CONGRESS BACK IN SESSION
The 108th Congress convened this week, and while it is unlikely any firearm-related bills will be taken up for consideration in either chamber during the first few weeks of congressional action, your NRA-ILA expects another busy federal legislative schedule.
Although anti-gun extremists lost several key positions of power in the U.S. Senate as a result of our success in last year’s elections, we can anticipate they will continue to promote their gun-ban agenda as aggressively as they have in the past. The gun-ban lobby will continue to attack the Second Amendment, and these anti-freedom zealots will pressure their most ardent supporters—the Schumers, Clintons, Feinsteins, and Kennedys of the world—to do their anti-gun bidding.
Rest assured that NRA will continue to oppose the extremist agenda of gun-ban advocates whenever and wherever it should arise, but we also look forward to working with our allies in Congress to promote pro-gun reforms. There are many issues that will be critical to the preservation of the Second Amendment that we anticipate will be brought up during this Congress—including protecting gun manufacturers from reckless lawsuits. We will need your help if we hope to succeed in promoting our pro-gun agenda. Be sure to stay informed of the latest developments in our efforts to protect our Right to Keep and Bear Arms through our weeklyGrassroots Alert, and encourage other pro-gun advocates to get more involved with our efforts to defend the Second Amendment.Working together, we can ensure the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be protected for generations to come!
<align=center>TO LOSE KEY ADVOCATE IN SENATE
U.S. Senator Zell Miller
(D-Ga.), the most vocal Democrat in the U.S. Senate who supports our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, announced this week that he will not seek reelection in 2004. Miller has consistently broken ranks with the anti-gun leaders of his party, steadfastly refusing to support anti-gun efforts throughout his career. Last year, Senator Miller spoke passionately about his support of law-abiding gun owners at NRA’s Annual Banquet in Reno, Nev., and he was a key sponsor of the Senate’s version of reckless lawsuit preemption during the last Congress. Although it is unfortunate we will lose such a staunch supporter in two years, we look forward to working closely with Senator Miller during this Congress.
FINAL CHAPTER FOR BELLESILES?
It would seem that the saga over Michael Bellesiles’s "Arming America"—the book that pedaled the absurd notion that firearms ownership was not widespread in America before 1840—may be coming to an end with the announcement that his publisher will no longer sell his book. After the "research" that was the basis for this book had been widely discredited by his peers, a scathing criticism of his work by an independent committee led to his resignation from Emory University. Shortly thereafter, the Bancroft Prize Bellesiles was awarded for his work in "Arming America" was revoked, and the author was asked to return the $4,000 cash prize that accompanied the award. And the latest blow came on January 7, when the Associated Press (AP) reported publisher Alfred A. Knopf will stop printing the book. Bellesiles’s editor, Jane Garrett, told AP this week, "We are in the process of ending our contractual arrangement with Michael for ‘Arming America.’" Garrett indicated the publisher found Bellesiles’s proposed revisions inadequate. It would be hard to come up with a more appropriate ending for this particular book.
WHO ARE YOU CALLING STUPID?
, the anti-gun film maker ("Bowling for Columbine") and author ("Stupid White Men"), seems to be making himself unwelcome in England. FOXNews.com reported on January 8 that a columnist for The Independent, a London newspaper, accused Moore of criticizing the passengers aboard the airplanes hijacked on September 11. Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote, "Moore went into a rant about how the passengers were scaredy-cats because they were mostly white," during a performance of Moore’s stage show, "Michael Moore - Live!" Alibhai-Brown also stated that Moore continued by claiming, "If the passengers had included black men ... those killers, with their puny bodies and unimpressive small knives, would have been crushed by the dudes, who as we all know take no disrespect from anybody. God save us from such stupid white men...." Will Moore have the audacity to malign the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 as part of his show, not to mention promote such a clearly racist opinion, here in America? Only time will tell, but his racist rantings about the victims of terrorism are not the only problem for Moore in England.
FOXNews.com states that a report from the Independent Movie Database claims Moore also berated the staff of the theater hosting his show. "He reportedly flew into a rage, verbally attacked everyone associated with the theater because he thought he wasn’t being paid enough," the IMDB.com piece claimed. According to the website, an unidentified crewmember stated, "He completely lost the plot. He stormed around all day screaming at everyone, telling them how we were all con men and useless. Then he went on stage and did it in public." Moore eventually apologized, IMDB.com reported, and said, "A source reports that Moore then packed his bags and flew to New York the next day without saying thank you or goodbye to anyone." Hardly the behavior one would expect from someone who likes to portray himself as an average guy working to help average Americans. Sounds more like Moore is simply your typical, rich elitist, making millions in the entertainment industry, then preaching his personal, anti-freedom agenda to anyone who will listen. Perhaps his latest antics will lead to fewer listeners.
NRA Members are invited to attend CPAC 2003—the 30th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, January 30 - February 1, 2003, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. CPAC is the nation’s premier annual gathering of conservative leaders, celebrities, elected officials, and grassroots activists. Confirmedspeakers for this year’s Conference include Vice President Dick Cheney, House Majority Leader Tom Delay, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NRA First Vice President Kayne Robinson, Phyllis Schlafly, and many more political pundits and congressional leaders. CPAC is co-sponsored by NRA and more than 60 leading conservative organizations. For additional information, or to register for the conference, call (703) 836-8602, or visit CPAC online. Also, through the CPAC student scholarship program, students with valid school ID attend CPAC for only $10!
A LOOK AT THE STATES
Oral arguments took place Wednesday in theMichigan Court of Appeals on the criticalMCRGO v. City of Ferndale case. Acting as lead counsel on behalf of MCRGO and individual gun owners,NRA Director Carol Bambery argued the city ordinance prohibitingRight to Carry permit holders from entering public buildings while carrying a concealed firearm is a clear violation of Michigan’s firearm preemption statute. The City of FerndaleÆs case appeared to rest on the dubious argument that the preemption statute only applies to cases of inter-city transport and does not extend to regulation of Right to Carry permit holders. A ruling is expected within the next 30-60 days. Similar restrictions enacted inDetroit andEast Lansing will also be upheld or overturned based on the court’s decision in theFerndale case.