Last week, we reported on the Wicker amendment—a NRA-backed amendment to H.R. 3288 (the FY 2010 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill) that would reform policies regarding the transportation of firearms on Amtrak trains. The measure was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday, September 16, by a vote of 68-30, and would allow law-abiding Amtrak passengers the ability to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage while traveling by Amtrak train. Currently, passengers who choose to travel by passenger rail in the United States cannot transport a firearm in checked baggage as they can on airlines.
Not wanting to miss any opportunity to grandstand and show off his vehemently anti-gun views, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine (D) sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to oppose the Wicker amendment.
The Governor said in his letter, “I am outraged by a provision included in the Senate FY10 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development ("THUD") appropriations bill that requires Amtrak to accept passengers who carry firearms and ammunition in their checked baggage. This provision creates an unacceptable threat to the safety of New Jerseyans.” Corzine, of course, ignored the fact that American citizens safely transport firearms in checked baggage on airlines every day.
Corzine went on to say that he “will not allow the NRA to force guns to be transported or carried into places like Newark and New Brunswick Stations, the gateways to our major universities.”
“Force guns to be transported or carried” into New Jersey? That’s sensationalism at its finest. So much for the option of exercising our Second Amendment freedoms.
Another career anti-gun politician also jumped on the bandwagon to punish the law-abiding for political gain—none other than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
We have been reporting a lot lately about Bloomberg’s anti-gun group “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG), which has built its membership by selling itself as a group solely interested in fighting “illegal” guns. A look at its agenda, however, clearly shows that fighting criminals is not what this group is about. Instead, MAIG has focused its efforts on promoting new gun laws and regulations and on furthering its anti-gun agenda in the courts.
So it comes as no surprise that Bloomberg would also come out against the Wicker amendment. Speaking from Penn Station on September 20th, Bloomberg said, “If anyone in Congress thinks that the threat of a terrorist attack on a train has gone away, they are sadly mistaken. And the American people will blame the Senate if a terrorist attack does occur.” He went on to say, “The legislation allowing guns on Amtrak was passed because of ideological politics—not public safety.”
Bloomberg was joined by a contingent of local mayors, as well as anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D), who concluded, “This shows that the [National Rifle Association] has too much influence over Congress.”
It appears you can add participatory politics by voting citizens to Hizzoner’s growing list of dislikes.