Guns and Politics

GOP Support of 'Right to Bear Assault Rifles' Driven by GREED, Not 'Constitutional Ideals'
Guns and Politics

The Repugs and those who funnel millions to them in exchange for favors at the public's expense like to hide their true, self-serving motives beneath a veneer of pseudo-patriotic "ideals." Trampling civil rights is thus "national security," while slaughtering civilians in poor countries is called "bringing democracy." The biggest con job of all is perhaps the gun issue. Ask any Limbaugh-fed Repug and they will claim (outrageously!) that owning an assault rifle is somehow a Constitutional "right" - a "second amendment issue." What a sick joke! In reality, it's not about ideals, the constitution, or the right to bear arms...it's all about the MONEY. Lots and Lots of money - gun rights groups have given Congressfolk over $17 million in the past decade. And, behind the gun rights people stand the arms industry, who make a KILLING (in every way) off unlimited gun sales.

Gun Owners are Divided over Bush
Guns and Politics

Evan Derkacz writes, "Many [gun-owning] libertarians are up in arms at the Bush administration's cavalier treatment of the Bill of Rights. In the name of the 'war on terror,' the Patriot Act has turned certain rights - illegal search and seizure, due process, right to counsel, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment; aka amendments 4 through 8 - into mere contingencies. A writer for a prominent libertarian blog caused a ripple in libertarian circles recently by proclaiming that, 'This is really the first presidential race of my adult life in which I've had a very strong commitment about which major-party candidate was the lesser evil.' The 'lesser evil' he's referring to, the one he's voting for in November, is John Kerry. Democrats can also breathe easier knowing that Kerry is no Al Gore. While Gore took to gun control rhetoric - presumably seeing, in the anti-gun million-mom march, a million polling levers pulled in his direction - Kerry has heeded the lesson and taken up arms."

Americans Flock to Get on NRA's Secret Blacklist
Guns and Politics

"Most blacklists are designed to intimidate. But thousands of Americans are clamoring to join one drawn up by the National Rifle Association. Actor Dustin Hoffman was so dismayed to find his name missing from the NRA's shadowy 19-page list that he wrote to the powerful pro-gun lobby group begging to be included. 'I was particularly surprised by the omission given my opposition to the loophole that makes it legal for 18- to 20-year-olds to buy handguns at gun shows,' he wrote... The list...reads like a Who's Who of American business, culture and religion and which ranges from the American Jewish Congress to A&M Records, ABC News and Oprah Winfrey. The list was found deep in the official NRA Web site by a group of grass-roots anti-gun campaigners... The campaigners set up their own Web site (http://www.NRAblacklist.com) and urged Americans to voluntarily put their names there. A full-page ad in Daily Variety - the Hollywood trade magazine - urged movie and music artists to sign up."

AOL Time Warner Endorses NRA-Supported Gun Extremist Candidates
Guns and Politics

If you buy any AOL Time Warner products - and it's practically impossible not to - then YOUR money is being used to elect NRA-supported candidates who oppose EVERY attempt to enact sensible gun control. ATW's Field and Stream magazine includes a "Voter's Guide" that encourages sports hunters to defeat anyone who doesn't support the NRA's extreme agenda. Tell CEO Richard Parsons that you'll cancel your cable, Internet and magazine subscriptions unless they switch to a pro-gun control policy: AOLTimeWarnerIR@aol.com 866-INFO-AOL

Are You Fired Up by 'Bowling for Columbine'? Then Defeat the 'Dangerous Dozen'
Guns and Politics

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, united with the Million Mom March, has released its "Dangerous Dozen" list of 12 candidates for the United States Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and state governorships whose election could make the difference between common-sense gun laws and laws that make it easy for children and criminals to get guns. Senate candidates: Wayne Allard (R-CO), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Doug Forrester (R-NJ), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Jim Talent (R-MO). Gubernatorial candidates: Jeb Bush (R-FL), Robert Ehrlich (R-MD), Mike Fisher (R-PA), Bill Simon (R-CA). House incumbents: Joe Baca (D-CA), Phil Crane (R-IL), Tom Delay (R-TX-22), Dennis Hastert (R-IL-4), Richard Pombo (R-CA-11). Cliff Stearns (R-FL-6) House challengers: Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Dick Monteith (R-CA).

