Assault on the Second
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Excerpted from Howard Phillips Issues & Strategy Bulletin of July 15, 2002
ASHCROFT ENDORSES BRADY BILL
Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, asks "If the Bush Administration is so gung-ho for gun rights, why are they going against an overwhelming majority of the American people and the Airline Pilots Association by opposing the right of pilots to have firearms and to serve as the last line of defense in the battle against terrorism in the skies?
"And why is Attorney General Ashcroft backpedaling on the remarks he made that the Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of individuals, not just militias, to keep and bear arms?
"In a recent interview on Larry King, John Ashcroft said Reasonable regulations regarding the ownership of weapons are appropriate and [the Brady restrictions] are reasonable regulations, and theyre to be defended [by the Bush Administration].
"The Administration also stated that our individual gun rights are subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict possession of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse.
"So who are unfit persons? Airline Pilots? Teachers? Residents of Washington, D.C.? Right now, all three groups of people are, apparently, unfit to carry firearms for their self-defense.
"I hate to say it but I am beginning to question the depth of support this Administration really has for our gun rights." [Undated]
GWBs "PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS" IS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL ASSAULT ON THE 2d AMENDMENT
"As Project Safe Neighborhoods, the centerpiece of President Bushs crime fighting program, comes into effect, a new study from the Cato Institute finds that it is unconstitutional, wreaks havoc on federal courts, allows prosecutorial mischief affecting the racial composition of juries, and will likely lead to a mindless zero tolerance policy for technical infractions of gun laws. The report also shows that Second Amendment rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, are wrong to support the plan."
FEDERAL PROSECUTION OF STATE AND LOCAL GUN POSSESSION CRIMES EXPANDS BUREAUCRATS POWER TO HARASS
"Like its prototype, Virginias Project Exile, Project Safe Neighborhoods will channel gun-possession crimes that would ordinarily be prosecuted at the state level into the federal system. In addition to federalizing gun crimes, Project Safe Neighborhoods acts as a prosecution-stimulus package, funding the placement of over 700 new prosecutors (113 federal, 600 state) who will do nothing but pursue gun law violations full-time."
"In There Goes the Neighborhood: The Bush-Ashcroft Plan to "Help" Localities Fight Gun Crime, attorney Gene Healy explains that the federal government has no authority to enact the type of criminal statutes used by the program. Although the president has promised to make respect for federalism a priority in his administration, Healy says Bushs initiatives suggest that, where it counts, political expediency will trump respect for federalism.
"By rewarding prosecutors for the number of gun convictions attained, Project Safe Neighborhoods creates an incentive structure that will lead to a proliferation of technical-violation indictments regardless of their merit, Healy writes. Such convictions include the sentencing of a rehabilitated felon to 15 years for possession of a single bullet."
LOCAL INFRACTIONS PROSECUTED IN FOREIGN JURISIDICTIONS
"Safe Neighborhoods also threatens the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by allowing prosecutors to select their preferred forum federal or state on the basis of the racial composition of the respective jury pools, Healy writes. In Richmond, Virginia, where project exile was first implemented, the jury pool for the state-level circuit court is approximately 75 percent African-American, he writes. In contrast, the jury pool for the Eastern District of Virginia [is] only about 10 percent African-American. "
NRA GAVE $125,000 TO PROJECT EXILE
"While the desire to tackle the problem of violent crime without adding to gun laws already on the books is laudable, Healy argues, gun rights groups are misguided to support Projects Exile and Safe Neighborhoods going as far as contributing $125,000 to Exile in the NRAs case.
" NRA officials such as Wayne LaPierre and Charlton Heston repeatedly assailed President Bill Clinton for failing to enforce federal firearms statutes, without ever explaining why such cases should be brought in federal court, Healy writes. The supporters of federalizing gun crime lack even a compelling policy rationale let alone constitutional grounds for ignoring the distinction between local and interstate matters. " Source: Cato News Release Policy Analysis no. 440 (www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-440es), 5/28/02, Gene Healy, attorney and senior editor
Excerpted from Howard Phillips Issues & Strategy Bulletin of June 15, 1999
ATTENTION, CRIMINALS! VENTURA DOESN'T DIAL 911
Appearing on the June 3 edition of CNBC's Hardball was Minnesota's Reform Party Governor, Jesse Ventura.
GOV. JESSE VENTURA: "[T]here's a man in Minnesota who supports the Second Amendment, an attorney, and he's got a big sticker that you can put on your door. It's got a handgun with a circle and a line through it. ... It says, 'This is a gun-free home.' And--and he's offered to give that to people to put on their houses."
CHRIS MATTHEWS: "Why on Earth would anybody put that on their..."
GOV. VENTURA: "Exactly. ... You know what I have on my house?"
CHRIS MATTHEWS: "What?"
GOV. VENTURA: "I have a big--a big plaque that has a handgun on it that says, 'We don't dial 911.'"
