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The People's Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the Right of the people to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed."


Right to Bear Arms News 12/04/01

updated 12/04/01

Subject: Now That It's the Law, You Can Help Arm Pilots

Official Petition Asking Transportation Secretary to Implement the New Law Allowing Guns in Cockpits

-- Ask your Representative to sign the Hostettler-Young Petition

Gun Owners of America E-Mail/FAX Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

(Monday, December 3, 2001) -- Representatives John Hostettler (R-IN) and Don Young (R-AK) need your help. They are petitioning Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to begin implementing the new law which President Bush signed on November 19 allowing pilots to possess firearms for the protection of passengers and crew.

As GOA mentioned in its alert last month, there are certain guidelines which the Secretary (and a still-to-be-named Under Secretary of Transportation) must implement before commercial pilots can begin the important task of protecting their planes.

Representatives Hostettler and Young are now getting other legislators to cosign a letter addressed to Secretary Mineta.

"Both houses of Congress, as well as the Airline Pilots Association, have demonstrated overwhelming support for providing pilots the privilege of protecting their passengers and crew from dangerous threats by responsible means, including the use of firearms," their letter says.

"Accordingly, we hope that you and the new Under Secretary will move expeditiously to implement Section 128 [of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act], in order that these indispensable provisions can be carried out seamlessly and without delay."

ACTION: Representatives Hostettler and Young are trying to get as many Congressional signatures as possible before they send their letter to Secretary Mineta. Please ask your Congressman to sign onto the Hostettler-Young letter petitioning the Secretary for immediate action in this important endeavor. Their deadline is next Wednesday.

And those of you who live in Hostettler's and Young's districts, be sure to thank them for their diligent efforts to get guns back into airplane cockpits.

You can reach the Congress at 202-225-3121. To identify your Representative, as well as to send a message via e-mail, see the Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm on the GOA website.

----- Pre-written message ----- Dear Representative:

As you know, President Bush recently signed legislation establishing guidelines for arming pilots in the cockpits. Representatives John Hostettler and Don Young are petitioning Secretary Norman Mineta to put these procedures into place immediately so that passengers can travel the skies safely once again.

Please call Hostettler's office before the end of Wednesday, December 12 and ask them to add your name to this very important letter. Thank you.

Sincerely,

**************


To subscribe to free, low-volume GOA alerts, go to http://www.gunowners.org/ean.htm on the web. Change of e-mail address may also be made at that location.


updated 12/04/01

Subject: NRA-ILA FAX Alert Vol. 8, No. 47 11/30/01
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 20:41:20 -0500
McCAIN ANNOUNCES ANTI-GUN SHOW
CAMPAIGN WILL BE REVIVED IN JANUARY


On Tuesday, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) told USA TODAY that he will launch an aggressive campaign to promote S. 890 -- the legislation he authored with U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D- Conn.) that would effectively end traditional American gun shows -- as soon as the U.S. Senate convenes in January for the second session of the 107th Congress. In an effort to help move his stalled legislation, McCain has embraced the anti-gun organization Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) and the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI, as well as the shameless strategy these groups have adopted of exploiting our nation`s legitimate fears over terrorism in the wake of the attacks of September 11.

Even more troubling, perhaps, is the fact that Senator McCain is also parroting the AGS/HCI myth that "terrorists" use gun shows to pose a threat to national security. McCain told USA TODAY: "Clearly, alleged members of terrorist organizations have been able to secure guns and weapons using the gun show loophole," a bogus claim AGS began making within days of the terrorist attacks. NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker accused McCain, AGS, and others who attempt to link terrorist acts to legal gun shows of "trying to bootstrap on the Sept. 11 tragedy," and told USA TODAY, "None of the terrorism we saw visited on this country on September 11 had anything to do with firearms." (For the truth regarding the "terrorists at gun shows" myth espoused by McCain, AGS, et al., see NRA-ILA`s FAX Alerts Vol. 8, Nos. 39 & 46.)

It should not be too surprising to find Senator McCain reading from an AGS-supplied script, however, as the Arizona lawmaker and the anti-gun organization have schemed to promote attacks on gun shows for more than a year. AGS -- founded and funded by billionaire and former HCI Board Member Andrew McKelvey -- has committed to spend at least $1 million to promote McCain`s legislation. So much for McCain`s "opposition" to well-funded special interest groups, which has been the rhetorical crux of his efforts to pass campaign finance "reform" legislation.

Besides Lieberman, McCain is also working to promote S. 890 with the Senate`s most vocal anti-gun member, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and he has also recruited the help of Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), a senator whose voting record on firearm legislation has been quite mixed. McCain, likely realizing he does not have enough support to pass his bill through Congress on its own, sent a letter to fellow Senate Republicans that informed them of his intent to attach his bill to another piece of legislation as soon as possible. The probable vehicle, as USA TODAY suggests, will be a "homeland security measure."

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who has been promoting his own attack on gun shows -- S. 767, the reincarnation of the Lautenberg Gun Show bill from the 106th Congress -- apparently feels challenged by McCain`s attempt to grab the anti-gun show media spotlight. He responded to McCain`s announcement with his own, stating on the floor of the U.S. Senate, today, that he would also begin promoting his bill to end gun shows as soon as the Senate convenes in January.