If NRA Republicans Control Congress, They Will Repeal the Assault Weapon Ban
Guns and Politics

The Bushmaster XM15 A3 M4 is a civilian version of the standard American military rifle, the M-16, made with a removable handle on top so that a scope can be easily mounted on it. But Bushmaster's "copies of the M-16 were not assault weapons, since they do not have collapsible stocks, flash suppressers or a mounting to install a bayonet, some features that were ruled out by the 1994 ban. The magazine of the XM15 also holds only 10 rounds, the permissible limit set by the 1994 ban... The ban on assault weapons expires in 2004 and is considered likely to be the subject of a major fight in Congress. The National Rifle Association strongly opposed the ban and has made not renewing it a priority. The association has also opposed the prohibition on people under a restraining order from buying a gun." Imagine how many people would be dead if Muhamad had a REAL assault weapon. And if the NRA Republicans win Congress, the next Muhamad will have one. Defeat ALL Republicans!

How Did Muhammad Get His Bushmaster?
Guns and Politics

Muhammad's Bushmaster "was first sold to a distributor in Washington State last June. [Bushmaster Firearms] declined to identify the wholesaler and said he did not know how or where Mr. Muhammad acquired the rifle." Muhammad was under an order of protection from his ex-wife, which made it illegal for him to buy or possess a gun. With the strong encouragement of Feminists, Democrats enacted this law over the vehement objections of the NRA and the Republicans. So how did Muhammad get his Bushmaster? Most likely, he bought it at a gun show - which is EXEMPT from the background check requirement, thanks to Republicans and the NRA.

Bush and The Bushmaster
Guns and Politics

BuzzFlash writes, "Richard E. Dyke, the owner of Bushmaster Firearms, was the chief fundraiser for Bush in Maine, where Bushmaster is located, until July of 1999... Mr. Bush's supporters, such as Dyke and the gun lobby, endanger the lives of everyday Americans and law enforcement officials. Bush opposes pro-law enforcement, crime prevention and crime solving legislation that could help curtail future sniper attacks because the gun lobby told him to. He hangs out with the likes of Mr. Bushmaster, and we assume, still accepts his blood money... Bush was AWOL, as usual, as the sniper took his toll with a Bushmaster. The 'Commander in Chief' was too busy campaigning and raising money to try and create a one-party government that will last as long as his permanent war. It is all too fitting -- and tragic for our nation -- that American citizens were victims of an internal terrorist attack carried out with a Bushmaster gun."

'Bowling for Columbine' Opens in Major Cities
Guns and Politics

Michael Moore's new film, "'Bowling for Columbine' is an alternately humourous and horrifying film about the United States. It is a film about the state of the Union, about the violent soul of America. Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence? The talking heads yelling from every TV camera blame everything from Satan to video games. But are we that much different from many other countries? What sets us apart? How have we become both the master and victim of such enormous amounts of violence? This is not a film about gun control. It is a film about the fearful heart and soul of the United States, and the 280 million Americans lucky enough to have the right to a constitutionally protected Uzi." After opening to rave reviews last weekend in NYC and Los Angeles, this weekend it opens in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, and this week's ground zero for gun murder - Washington DC.

NRA Slave Bush Adamantly Opposes Gun Fingerprinting
Guns and Politics

It doesn't matter how many innocent Americans the DC snipers killed - Bush adamantly refuses to consider gun fingerprinting. If law enforcement had the prints of the DC sniper, who knows how many lives would have been saved. Coincidentally, Bushcroft this very month begins fingerprinting tourists from the Middle East, with the eventual goal of fingerprinting the 35 million foreigners who annually visit the US. But fingerprint guns? Fuggeddaboutit! Why not? It's the NRA, stupid! Defeat ALL Republicans!

