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Standing Guard--August 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

STANDING GUARD

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA Executive Vice President

For the ultimate definition of the term “illegal gun,” look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans’ door-to-door gun confiscation

ith New York billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg emerging as the kingpin of a renewed culture war against private ownership of firearms, the phony term “illegal gun” is everywhere in the media. It is snake-oil designed to delude the general public, and it is a scam term used by those dedicated to smothering our Second Amendment freedoms.

For the ultimate definition of the term “illegal gun,” look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans’ door-to-door gun confiscation.

We must never forget the vision of armed government agents forcing their way into private homes and businesses and, at gunpoint, disarming innocent civilians of their only means of defense against the violent criminal anarchy that filled the vacuum left by a non-existent police presence.

In the minds of the enemies of the Second Amendment, there is no distinction between decent Americans who own firearms and violent criminals.

Illegal guns? With an official edict by the top law enforcement officer in New Orleans—“No one is allowed to be armed. We’re going to take all the guns!”—every firearm owned by good and honest citizens instantly became an “illegal gun.”

Our answer to the tyranny of New Orleans is a resounding never again!

To keep that promise, NRA successfully petitioned the courts to force the return of hundreds of lawfully owned guns declared “illegal” by the edict of rogue city officials who later claimed the confiscations never happened.

NRA has also pressed hard for enactment of federal legislation to ban such unconstitutional firearm seizures during any future declared emergencies. Similar state legislation has been introduced in legislatures nationwide and has gained passage in Louisiana, Florida, Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Mississippi, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Virginia.

If the tyranny of New Orleans represents the worst nightmare for American gun owners, it is the dream—the endgame—of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to coalesce other urban machine politicians against gun owners who live free of the tyranny of gun-ban cities.

When Bloomberg talks about the flow of “illegal guns” from states with “weak laws” to his city, it is a big lie that ignores the fact that any and all aspects of gun-running or criminal violence with guns anywhere in the nation is covered by a single, tough federal statute and is punishable with mandatory jail time.

In spite of the clear intent of Congress to end malicious lawsuits bankrupting the firearm industry, Bloomberg and his big-city allies are using their “illegal gun” scam to pursue a new spate of suits in federal court.

Bloomberg is living proof that in the minds of the enemies of the Second Amendment, there is no distinction between “legal guns” and “illegal guns,” and never a distinction between decent Americans who own firearms and violent criminals. Whether it’s their greedy trial lawyer allies, or the Brady Campaign or the Violence Policy Center, the claim that “all guns start out legal” means they are after our guns.

That is exactly what Rebecca Peters, the self-proclaimed leader of the world firearm prohibition movement, says in demanding an immediate and binding U.N. gun-ban treaty that would trump our Second Amendment. Explaining her success in disarming licensed Australian gun owners of their registered semi-auto or pump shotguns and self-loading rifles, she said:

“… [M]ost illegal guns are simply legal guns that have been stolen or sold second-hand. Since the supply source for the illegal market is legal owners, imposing greater accountability on legal owners will cut down the flow to the illegal market.”

“Accountability?” In her words, that’s when government “recognized the inherent inappropriateness of these highly dangerous weapons and took away nearly 700,000 of them to be melted down into soup cans and bus-stop benches … .”

Whether it is on an international, national or local scale, the goal is the same—best summed up in a Washington Times article on the Bush administration’s forceful “No!” to a world gun-ban treaty, quoting a major U.N. supporter demanding “the need to rein in illicit weapons while they are still legal … .”

That is what Peters’ U.N.gun-ban treaty and what Bloomberg’s campaign of big-lie publicity and big-lie lawsuits are all about.

With the current pro-Second Amendment majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and us Senate, their dreams cannot become our nightmare. That’s why in the coming federal elections, we must make sure that this pro-gun majority remains in place. If you know Second Amendment voters who are not registered, get them signed up. If you can vote early, do so, and work to educate friends, family and neighbors that the threat to our freedom from the Bloombergs and Peterses will become reality if one of their allies like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker of the house, and Senator Chuck Schumer assumes a leadership role in the Senate.

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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.