NRA members and the rest of the pro-gun community must contact their federal lawmakers to object to the passage of any legislation that would end gun shows as we know them today. Remind your elected officials that the tools of terrorism used against America have been box cutters, airplanes, and biological weapons, and the war on terrorism will not be won by attacking the rights of American citizens. Existing laws that target the illegal purchase of firearms have proven to be effective in catching the suspected terrorists mentioned in the cases cited by McCain, AGS, and others, so no new laws that target legal gun shows are necessary. You can reach your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. You can also find additional contact information by using the "Write Your Reps" tool at www.NRAILA.org.


VPC EXPOSES
THE FAILURES OF "GUN CONtrOL"


The Violence Policy Center (VPC) -- a radical, obscure organization that advocates banning all handguns -- released a "study" on Wednesday that it clearly hoped would further its gun-ban agenda. But it turns out the group`s work actually reinforces the fact that violent crime is not diminished by imposing draconian restrictions on law-abiding citizens who wish to purchase or possess firearms. The VPC report looked, on a state-by-state basis, at the number of murders of children and adolescents from 1995 to 1999, although it intentionally misclassified everyone under age 18 as "children," in an attempt to use emotionalism, rather than fact, to push its agenda. This intentional misclassification is significant because the vast majority of homicide victims covered under the VPC "study" fall outside the age bracket most legitimate researchers and statisticians classify as children. The uppermost age for classifying children is generally 14 years of age, while VPC also includes as "children" in its report 15- 17-year-olds.

VPC then ranked each state based on its rate of homicides of children and adolescents involving handguns. Three of the four states with the highest rates turned out to be states with the most restrictive laws governing firearms. In fact, the state VPC identified as having the highest rate, Maryland, received the top grade in 2000 from HCI in that group`s rating of states` "laws protecting children from gun violence." Maryland was the only state to receive an "A" grade, while the third and fourth states on the VPC list, Illinois and California, each received "B+" grades from HCI. The VPC report also excluded 11 states because they had fewer than five "child victims" during the five-year period studied (even using their expanded definition of "children"), claiming any rates would be "unreliable." Of the 11 states excluded, nine do not impose onerous restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, thus earning a grade of "D+" or lower in HCI`s 2000 rating.


YET ANOTHER
PRO-GUN VICTORY AT THE POLLS


The pro-gun community enjoyed another victory at the polls last week, as NRA-PVF endorsed candidate John Boozman (R) was elected to represent Arkansas`s Third Congressional District. Boozman, an optometrist with limited political experience, easily defeated State Representative Mike Hathorn (D) by a vote of 56% to 42%. The campaign strategies of both candidates underscored how much of a pariah the anti-gun lobby has become for those seeking elected office. Hathorn, who ran Al Gore`s losing presidential campaign in Arkansas, publicly refused to embrace an anti-gun agenda, adding to the growing number of politicians attempting to distance themselves from the gun-ban lobby. This trend was evident earlier this year, as candidates in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races refused to campaign on anti-gun platforms. The Arkansas special election was held to fill the vacancy created when staunchly pro-gun U.S. Representative Asa Hutchinson (R) gave up his seat to head the Drug Enforcement Administration. Many thanks go out to those Arkansas NRA members who helped with Boozman`s campaign, and turned out on election day to ensure yet another victory at the polls for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.


CPAC 2002


NRA Members are invited to attend CPAC 2002 the 29th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, January 31 - February 2, 2002, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. CPAC is the nation`s premier annual gathering of conservative leaders, celebrities, elected officials, and grassroots activists. Invited speakers for this year`s conference include: President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Margaret Thatcher, NRA President Charlton Heston, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NRA First Vice President Kayne Robinson, U.S. Representative (and NRA Director) Bob Barr (R-Ga.), and many more political pundits and congressional leaders. CPAC is co-sponsored by NRA and more than 60 leading conservative organizations. Register for CPAC 2002 before December 15 to take advantage of the "Early Bird" discount. For additional information, or to register for the conference, call (800) 752-4391, or visit CPAC online at www.cpac.org. Also, through the CPAC student scholarship program, students with valid school ID attend CPAC for free!


A LOOK AT THE STATES

NEW MEXICO

The New Mexico Supreme Court has ordered the Department of Public Safety to cease any action regarding the issuance of Right to Carry licenses, pending a hearing on the case challenging the new state Right to Carry law. As a result, any applications sent to DPS will be returned to sender, and any course taught after this ruling is not considered to be DPS-approved. NRA continues to monitor the situation and work with local attorneys to defeat the lawsuit.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Governor Bill Janklow (R) has publicly stated that he will not allow gun control activists to place restrictions on gun shows in his state. Governor Janklow`s remarks were made in response to a letter sent to Governors by the anti-gun AGS. The letter asked Governors to support AGS` efforts to pass legislation that would eliminate traditional, American gun shows. The gun owners of South Dakota are fortunate to have such a staunch defender of the Second Amendment as their Governor.

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