In order to foster the ruse that there was a link between gun shows and terrorism, AGS selectively edited material it sent journalists and members of Congress to try to create a nexus for its agenda of placing new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. The AGS "fact sheet" mailing states an FBI informant previously had seen Boumelhem in Beirut unloading shipments of weapons and explosives. The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, which AGS cites as its source, is much more specific, saying the FBI informant "had seen Boumelhem in Beirut unloading shipments of automatic weapons, explosives, grenades and rocket launchers." Clearly, "automatic weapons, explosives, grenades and rocket launchers" was changed to "weapons and explosives" by AGS, knowing full well that none of those items can be bought or sold at any gun show anywhere in America.
AGS, the recent creation of anti-gun billionaire (and a past board member of the gun-ban lobby formally known as HCI) Andrew McKelvey, was conceived as a public relations ploy to push the same old gun control agenda behind the facade of "third way" centrist rhetoric. And despite its carefully focus-grouped moniker, McKelvey`s creation has zero Americans for members and nothing to do with gun safety programs.
AGS is joined in its shameless exploitation of tragedy by McKelvey`s old friends at HCI. But Sarah Brady`s gun-ban lobby took Oliphant`s column a step further, and is using it to promote the registration of all law-abiding gun purchasers. But even more shamelessly than AGS, which refuses to publicly admit its true national agenda is the licensing and registration of all gun owners, HCI has further expanded the exploitation of the tragic events of September 11. Virtually every release from the gun-ban lobby concerning the recent terrorist attacks—attacks, we should all remember, that did not involve any firearms—has included a pitch promoting its anti-gun agenda. Even a recent release regarding the discussion of arming airline pilots as a possible safeguard against terrorist hijackings saw the gun-ban lobby`s president, Michael Barnes, include a pitch for registering gun owners.
In the days and weeks to come, Congress will consider many proposals that seek to ensure America`s safety from terrorists, but promoting attacks on legal gun shows and pushing registration schemes for law-abiding gun owners have no place in this discussion. Be sure to let your federal lawmakers know that the debate over legislative attacks on legal gun shows, such as S. 767, introduced by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and S. 890, introduced by U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), have no place in an appropriate congressional debate on the threat of terrorism. Be sure to contact your U.S. Senators, at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative, at (202) 225-3121, and urge them to do everything possible to end the threat of terrorism, but not at the expense of our freedom. You can also find contact information for your federal lawmakers by using our "Write Your Reps" tool.