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Standing Guard, May 2004

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Standing Guard

WAYNE LaPIERRE

Making sure that law--always considered a critical "first step" by the anti gun rights radicals--sunsets is the most important goal in our singular mission to preserve the rights of peaceable Americans.

f you own a Remington 700 or Winchester Model 70 bolt action centerfire rifle, or a Remington 870 or Mossberg Model 500 pump shotgun, or Franchi or Benelli autoloading shotgun, or even a Marlin 1895, or 1866 Yellowboy replica lever gun, the Clinton gun ban is as much about your guns and your future right to own any firearm as it is about so-called "semi-automatic assault rifles."

That law puts control of your guns and your freedom squarely in the hands of the likes of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. In her plan for us, control of our future gun ownership is in the form of a list that she trots out to soothe some gun owners into thinking they are safe. She wants people who don't own what she defines as a "semi-automatic assault weapon" to believe she is selective in her view of firearms prohibition. She wants you to think it's the other guy she's after.

Ask our English-speaking cousins in England and Australia about lists; about trusting promises.

But the list is about us all.

It is a list of long guns compiled 10 years ago from the pages of Gun Digest by Feinstein and Charles Schumer, D-NY--a roster of bolt actions, single actions, lever actions, single shots and semi-autos. These are guns Feinstein and her ban-the-gun axis say you may keep.

Feinstein claims there are 670 guns on that list, but it actually includes many variations of the same design and boils down to about 51 specific models.

And of course, there are lots of guns missing from her list. And there is, as yet, no Feinstein approved list of handguns.

Ask our English-speaking cousins in England and Australia about lists; about trusting promises.

Twenty years ago when England started banning registered semi-auto and pump long guns from the homes of licensed gun owners, the government published lists of guns people could keep and guns people were forced to sell to government "buybacks." Most recently, when they banned possession of registered handguns, the Brit government published more lists of pistols and revolvers people were permitted to keep and firearms that would be "controlled" by government--controlled all the way to the shredders and smelters.

During the recent debate over Feinstein's attempt to save the Clinton gun ban from automatically "sunsetting" Sept. 13, Feinstein again held up her list of approved guns to reassure American gun owners that they had nothing to fear.

Nothing to fear?

Feinstein and her cohorts are always using the same phrases about their plans for our future. "Common sense first step" is one that comes to mind. That doesn't mean the only step; it means there are more to follow.

When Feinstein referred to her list of "good guns," the gun ban crowd in Congress was asking firearms owners to trust their future to the promise of Dianne Feinstein that our guns are safe in her hands. Yet she really believes that the rights of all Americans--rights practiced by 60 million of us--exist at her pleasure.

This is the same DianneFeinstein who told the Associated Press in 1993, "Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe."

This is the same Dianne Feinstein who said on cbs "60 Minutes," fresh from seeing her Clinton gun ban enacted in 1994, "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . 'Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in,' I would have done it."

That's her end game. Her list of "good guns" is as much a part of her goal as her list of what she considers to be "bad" guns.

As long as the Clinton gun ban is on the books, which guns are banned and which guns are temporarily safe is simply a matter of adding and deleting words from columns. And making sure that law--always considered a critical "first step" by the anti-gun rights radicals--sunsets is the most important goal in our singular mission to preserve the rights of peaceable Americans.

When you hear a friend say that this is about "assault weapons," ask them what kind of guns they own. Most likely their guns are on Feinstein's list.

Tell your friends never to forget her angry words, "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in."

There is only one force in America that stands between that vision and continued freedom. As an nra member, that force is you.

In the coming months we must work together--one-on-one--convincing friends and neighbors that the Clinton gun ban is not about somebody else, it's about each of us and all of us.

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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.