Sarah Brady and the Million-Mom March Praise Frank Lautenberg for His Tireless Efforts to End Gun Violence
Guns and Politics

In a recent rally, gun law reform activist Sarah Brady praised Sen. candidate Frank Lautenberg for his activism in gun violence prevention. "Frank Lautenberg is a true leader in the fight for gun violence prevention. He understands that sensible gun laws save lives," said Brady. "He fought to pass the Brady Law in 1993 which, since its inception, has stopped more than 840,000 criminals, terrorists and prohibited purchasers from buying guns." Lautenberg also authored the law that prohibits anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from possessing a firearm. Since its enactment in 1996, the Lautenberg Domestic Violence Gun Ban has stopped more than 70,000 domestic abusers from buying guns." With the recent sniper killings, Frank's activism should be all the more appreciated by NJ voters.

Michael Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine' Opens This Weekend in NY & LA
Guns and Politics

Michael Moore writes: "I am happy and excited to tell you that this Friday, October 11, my new film, 'Bowling for Columbine,' will open in NY and LA. It is, I promise, the last thing the Bushies want projected on the movie screens across America this week. The film is...a devastating indictment of the violence that is done in our name for profit and power -- and no one, in all the advance screenings I have attended, has left the theatre with anything short of rage. I truly believe this film has the potential to rock the nation and get people energized to do something. This is not good news for Junior and Company!...If you live in New York, you can see it at the Lincoln Plaza, the Sunshine and the Loews 19th St. In L.A., you can catch it at the Sunset 5, the Westwood Regent, Laemmle Sunset, Laemmle Towncenter (Encino), Landmark Rialto (Pasadena), and Regal University (Irvine). Also, please forward this to your other friends and tell them to go see 'Bowling for Columbine' this weekend."

Heed the Rants of Gun Nuts Before You Vote
Guns and Politics

Your dog needs a license. Your car needs a license. To buy a weapon that kills people, you don't need a license. Something is seriously wrong here! If every gun was registered and licensed, the police would have caught the Maryland killer already. The Illinois Rifle Association has some other crazy thought - they think it is the "anti-gun movement" that is killing people. Here is a quote from their newsletter, "Far be it from us to advance conspiracy theories, but the timing of this sniper activity is unsettling...Maryland has one of the hottest governor's races in the country...The central theme of the MD race is gun control. Things heat up. There is this off-the-wall series of sniper killings. Murder made to order for the antigunners. Hmmm, weren't there some other high-profile mass gun killings at strangely convenient times?"

NRA Tries to Hijack Close Democratic Primary in Michigan
Guns and Politics

The NRA is a 100% right-wing Republican operation that takes credit for helping Bush steal the 2000 election. In the 2000 Congressional campaign, the NRA ran 52 phone banks in close races - EVERY ONE to elect a Republican. So it is outrageous that the NRA is putting its vast financial resources - collected primarily from gun SELLERS who profit from selling guns to criminals - to meddle in a close DEMOCRATIC primary in Michigan between Rep. John Dingell (pro-NRA) and Rep. Lynn Rivers (pro-gun control). Even worse, the NRA is trying to get large numbers of registered REPUBLICANS to vote in the Democratic primary, which is allowed under Michigan law. If you have a friend that lives in the Ann Arbor area, or in Southeast Michigan, call them or email them. Let the NRA know that the Democratic primary next Tuesday is for Michigan Democrats, not NRA Republicans!

