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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 8, No. 50 12/21/2001


The gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI is continuing its despicable tactic of exploiting our nation`s concerns over terrorism in order to further their attacks on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. On Wednesday, the group`s president, Michael Barnes, held a press conference to announce the release of a "comprehensive report" he hopes will help rejuvenate several aspects of his stalled anti-gun agenda. This particular piece of propaganda, however, combines purposeful lies with sloppy fact checking in an amateurish attempt to link a number of anti-gun proposals to the war on terrorism.

The report offers nothing new, though. One aspect includes attacks on traditional American gun shows that consist of little more than a simple regurgitation of the myth that "terrorists" use gun shows to pose a threat to national securitya myth created by the anti-gun organization Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) that was completely discredited by NRA (see NRA-ILA FAX Alerts Vol. 8, Nos. 39 & 46).

Besides the terrorist/gun shows myth that has become widely popular among the anti-gun crowd, the gun-ban lobby`s report also promotes renewing the ban on so-called "assault weapons," implementing a firearm rationing scheme, establishing a registration system for all gun purchasers, and it also attempts to justify the reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding gun makers. Besides the terrorist/gun shows myth that has become widely popular among the anti-gun crowd, the gun-ban lobby`s report also promotes renewing the ban on so-called "assault weapons," implementing a firearm rationing scheme, establishing a registration system for all gun purchasers, and it also attempts to justify the reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding gun makers.

The report itself is a rather curious document, and in many ways, rather amateurishly constructed. As should be expected, it makes a number of outrageous claims regarding the "need" to pass new anti-gun laws, then tries to "support" them. For example, the report claims that no laws currently exist that prevent "terrorists from quickly amassing arsenals of weapons," although the fact is that there are numerous laws, including federal laws, that prohibit violent criminals from purchasing or possessing a single firearm. But strangely, to justify its claim, the gun-ban lobby`s report highlights a case that had nothing to do with a terrorist organization that had amassed an "arsenal." Instead, it discussed a single violent criminal who had knowingly violated current federal law when he acquired two handguns. And to further justify a firearm rationing scheme, the report also addresses "corrupt gun dealers," but cites three cases that actually showed existing laws worked to uncover criminal activity.

Targeting so-called "assault weapons," the gun-ban lobby boldly lies, claiming anybody can "purchase through the mail every part necessary to make a completed high-capacity, untraceable, assault weapon"—a claim that is absurdly false. And one case cited in the report is more an example of slipshod "research" than anything else. It states that Mir Aimal Kasimurdered two CIA employees and wounded three other individuals on January 24, 1997. This crime, however, took place on January 25, 1993, and other inaccurate dates confirm a complete disregard for accuracy.

Wednesday`s press conference was attended by the usual crowd of anti-gun lawmakers, including U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and U.S. Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Also on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) pledged to bring Jack Reed`s anti-gun shows bill, S. 767, to the floor early next year. NRA members and the rest of the pro-gun community must continue to contact their federal lawmakers to object to the passage of any anti-gun legislation. Remind your elected officials that the war on terrorism will not be won by attacking the rights of American citizens. You can reach your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. You can also find additional contact information by using our "Write Your Reps" tool.


When the American Medical Association`s (AMA) president, Dr. Richard Corlin, launched his presidency in June 2001, his inaugural address included the pronouncement that the nation`s most well-known doctor`s group should openly admit to political activism in the firearm debate. NRA reported on this "new" agenda (AMA has actually been supporting attacks on the Second Amendment for years) both in this publication (see NRA-ILA FAX Alert Vol. 8, No. 25), as well as in the August 2001 issue of America`s 1st Freedom. And NRA members responded, inundating both Corlin and the AMA with objections to this aggressive, anti-gun agenda. Apparently, Dr. Corlin took notice.

In the December 17 issue of the American Medical News, Corlin revealed in an opinion piece that he had chaired a conference in November he described as including "the whole spectrum of organizations involved with the issue of gun violence," including "representatives of advocacy groups, both pro- and anti-gun." But the accuracy of this statement is highly debatable: NRA—the largest organization dedicated to promoting the safe, responsible ownership of firearms, public safety, and law and order—was neither present, nor, does it appear, were we invited. In fact, we may simply have to take Dr. Corlin`s word that America`s approximately 65 million safe, responsible gun owners were well represented. When we asked the AMA who participated in this conference, we were told that such a list is not currently being made public. We may never really know who attended the meeting, who was invited, or what was actually discussed, as the AMA could choose to not make any specific information available to the general public.

