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NRA Letter To The Editor Of The <i>Los Angeles Times</i>

Thursday, August 9, 2001

Below is a letter by James J. Baker to the Los Angeles Times responding to commentary by flack-for-hire Scott Reed. The LA Times chose not to provide the NRA an opportunity to respond to Reed`s anti-NRA views by refusing to print Mr. Baker`s brief but succint response.

LOS ANGELES TIMES Gun Shows and Politics by James Jay Baker August 2, 2001 Dear Editor: Scott Reed’s packaged rhetoric offering the Republican Party advice on “how to win back women” [commentary, August 2], by supporting new gun control measures merits response if only to disclose one salient fact: Scott Reed is a hired gun (pardon the pun) of billionaire Andrew McKelvey’s gun-control group, Americans for Gun Safety (AGS). This fact helps divulge why an ex-GOP campaign operative, who once unabashedly solicited money and support from the National Rifle Association (NRA) would suddenly have a new viewpoint on this issue. But his willingness to flack-for-cash on this issue also fulfills a belief that is widely held in Washington ever since campaign manager Reed coaxed a reluctant Bob Dole into bungling the gun issue in Dole’s ill-fated 1996 presidential campaign - that Reed simply doesn’t “get” the politics of Second Amendment freedoms Basic review will reveal that there is no gun show “loophole.” All federal and state laws governing who can buy and sell firearms apply at gun shows. With little regard to this fact, Mr. Reed’s bankroller and some in Congress are proposing a waiting period for gun show transfers of up to five days nationwide. Rudimentary math can show that imposing a five-day waiting period on a two-day event will abrogate transactions and put gun shows permanently out-of-business. The NRA supported a bill in Congress that would have provided for an instant background check of no longer than 24 hours through the National Instant Check System on every gun sold at a gun show. Nonetheless, the Democratic leadership in the House killed that proposal. Some pundits, at that time, speculated Democrats did this to make gun control the centerpiece of the 2000 presidential election. Even more pundits today say that this tactic cost Al Gore the presidency. Mr. Reed would also lead one to believe that most criminals obtain their weapons at gun shows. A National Institute of Justice survey found that less than 2% of criminals’ firearms came from gun shows. The core of Mr. Reed’s assertion is that backing his billionaire boss’s pet legislation will help the GOP woo women voters. But, women are the fastest growing segment of gun owners and NRA members. And, what motivates these daughters, mothers and grandmothers to purchase firearms? The answer is elementary; keeping themselves and their loved ones safe. In closing, here’s one final point. AGS, with a billionaire backer and poll-tested moniker, has zero Americans for members and nothing to do with gun safety. In contrast, the NRA has 4.4 million law-abiding Americans living in every congressional district of this nation and a 130 year old legacy of teaching and investing in gun safety. James Jay Baker Executive Director NRA Institute for Legislative Action Fairfax, VA
Read Scott Reed`s article here For more information see: The Gun Show "Loophole:" More Gun Control Disguised as Crime Control Lieberman-McCain Gun Show Bill Sen. Jack Reed`s S. 767 The 1999 Lautenberg "Gun Show" Bill With a New Sponsor The Truth about Gun Shows Gun Shows Under Attack!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.