Rendell's Victory Is Another DEFEAT for the NRA - and a VICTORY for Gun Control
Guns and Politics

Joseph Sudbay writes in BuzzFlash, "Where are all the pro-gun pundits now? Last week, with the news that the National Rifle Association (NRA) was going to launch an ad campaign against gubernatorial candidate Ed Rendell in Pennsylvania, pundits were predicting that the primary race was going to tighten up and probably result in Rendell's defeat. FoxNews.com ran an article, featured prominently on the NRA's web page, titled 'Pa. Democratic Primary Focuses on Guns.' On May 16, 2001, five days before the primary, one Pennsylvania paper, The Morning Call, featured a story titled, 'NRA ads could help give Casey the edge, political analysts say.' Instead, Rendell thumped the NRA-backed candidate, Bob Casey, by a wider than expected margin: 56% to 44%. This in a state where the NRA boasts membership that is second only to California. [But] there will be virtually no commentary that the gun issue worked for Rendell because it defies the prevailing 'conventional' political wisdom."

After Losing Most of its 2000 Races, NRA Now Means 'No Republicans Anymore'!
Guns and Politics

The NRA touted its political prowess over the weekend, but it's just one more right wing big lie. "Steve Cobble, Director of the Campaign for a Progressive Future, tells Tapped that the 2000 Senate elections were actually a fiasco for the NRA: 1. Five of the top 7 independent expenditures made by the NRA were to Senate candidates who lost. The NRA lost 5 of its best friends in the Congress: Rod Grams, Spencer Abraham, Slade Gorton, Bill McCollum and John Ashcroft... 2. Similarly, 7 of the top 9 independent expenditures by the NRA in House races were for candidates who lost. 3. The NRA also lost in 6 out of 7 Governor's races in which they were involved. 4. Two ballot measures, both to close the gun show loophole in Colorado and Oregon, were passed by the voters by large margins... 5. And let's not forget that while both presidential candidates ducked the gun issue, The NRA's candidate -- George W. Bush -- got a half-a-million fewer votes than Al Gore." So writes the American Prospect.

NRA Champion's Son Kills Woman with Handgun
Guns and Politics

Minnesota is reeling from the killing of Itasca Community College student Angela Aho, age 20, who was shot by 24 year-old Brett Lessard while Aho was photographing him for a class project. According to Buzzflash, "The man who accidentally shot and killed a woman while he was posing and preening with his Glock handgun is the son of a Minnesota state senator who sponsored a failed attempt last year to pass a shall-issue CCW there. Translated, that means his papa wanted to let just about anyone in the state of Minnesota have the right to pack heat as they walked and drove around the land of 10,000 lakes. In short, the father of the shooter carries the water bucket for the NRA in Minnesota." Hey Charlton Heston, what do you say to this mindless killing?

Clinton's Gun Policies Significantly Reduced Gun Violence - And the Republican Media Won't Tell America
Guns and Politics

"Gun violence among teens and young adults declined during the 1990s, according to an analysis of national data presented recently at the Society for Adolescent Medicine's annual meeting in Boston... In 1990, there were 25.8 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 people aged 15 to 24 in the United States. This number had declined to 19.9 per 100,000 by 1998." The reduction of gun violence and crime in the 1990's can be directly attributed to the passing of the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, which were supported and passed by President Clinton in 1994. John Ashcroft and George W. Bush are doing everything in their power to overturn the Brady Bill, which will make our country go back to the high crime rates we had under Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush.

Gun Owners May Protest Cheney Visit to Salt Lake City
Guns and Politics

Utah Republicans are angry that the Secret Service will require them to leave their guns outside the convention hall when Cheney comes to visit. Bu$h-Cheney believe in unlimited gun rights, except if THEY are in the same room as all the gun nuts they cynically encourage, just to get their votes. But as long as the guns are used to kill 5,000 children each year, well that's ok with Bu$h-Cheney.