"COMPROMISE" ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS, IPSO FACTO, A DEFEAT
Joe Sobran writes in The Wanderer (6/10/99, p. 5) that "Every time a new gun control law is proposed, we seem to hear follow-up stories to the effect that the National Rifle Association is willing to support 'compromise legislation,' as if that settled that. All it really settles is that the NRA is willing to barter away the Second Amendment. Who appointed the NRA the Second Amendment's guardian, anyway? I guess it's taken for granted that all opponents of gun control have delegated the NRA to represent them, even if the NRA should opt for unconditional surrender."
PRINCIPLES ONCE SURRENDERED ARE DIFFICULT TO REGAIN
"But even if that were true -- even if nobody in this country owned guns or wanted to own them -- it wouldn't justify the strangulation of the Second Amendment. The Constitution is supposed to be nonnegotiable. That's the whole idea of a written constitution.
"Nevertheless, liberals have successfully made the NRA another right-wing bogeyman....And the question being debated is not whether we shall have federal gun control, but how much. ..."
CONGRESS HAS ZERO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT YOUR GUN RIGHTS
"As one of Rush Limbaugh's listeners put it the other day, 'What is it about "shall not be infringed" that you don't understand?' This is one issue where the Constitution couldn't be clearer. Not only is there no positive authorization for Congress to control firearms, it is positively forbidden to do so. Most of Congress' powers are enumerated in article 1, section 8 (and in a few subsequent amendments), after the words: 'The Congress shall have power....'"
MONOPOLY OF FORCE MUST BE PREVENTED
"Gun control didn't make the list, and the Second Amendment underlined the point that its absence from the list was no oversight. Part of the idea of federalism was that the federal government shouldn't possess a monopoly of power, political or military. The Ninth Amendment added that the people retain rights besides those expressly enumerated, and self defense was assumed to be a basic natural right -- 'paramount to every positive form of government,' as Alexander Hamilton put it. And the Tenth Amendment makes it extra clear that Congress has no powers besides those which are 'delegated' to it in the Constitution. ..."
NO ONE CAN SURRENDER OUR RIGHTS, IN OUR NAME, WITHOUT OUR CONSENT
"And the Constitution nowhere adds the stipulation: '...unless, of course, the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party are willing to go along with such a law.' ..."
ENOUGH "HALF-LOAVES" TO FILL A STATIST WAREHOUSE
"Ain't it always the way? Conservative and Republican 'leaders' likewise promise to hold the line against further government growth, and they wind up supporting 'compromise measures,' on the principle that half a loaf is better than a loaf. So we are left with much less than half of the Constitution. ...
"The gun control debate is an instructive illustration of how this process actually happens. The side that allegedly defends the Constitution assumes the prerogative of making concessions to the side that is committing aggression against it. Which means that the putative defenders aren't really on the 'side' of the Constitution itself."
Excerpted from Howard Phillips Issues & Strategy Bulletin of May 15, 1999
DON'T LOSE TRACK OF THE GUN CONTROL REPUBLICANS
On a crucial 51 to 47 roll call vote (Senate Roll Call no. 111, 5/12/99) in which the Senate rejected mandatory background checks on private sales at gun shows, six Republicans almost gave Bill Clinton a first-round victory in his assault on our Second Amendment rights.
The six pro-gun control Republicans were: Chafee (R.I.), DeWine (Ohio), Fitzgerald (Ill.), Lugar (Ind.), Voinovich (Ohio), and Warner (Va.).
GOP PREEMPTIVELY SURRENDERS THE SECOND AMENDMENT
The next day, there were more defections as the Republican leadership switched sides, accepting the liberal argument that social stability requires the people of the U.S. to be denied their God-given right of self-defense.
JOHN ASHCROFT LEADS EFFORT TO CRIMINALIZE POSSESSION OF GUNS AND AMMO
The Senate voted 96-2 to close a loophole in a law that bans anyone under age 18 from buying a handgun, and to extend the prohibition to youth purchases of semi-automatics.
Two Republicans, Bob Smith of New Hampshire and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, voted no on the amendment by Missouri Republican John Ashcroft.
UNPRINCIPLED PANIC AS "BIG TENT" PACHYDERMS ARE ROUTED
The Senate approved--59 to 39, an amendment by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to ban importation of ammunition clips that enabled "assault weapons" to fire more than 10 rounds.
The anti-gun rights Republicans were:
Abraham (Mich.), Bennett (Utah), Chafee (R.I.), Collins, (Maine), Coverdell (Ga.), DeWine (Ohio), Domenici (N.M.), Fitzgerald (Ill.), Frist (Tenn.), Grassley (Iowa), Gregg (N.H.), Hutchinson (Ark.), Jeffords, (Vt.), Lugar (Ind.), Nickles (Okla.), Roth (Del.), Sessions (Ala.), Smith (Ore.), Voinovich (Ohio), and Warner (Va.). (Roll Call no. 116, 5/13/99)
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