After coming to grips with the fact that the extremist anti-gun agenda has been steadily losing its appeal with many politicians over the last few years, opponents of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms have been exploring ways to circumvent the legislative process to achieve their goals.
This Sunday, March 4, "Dateline NBC" is scheduled to air "In the Line of Fire"—a story NBC describes as an "in-depth look at guns and young people in the United States." If past is prelude, however, the pro-freedom community should expect the "in-depth look" to be rife with anti-Second Amendment bias. NBC has a long history of exhibiting a clear anti-gun perspective in its news programs—a fact supported by studies from the Media Research Center (MRC)—and we should be prepared for no less this Sunday. We understand the story will close with a debate between U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.)—an extremely vocal anti-gun extremist—and U.S. Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)—a staunch defender of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Don`t be surprised if McCarthy begins to sound like a spokesman for HCI, as the Representative is one of the gun-ban lobby`s most ardent supporters.
Last week, we told you about a new anti-gun outfit operating under the name Americans for Gun Safety. This week, we learned that Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI), may be changing its name in what appears to be a desperate attempt to improve its image with mainstream America. According to the February 26 issue of Newsweek, the new name will probably include a reference to Jim and Sarah Brady, who have been the public faces of HCI since the late 1980s. HCI board members privately voted for the name change because, according to insiders, some felt the term "handgun control" was "too far to the political left." This will be the second name change for HCI, which was first formed in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH).
Right to Keep and Bear Arms was fired by one of the newer groups to enter the fray—the fledgling anti-gun organization, "Americans for Gun Safety" (AGS). The organization, which refers to itself as a "centrist, non-partisan group," was launched last year with heavy funding from billionaire Andrew J. McKelvey of Monster.com, and has begun running ads that renew the attack on gun shows. And while the ads claim the group recognizes "the right to own a gun," the truth is, AGS is nothing more than a rehash of many of the existing anti-gun organizations.
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft appeared on CNN`s "Larry King Live," and spoke of his support of enforcing existing laws against violent criminals who misuse firearms, rather than passing new "gun control" laws. Ashcroft told King, "I think we`ve got enough laws on the books. I think what we need is tougher enforcement." This appearance was the first opportunity for the Attorney General to make public statements since he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week, after one of the most contentious confirmation battles the Senate has ever seen.
The partisan, special-interest led attacks on two of President Bush`s cabinet nominees fell well short of their objectives when Gale Norton was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior on Tuesday, and John Ashcroft was confirmed as Attorney General on Thursday. Ashcroft`s confirmation was the last one needed to complete Bush`s cabinet. Norton withstood attacks from radical "environmentalist" groups and the NAACP and AFL-CIO (a strange mix of allies, whose only apparent unifying issue is they supported Al Gore`s losing bid for the Presidency), and was confirmed on a 75 - 24 vote. Those voting against Norton were all Democrats.
A study by the Media Research Center (MRC) documents the palpable anti-gun bias of the major television networks in reporting firearm-related news. Released last year, the study examined 653 morning and evening news stories from July 1, 1997, to June 30, 1999, and found that stories advocating gun control on ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC outpaced those opposing by a ratio of nearly 10 to 1. It also showed that the bias advocating more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners is accompanied by an apparent unwillingness to cover stories that the pro-Second Amendment community would like to see.
Last week, we told you about the attacks by gun-ban extremists on President-elect George W. Bush`s nominee for Attorney General, former U.S. Senator John Ashcroft (R-Mo.). Now, Gale Norton, Bush`s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, faces similar attacks. Throughout her career that includes two terms as Colorado`s Attorney General, Norton has supported the interests of hunters and law-abiding firearm owners, and now is the time to come to her aid. She is under heavy fire by radical "environmentalist" groups—which have launched a series of attack ads in major media centers and in states where they feel senators are undecided on Norton—as well as other groups not known for being involved with environmental issues, such as the NAACP and the AFL-CIO. What does unite these groups is that most of them did everything they could last year to defeat President-elect Bush on November 7. Many look at the campaign to oppose Gale Norton`s confirmation by the U.S. Senate as nothing more than another attack on Bush by supporters of Al Gore. Norton`s nomination hearing before the Senate began Thursday, and a vote by the Senate will come in the near future.
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.