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A Tale Of Two Parties

Friday, September 10, 2004

Fearing the fate of Al Gore in the 2000 elections, Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), and his cronies have gone far out of their way this election year to try and hoodwink voters--gun owners in particular--into believing they are pro-Second Amendment. Of course, we know their ruse is outrageous. As Senator Kerry continues his charade of trying to convince us that he`s a "lifelong hunter and gun owner" who "believes in the Second Amendment," NRA-ILA continues to set the record straight.

The truth is, John Kerry is the most anti-gun presidential nominee in U.S. history! As we`ve repeatedly noted, on issues directly affecting Second Amendment rights, Kerry has voted against us more than 50 times on the floor of the Senate! During a recent series of critically important votes in the U.S. Senate, Kerry eagerly worked to sabotage NRA-backed legislation to stop predatory lawsuits aimed at bankrupting the law-abiding firearms industry. He voted to extend the Clinton gun ban, to make now-legal private gun sales at gun shows criminal acts, and to support his crony Ted Kennedy`s (D-Mass.) ammunition ban, a senseless maneuver which would have banned nearly all centerfire hunting ammunition! In addition, Kerry is a cosponsor of legislation (S. 1431) that would ban all semi-automatic shotguns in America, including the Remington 11-87 he so proudly displayed at a recent campaign event in West Virginia!

And today, in a move exploiting terrorism and the tragedy of September 11, Kerry once again pushed his gun-ban agenda, calling for an extension of the Clinton gun ban. And these are but a few examples!

In fact, the official 2004 Democratic Party Platform statement plainly declares, "We will protect Americans` Second Amendment right to own firearms," by, "reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, and closing the gun show loophole."

While certainly not all Democrats are anti-gun, the party leadership, led by John Kerry, unarguably is.

By contrast, the 2004 Republican Party Platform states, "Republicans and President Bush strongly support an individual right to own guns, which is explicitly protected by the Constitution`s Second Amendment.

"Our Party honors the great American tradition of hunting and we applaud efforts by the Bush Administration to make more public land available to hunters, to increase access to hunting clinics and safety programs for children and adults, and to improve opportunities for hunting for Americans with disabilities.

"We believe the Second Amendment and all of the rights guaranteed by it should enable law-abiding citizens throughout the country to own firearms in their homes for self-defense. To protect the rights and safety of law-abiding citizens, the Congress passed and President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, which allows active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns in public while off-duty. We support efforts by the Administration and Congress to enhance the instant background check system for gun purchases and to ensure that records of lawful transactions are destroyed in a timely manner. We applaud congressional Republicans for seeking to stop frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which is a transparent attempt to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as a violation of the Second Amendment and an invasion of privacy of honest citizens.

"We agree that the best way to deter crime is to enforce existing laws and hand down tough penalties against anyone who commits a crime with a gun. This approach is working. Since Project Safe Neighborhoods was instituted in 2001, hundreds of new federal, state, and local prosecutors have been hired to target criminals who use guns. Prosecutions are up 68 percent, and the violent crime victimization rate is down 21 percent. The Republican Party and President Bush support a federal Constitutional amendment for victims of violent crime that would provide specific rights for victims protected under the U.S. Constitution."

Clearly, the contrast in positions is vast. All pro-Second Amendment citizens would do well to carefully consider these differences before casting their vote on November 2!

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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.