on the Mount, that "by their fruits, ye shall know them." And, frankly, these fruits are not likely to produce much pro-gun legislation.
Substantively, the Leahy/McCarthy/Schumer bill, which NRA's staff has vigorously supported without consulting with its membership, would rubber-stamp the illegal and non-statutory BATFE regulations which have already been used to strip gun rights from 110,000 veterans. It would also allow an anti-gun administration to turn over Americans' most private medical records to the federal instant check system without a court order.
But perhaps even worse, the bill was hatched in secret, without hearings or testimony, and passed out of the House without even a roll call. And now, the sponsors are trying to do the same thing in the Senate -- in an effort to ram the bill through without votes or floor debate, led by anti-gun Senator Chuck Schumer. If it is good legislation, as its proponents claim, why such fears of a roll call vote or debate in committee?
Indeed, in the face of horrific dissent from the NRA's own membership, its staff has tragically ignored arguments and dug in its heels -- in an almost "because-we-say-so" attitude.
* Passage of McCarthy/Leahy/Schumer will not quell the calls for gun control. To the contrary, it will embolden our enemies to push for the abolition of even more of our Second Amendment rights. Already, the Brady Campaign has indicated its intent to follow up this "victory" with a push for an effective ban on gun shows.
* Passage of McCarthy/Leahy/Schumer will not be viewed as an "NRA victory." To the contrary, once the liberal media has used the NRA staff for its purposes, it will throw them away like a used Kleenex. Already, an over-confident press is crowing that this is the "first major gun control measure in over a decade."
* Taking the BATFE's horrifically expansive unlawful regulations dealing with veterans' loss of gun rights and making them unchangeable congressionally-endorsed statutory law is NOT "maintaining the status quo."
* We are told that the McCarthy/Leahy/Schumer bill should be passed because it contains special provisions to allow persons prohibited from owning guns to get their rights restored. But there is already such a provision in the law; it is 18 U.S.C. 925(c). And the reason why no one has been able to get their rights restored under CURRENT LAW is that funds for the system have been blocked by Chuck Schumer. It is no favor to gun owners for Chuck Schumer -- the man who has blocked funding for McClure-Volkmer's "relief from disability" provisions for 15 years -- to now offer to give us back a tepid version of the provisions of current law which he has tried so hard to destroy.
Finally, there is the cost, which ranges from $1 billion in the cheapest draft to $5 billion -- to one bill which places no limits whatsoever on spending. Thus, we would be drastically increasing funding for gun control -- at a time when BATFE, which has done so much damage to the Second Amendment, should be punished, rather than rewarded.
We would now respectfully ask the NRA staff to step back from a battle with its membership -- and to join with us in opposing McCarthy/Leahy/Schumer gun control, rather than supporting it.
And, to our friends and NRA members, we would ask that you take this letter and pass it onto your friends and colleagues.
Senator H.L. "Bill" Richardson (ret.)
Founder and Chairman
Michael E. Hammond
Got the same message
And was saddened to read that the NRA is once again compromising.
We have given up too much ground already!
NO MORE COMPROMISE.
Mr Schumer, the BATFE and EVERY anti gun politician in America should be ignored and/or removed from office.
And if the NRA leadership is willing to compromise, then we must have new NRA leadership.
What does NRA say about that?
The title "Veteran's Disarmament Act" is a gross misrepresentation of the bill. It is no such thing. It should more properly be called the Veteran's Rights Restoration Act.Here's what the NRA has to say, in an interview with Glenn Beck;
LaPIERRE: Well, here's the deal. There's a lot of misinformation floating around and let me give you the exact story on it. NRA's been trying to get improvements made in this system for years to make this fair for law-abiding gun owners because 99.9% of the people that go through that system are the good guys. On the other hand if somebody's adjudicated by a court of law to be mentally defective, suicidal, danger to themselves, danger to others, NRA has said for 15 years that court adjudication ought to be part of the file to screen out people that are mentally defective, adjudicated by a court. This bill makes the improvements that NRA has been trying to get in the system for years to make this better for the good guys. There's not one step backward anywhere in this bill if you're a good guy. This bill says that the federal government can never impose a fee on the law-abiding people that go through this system like Bill Clinton was trying to do, put a big fee on it. For the first time it sets up a relief from disability where if you think you're in there unfairly and the fact that you don't have a problem anymore, you can get out of the system. It also sets up a court review in terms of someone that feels they've been unfairly put in this system at the state level. They have an opportunity to have a hearing and get out of it. It sets up a audit every year by the GAO to make sure that the money's being spent for the proper purposes. It also removes incorrect records. It removes irrelevant records. I mean, to sum up, it improves the completeness of a system in terms of the bad guys, the people adjudicated by a court to be mentally defective, but it gets all these irrelevant records out of there. And for the first time ever it helps these veterans that Bill Clinton unfairly, the 90,000 of them put in the system because they came back from war and they had a medical problem from the rigors of war and Bill Clinton put them in the system. They had never been adjudicated by a court. They simply had a medical diagnosis of stress and the Clinton people lumped them in there. Under this Bill the VA is going to be required to set up a system where each one of those veterans can get out of that file and for the first time be able to buy a firearm.
GLENN: All right. Now, this is all good news. This is the bill that you're putting through. Which bill is it?
LaPIERRE: This is the bill in its present form in both the House and the Senate.
GLENN: What is HR 2640 introduced by McCarthy?
LaPIERRE: That -- well, what happened is we hijacked McCarthy's bill. In other words, it has McCarthy's name on it, but it's the John Dingell bill that has McCarty's name on it with all these improvements for the good guys.
GLENN: God bless you. All right, so okay. Because I'm looking at something that is dated September 27th and it still says that there is -- there's a lot of this stuff in here still about ADHD, about, you know, a veteran about posttraumatic stress disorder. They're talking about all kinds of stuff that is in this bill. You are saying that that is no longer in this bill?
LaPIERRE: I'm saying that there is nothing bad -- that is no longer in the bill. There is nothing bad in this bill for the good guys. This bill is going to help for the first time give those veterans a way to get out of the system. If this bill doesn't pass, there will be absolutely no way for those 90,000 veterans that simply had a medical diagnosis of stress to get out from this system if this bill doesn't pass. They're banned forever. There's no way to get out.
GLENN: Okay. Wayne, we've got to go because I've got a hard network break here but I would like to spend more time with you. I am so glad to hear that you guys have been all over, on top of this and that it has been -- that it had been hijacked, to use your words. I know that, you know, we talked a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about the fact that California, they all say that they want to make sure crazy people don't get guns but then how many were -- how many people had their records put into the system that were adjudicated, nuts in, like, the last year? What was it, two, three?
LaPIERRE: That's right.
GLENN: In California.
LaPIERRE: From California, that's exactly right.
GLENN: Again you don't need more laws. You just need to use the system we've already got. Wayne LaPierre, we'll talk to you again, sir. Thank you very much.
LaPIERRE: Thanks, Glenn.
I know Ron Paul might disagree, but as for someone who has had to face mentally defective people with guns, not everyone should be allowed to have a gun.
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