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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 8 2/21/2003



While pro-gun organizations continue to struggle with Canada’s draconian gun control laws—including a registration scheme that has been in development for seven years and has run at least $1 billion over the cost politicians promised—one Canadian school system has taken a rather Orwellian approach to ensuring firearms in Canada have a bleak future. The National Post, a Canadian paper, reported on February 11 that the word "gun" has been eradicated from all spelling tests by an Eastern Ontario school board. Amanda and Mark Sousa, self-proclaimed pacifists, complained when their daughter came home one day with "gun" on her spelling list. "I don’t think this is an issue of political correctness," the child’s mother claimed. "It’s an issue of protecting your child from violence. Guns are violent. End of story." Of course, people are violent, while guns are simply inanimate objects, but this fact appears to be either lost on the Souzas, or ignored in order to promote their personal anti-gun agenda.

Although the Post stated Terry Simzer, a public relations officer for the Upper Canada District School Board, described the word as being "a good phonetic word and short vowel word that is easy for young readers to learn," it was removed from the spelling list. "We do appreciate the sensitivity around the word, especially in these times, and have taken the word from the list because of this parent’s complaint," Simzer said. "But children do hear this word every day on the news, particularly about blank registration," Simzer continued, perhaps with a touch of sarcasm, "I don’t want to say the word so I don’t offend anybody."

Now that the Sousas have eliminated the word "gun" from their child’s spelling list, perhaps they can turn their attention to eradicating other words they might find offensive, such as "freedom," "liberty," "personal responsibility," and "personal protection?" The lesson Canadians seem to be teaching their children is that words and ideas are now subject to government regulation.


The2003 NRA Annual Members Meetings and Exhibits will be held in Orlando, Fla., April 24 - 27, and your NRA is looking for dedicated members to volunteer and assist with various projects necessary to stage another successful Annual Meeting. The NRA Annual Meeting is the most exciting and satisfying NRA event of the year, and by joining our team of volunteers, you will play an integral role in putting the NRA’s best foot forward, while we are in the national spotlight.

There are several areas where you can volunteer: Membership Services, Fraternal Sales, Exhibitor Registration, Firearms Safety Inspection, and Airgun Range. NRA staff, Annual Meeting Exhibitors, and the tens of thousands of your fellow NRA members attending the Annual Meeting, will greatly appreciate any time or assistance you can lend. If you would like to volunteer your time, or would like more information, please contact: Brian Hyder, Eastern Region Director, NRA Field Operations Division, 571 Howard Branch Road, Otto, NC 28763, Office: (828) 524-9480, e-mail: bhyder@nrahq.org.


Disgraced author Michael Bellesiles has found someone to publish a new edition of his discredited book, Arming America. Although he was forced to resign from Emory University, his Bancroft Prize was revoked (along with a cash award), his book was pulled from at least one library, and his publisher dropped him, Bellesiles appears to have found a home. Soft Skull Press announced on February 13 that it would publish the book that pedaled the absurd notion that firearms ownership was not widespread in America before 1840. The fact that Bellesiles would so eagerly align himself with Soft Skull Press should be the final confirmation that his sole intention for publishing his book was to promote an anti-gun agenda.

In its release, Soft Skull—whose owner describes himself as an "American Marxist"— defends its decision to publish a thoroughly discredited book in part by stating, "It is imperative that we stand up to the NRA smear machine." Clearly the publisher bears some sort of animosity toward NRA and its millions of law-abiding supporters, which would certainly be an indication Soft Skull supports the anti-gun movement. Of course, NRA merely reported on the scathing criticism Bellesiles received from his peers, and had nothing to do with him losing his job, his prize, or his publisher. Bellesiles managed to accomplish these tasks all on his own. But Soft Skull seems to thrive on controversy, and its catalogue of titles includes predominantly left-wing authors. Its most notorious title to date is a widely-discredited attack on President George Bush, which was also dropped by another publisher. Perhaps Bellesiles believes aligning himself with a publisher with a distinct political agenda will somehow endear him with historians and readers. More likely, it will merely reinforce the impression that his "research" was agenda driven.



HB 2353, Right to Carry permit reciprocity legislation sponsored by Representative Chuck Gray (R-19), will be put to a vote on the House floor early next week. This legislation requires Arizona to recognize the Right to Carry permits issued by any state. Currently, Arizona recognizes the permits of only five states. It would also increase the number of states that recognize Arizona permits. Please contact your two representatives by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool, or by calling them at (602) 542-4221, and urge them to support HB2353.



The Senate will consider Senate Bill 24, the "shall-issue" Right to Carry legislation, on Monday, February 24. Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Senator Jim Dyer (R-26), will also be heard next week. SB25 assigns firearm regulation authority to the Colorado legislature, making firearm laws uniform across the state. It is vital that you contact your State Senator at (888) 473-8136 and urge him to support SB24 and SB25 when they come before the Senate. Also, HB1119, legislation that cleans up Colorado’s gun show law, will be heard in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on Thursday, February 27, at 1:30 p.m. Please contact your Representative at (800) 811-7647, or by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool, and urge him to support HB 1119.