U.S. Number One Arms Supplier to World, Including Developing, Often Unstable Nations
Guns and Politics

No wonder Bush wants to throw up a Star Wars shield: the U.S. is creating the need for one itself. Last year, America sold nearly $18.6 BILLION worth of weaponry to other countries, with a whopping TWO-THIRDS of the arms going to developing countries. U.S. arms sales now account for HALF of all arms sales in the world. And we aren't just talking small arms here - we are talking high tech defense systems. There appears to be a conscious effort here to destabilize the world and to keep it that way (destablized, war-ravaged countries make easier pickings for corporate exploitation). In any case, hypocrisy reigns supreme in the pattern of sales. For example, while the U.S. professes to be behind Israel 100%, it recently sold 80 F-16 fighter planes to the United Arab Emirates - nations which, if war erupted in the Middle East, would likely back Palestine. Of course we sold even more weapons to Israel, as if to insure that, in the event of war, maximum destruction could be guaranteed.

US Trafficking in Major Weaponry Begun under Bush, Sr. Has Placed $3 Billion in Firepower in Hands of Foreign Powers, Many Unstable
Guns and Politics

The General Accounting Office has revealed that since 1989 the US has disposed of surplus weapons with a book value of more than $3 billion since the end of the Cold War. The practice of unloading weapons was initiated under Bush, Sr. (Before that Bush was at the heart of Iran-Contra and he also directed the covert arming of the Iraqi military). According to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) -- an arms control think tank in Washington DC -- the US "give-aways" included machine guns, grenade launchers and helicopters to Argentina, M60 battle tanks and missiles to Bahrain, surveillance aircraft and jet engines to Bangladesh, military transport planes to Botswana and Zimbabwe, combat helicopters to Jordan, assault rifles and ammunition to the Philippines and utility helicopters and assault rifles to Senegal. Now, under G.W. Bush, the trade in small arms will also flourish.

Gale 'What's the Difference Between an Industrial Park and a National Park?' Norton Keynote Speaker for NRA Convention
Guns and Politics

Back in Feb. 2000, NRA First VP Kayne B. Robinson smugly announced, "If we win [the election]we'll have a president...where we work out of their office." Guess old gun-totin' Calamity Kayne was right! Not only is the NRA working out of the White House, the Bush administration is providing them with keynote speakers! This weekend, Gale Norton (who can't tell the difference between national parks and industrial parks) will hold forth at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Kansas City, MO. God only knows what topic she'll choose - maybe she'll call to ease regulations against shooting condors - hey, there's more than one of them out there now so they can't be THAT endangered, right?

Billion Mom March Against Guns Kicked Off on Mother's Day and Promptly Ignored by U.S. Media
Guns and Politics

We guess one billion women aren't worth the notice of the mainstream media when they are pushing for something unpopular with the GOP: gun control. So the UN-sponsored world-wide Billion Mom march was kicked off to media silence on Mother's Day. The year round mobilization includes organizers from dozens of countries, including Donna Dees Thomases and Mindy Finklestein of the U.S. (who ran the Million Mom Marches here). As the GOP-run government has not seen fit to stem the orgy of guns (Bush won't even close the infamous gunshow loophole), the women have launched a letter-writing campaign to the mothers and wives of Shrub and congressional leaders, pleading with them to impress on their sons and husbands the vital need for better gun laws. You go girls!

Million Moms Launch Cybermarch for Action on Gun Control
Guns and Politics

Two years after Columbine, the Million Mom March wants action on gun control legislation. "With a website and a dream, a few good moms set out to mobilize support for common sense gun laws. Word-of-email propelled their message at light speed and thrust the Million Mom March into the national spotlight last Mother's Day with a record number of 750,000 mothers and others on the national mall. From April 19th to May 14th, we will be looking for a few good cybermoms to sign online a letter to Mrs. George W. Bush (with cc's to the wives and mothers of our Congressional leaders) to solicit their support in getting their husbands and sons in step with the Million Mom March for sensible gun laws."

Two Teens Arrested with .22-caliber Rifle
Guns and Politics

Two 17-year-old students were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder after police found a "hit list" with 16 names of fellow students - and a .22-caliber rifle. As always, the question is - how did they get the gun???