Such secrecy, as well as the anti-gun history of Corlin and the AMA, raises serious doubt about the veracity of every claim made in Corlin`s December 17 piece regarding this conference, including: the assertion that all participants agreed that physicians and the AMA should be involved in the debate over "gun control," that the AMA is "the one national organization" capable of coordinating efforts to reduce firearm-related fatalities, and that the AMA has the support of members of the pro-gun community. Corlin even makes the claim that one of the "pro-gun participants" stated, "If people outside of this room knew how the AMA conducted the meeting, it would go a long way to changing the perception of the AMA." Unconfirmed reports, however, indicate the "quote" is either a fabrication, or a case of extremely selective, and perhaps intentionally deceptive, editing, or a combination of the two.

But it is not necessary to have attended the meeting to expose Corlin as either intentionally deceptive, grossly incompetent, or a combination of these qualities. His article claims that he did not attack the Second Amendment in his inaugural address—where he referred to the Second Amendment as "a smokescreen." He also claims that his inaugural address comports with the policies the AMA has passed regarding firearms, that these policies do not represent attacks on the Second Amendment, and that AMA`s policies do not "call for a ban on guns of any kind." In fact, several firearm-related AMA policy statements do mention supporting bans, while other policies include supporting legislation that would "restrict the sale and private ownership" of affordable handguns and certain semi-automatic firearms. Another specifically supports allowing any municipality to pass any restrictions on firearms it wants, including, one must presume, bans such as those that currently exist in crime-riddled cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C. Plus, the AMA is an organizational member of the HELP Network, whose goal is an America where it is "socially unacceptable for private citizens to have handguns."

But to Corlin`s credit, he does invite people to comment on the AMA`s decision to publicly take on issues that fall outside its purview. We are all concerned over crime, especially when it leads to law-abiding citizens being injured by their criminal attackers—regardless of whether the attacks involve a firearm, knife, club, or other tool used by criminals. But the debate over effective means to address crime should be left to those with expertise. And if the AMA would like to see fewer accidents that involve firearms, it should promote proven safety programs such as those developed by NRA.

NRA`s commitment to promoting firearm safety is unsurpassed. We have upwards of 38,000 NRA Certified Instructors who reach approximately 700,000 people every year with instruction on how to handle firearms safely and responsibly. And our award-winning Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Programhas taught more than 15 million children to avoid firearms when they are not under close, adult supervision. Our safety programs have helped lead to the lowest rate and number of firearms-related fatal accidents in U.S. history, and we will continue to work to drive those numbers even lower.

If you wish to take Dr. Corlin up on his invitation to submit your comments, you can do so by writing to: Dr. Richard Corlin, President, American Medical Association, 1301 20th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404, or you can send e-mail to: richard_corlin@ama-assn.org.


On Tuesday, voters in South Carolina`s second congressional district overwhelmingly elected pro-gun State Senator Joe Wilson (R) in a special election to replace the late Floyd Spence(R), who passed away on August 17. The NRA-PVF-endorsed Wilson received 73% of the vote.


H.R. 2037, the NRA-supported reckless lawsuit preemption bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Chris John(D-La.), now has 203 cosponsors. This legislation seeks to prevent abuses to the American legal system that have seen firearms and ammunition manufacturers being recklessly sued for the criminal misuse of their lawful products by third parties.

If your U.S. Representative has not yet signed on as a co-sponsor for this much-needed legislation, he needs to hear from you today! To find out if your Representative is a co-sponsor, go to our "Legislative Updates" section, then use the "Search for information on THOMAS" link at the top of the page, and type in "H.R. 2037" in the space to search by bill number. If your Representative is not a co-sponsor, you can contact him by calling the U.S. House of Representatives` main switchboard at (202) 225-3121, then asking to be transferred to your Representative`s office. For additional contact information, please use our "Write Your Reps" tool. Be sure to encourage your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners to contact their Representatives as well and encourage them to co-sponsor H.R. 2037!


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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.