On Thursday, February 27, at 1:00 p.m., the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hold hearings on SB 208, the expansion of ballistic "fingerprinting" bill; SB 494, the "assault weapons" ban bill; and SB 528, the reporting of lost or stolen firearms penalties bill. Please call the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee at (410) 841-3623, and urge them to vote "NO on SB208, SB494, and SB528".


On February 26, theHouse Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee will vote onHouse File 261, the NRA-backed Personal Protection Act. HF 261 would establish a uniform system for the issuance of Right to Carry permits across the state. This important vote is needed to send HF 261 to the House floor for passage. Please start calling members of the Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee and urge them to support HF 261. You can find out who is on the committee, as well as locate contact information, by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool, or by calling the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683. Also, the Duluth City Council has introduced an ordinance that would ban handguns in city buildings, city vehicles, and in parks, even for Right to Carry permit holders. The Council is scheduled to hold a hearing and vote on the ordinance Monday, February 24. Please contact your City Councilor by calling (218) 723-3711, or by sending e-mail to council@ci.duluth.mn.us, and urge him to oppose this ordinance.



Senate Bill 13 will be heard on Monday, February 24. Sponsored by Senator Peter Kinder (R-27), SB 13 prohibits cities and the state from filing reckless lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Please contact your State Senator at (573) 751-3824, and urge them to support SB 13. Also, this week, the House Crime Prevention Committee passed HB 349, NRA-backed Right to Carry legislation sponsored by Representative Larry Crawford (R-117). Please be sure to contact your Representative and tell him how important it is for him to support this legislation when it is considered by the House. You can find contact information by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool. Also, help protect and strengthen our Second Amendment Rights by attending this year’s "Gun Rights Rally Day." The rally will be held on Tuesday, March 4, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, in the State Capitol Rotunda inJefferson City. The event will include feature keynote addresses by nationally recognized pro-Second Amendment leaders, including NRA Director and former U.S. Representative Harold Volkmer. This is a golden opportunity for you to join pro-freedom activists from across the "Show Me State" in support of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Following the noon conclusion of the rally, you will have the chance to meet and speak with your legislators in person! Gateway Civil Liberties Alliance (GCLA) andWestern Missouri Shooters Alliance (WMSA) are arranging bus transportation from throughout the state and can provide additional information on the rally. To reserve your seat on the bus, or for more details, please contact GCLA at: (314) 385-GUNS (4867) or 1-866-385-GUNS (4867), via e-mail at questions@gclastl.org, or visit their website. You can contact WMSA at (816) 924-7170.



SB 74, a measure that would ensure Right to Carry reciprocity, is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee awaiting a vote. Please call the members of the committee and ask for their support on the bill. You can find contact information by clicking here, using our "Write Your Representatives" tool, or by calling the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.


A hearing on House Bill 811 has been scheduled in the House Judiciary Committee for Friday, March 14. HB 811 is an NRA-backed bill seeking to safeguard New Hampshire’s law-abiding gun owners by preventing a patchwork of conflicting local anti-gun ordinances in municipalities throughout the state. The bill would also protect firearm manufacturers from reckless lawsuits aimed at bankrupting the industry. We urge you to contact members of the Judiciary Committee and ask that they vote "YES" on HB 811. For a list of committee members, please contact the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683, or use our "Write Your Representatives" tool. We also encourage NRA members to attend the hearing on Friday, March 14, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 208 of the Legislative Office Building.


On Friday, theSenate passed SB 23, NRA-backed Right to Carry legislation sponsored by Senator Shannon Robinson (D-17), on a 32 - 9 vote. Also, Representative John Heaton (D-55) has introduced HB 916, the House version of Right to Carry, and Senator Manny Aragon (D-14) has introduced SB788, which seeks to protect gun manufacturers from having reckless lawsuits filed against them. Please contact your State Representatives by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool, or by calling (505) 986.4600, and urge them to support HB 916 and SB788.


On Tuesday, February 25, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will hold a hearing on HB 878, sponsored by Representative Suzanna Gratia Hupp (R-54). HB 878, is NRA-backed legislation that clarifies that local governments cannot post signs under the state’s criminal trespass law to prohibit Right to Carry permit holders from entering public buildings. Please attend Tuesday’s hearing at 2:00 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House, in Room E2.112 of the Capitol Extension in Austin. Also, please call committee members and urge them to support HB 878. For a list of committee members please click here, use our "Write Your Representatives" tool, or contact the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.



House Bill 03, a bill that would repeal the state statute regulating the out of state sale of rifles and shotguns, is being held up in the House as a result of a lack of concurrence on Senate amendments that weakened the repeal language. Please call your state representatives and ask that the repealing language remain in HB 3. You can find contact information by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool, or by calling the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.



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.