Catholic School Girl Answers Bush with Bullets
Guns and Politics

On Monday, Bush blamed teachers, not guns, for the shooting spree at Santee CA. "When America teaches our children right from wrong and teaches values that respect life in our country, we'll be better off," Bush declared. Today, a Catholic schoolgirl in eighth grade proved yet again that the curriculum doesn't matter, nor does school prayer or religious images on the wall. IT'S THE GUNS, STUPID - and we mean you, George.

Does an 8-Year-Old Have the Right to Bear Arms?
Guns and Politics

On the same day as the Santee, CA high school shootings, an 8-year-old boy in Pennsylvania brought a 9 mm gun to school and threatened his classmate. "He threatened to shoot me. He threatened to make a bloodbath and throw me in the dumpster," a 9-year old girl told her teacher, who then called the police. Still, we wouldn't want to infringe on his Constitutional rights, would we?

Another School Shooting - and Bush Blames the Pro-choice Majority, not Gun Peddlers
Guns and Politics

Andy Williams, a 9th grader in Santee, CA killed 2 students and wounded at least 13 others. The Commander-in-Thief, who was elected by the NRA and abortion opponents, used outrageous anti-abortion code words - "respect life," the name of a Catholic anti-abortion campaign - to divert anger away from gun sellers and instead to attack abortion rights supporters. "When America teaches our children right from wrong and teaches values that respect life in our country, we'll be better off," he said - this from the Governor who enthusiastically executed the most prisoners, and then mocked his victims. Sorry George - we won't be better off until the Republican Party stops helping gun sellers peddle death to our children.

NRA Fires Warning Shot at McCain and Lieberman
Guns and Politics

It looks like Sen. McCain (R-AZ) is in the NRA's line of fire over his work with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Americans for Gun Safety to close the "gun-show loophole". Be Careful, John -- they've ALL got guns!!

It's Not the Guns, Stupid
Guns and Politics

Some conservative Democrats say support for gun control hurt Democratic candidates in 2000. But E.J. Dionne blows away that argument with the facts. Gun control, along with environment, abortion rights, and economic growth have increased Democratic support in traditionally Republican suburbs. Only in certain southern states with large rural areas is gun control a negative factor, and it is only part of a much larger cultural divide. Dionne advises Democrats to not abandon gun control, but to instead look for deeper reasons for Democratic difficulties in rural areas. Like Republican domination of the media, disenfranchising minority voters, and stealing elections.

Mayor Daley is Up in Arms Against the Gun Industry
Guns and Politics

Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley has once again become militant in his plans to rid the city of illegal handguns. Spurred on by this week's shooting at the White House, and others closer to home, he has doubled the size of the Chicago Anti-Gun Enforcement unit, is working on getting tough legislation passed and has appealed the ruling in the City's $433 million lawsuit against gunmakers. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration will be working with the NRA and the Republican Congress to outlaw lawsuits against the gun industry.

Does the NRA Have a New Poster Boy?
Guns and Politics

Robert Pickett of Evansville, IN is a friendly neighbor, an accountant who never married and lived in his parent's modest home. All was not right under the surface, however, and Pickett went a bit nuts with a gun outside the White House. But why the big fuss? Wasn't he just exercising his constitutional right to bear arms?

In Case You Forgot, With Bush We Get A Two for One: Chuck Heston and the NRA Come with Bush/Cheney
Guns and Politics

Emboldened by his backing of Bush, Chuck Heston is now telling the Brits that they need guns just like America. Of course, we are the most well-armed country in the world and look what it's done for us: created a spiraling cycle of gun violence. Well, rest assured if Bush moves into the White House, Chuck Heston and his gun-toting cronies will be breaking out the Scotch in the West Wing. Don't be surprised to see the White House Lawn used for NRA target practice.

NRA to Launch Ad Campaign Attacking Democratic Leadership
Guns and Politics

Charlton Heston will star in an NRA attack ad to be launched next week. Timed to coincide with the Democratic convention, the political wing of the gun lobby is waging a high-risk, full throttle effort to elect George W. Bush. A senior NRA official recently asserted that the gun lobby will have an office at the White House if "Dubya" wins in November.