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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 21 5/23/2003

CNN

CAUGHT LYING RED HANDED!

NRA`s Wayne LaPierre Takes Them To The Woodshed!

CNN,

which bills itself as "the most trusted name in news," was caught lying during its "reporting" on so-called "assault weapons." On May 15, CNN aired two pieces which deliberately misled its viewers into believing that the semi-automatic firearms banned under the 1994 Clinton gun banare more powerful than other guns that weren`t banned.

CNN`s John Zarella arranged a live-fire demonstration with Sheriff Ken Jenne of the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff`s Department. The exercise began with a deputy firing a Chinese AK-47 Zarella claimed was targeted by the Clinton gun ban. Down range, viewers saw the rounds punching holes in cinder blocks and penetrating body armor. Next, the sheriff fired what was referenced as a different civilian AK-47 model that was not covered by the `94 ban. Incredibly, viewers saw no bullet holes, dust, or smoke on the cinder blocks during this demon-stration, as no rounds hit the cinder blocks! In fact, CNN later acknowledged, the deputy was actually firing into the ground. Obviously, the biased point the report was promoting was that the firearms banned by the Clinton gun ban were somehow more powerful than those that were not banned—a notion, of course, that is without any factual merit.

In a later segment that same day, a deputy was aided by CNN in promulgating the most blatant distortion of the truth. This time the gun used was a fully-automatic firearm, and it obliterated the cinder blocks. Of course, not one of the guns banned in `94 is fully-automatic. All of the firearms covered by Clinton`s ban are semi-automatics. Fully-automatic firearms have been strictly regulated since 1934.

This demonstration attempted to bolster the justification for Sheriff Jenne and the Sheriff`s Department supporting the gun ban. This should come as no surprise, though, since Jenne, who was a former Democratic state lawmaker in Florida, supported a state bill banning semi-automatic firearms which was defeated.

Thankfully this sad saga didn`t end here. On May 19, CNN offered viewers this tepid explanation:

"On this program on Thursday, we aired a live demonstration on CNN set up with law enforcement officials of a banned semi-automatic rifle and its legal counterpart. We reviewed that demonstration and one on another CNN program, and decided that a more detailed report would better explain this complex issue."

NRA`s Wayne LaPierre called CNN on the carpet, forthrightly stating, "We caught them red handed in the act. Now they`re backpedaling." Wayne also noted, "Either it was a deliberate attempt to fake the story, or the reporter had a complete ignorance of the story he`s covering." Either is unacceptable. Wayne pointed out a glaring difference between CNN and the New York Times, who recently fired a reporter for his long and sordid history of fabricating stories, noting how when New York Times reporters lie, eventually they get fired. But, such is not the case with CNN. If you wish to contact CNN to convey your outrage, you may reach them at: One CNN Center, N.W., Atlanta, GA, 30303-2762, (404) 827-1500, e-mail: CNN@cnn.com; website: http://www.cnnradionet.com/PUBLIC/Home/default.htm.

LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY OF

PENDING GUN BAN BILLS IN CONGRESS

Two bills introduced in Congress seek to vastly expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban—H.R. 2038 and S. 1034. Below is a brief description of each. Please contact your U.S. Representative in opposition to H.R. 2038 and your U.S. Senators in opposition to S. 1034. Your can call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. You can find contact information for your lawmakers by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org. Additional information on these bills can also be found here, or you can call ILA Grassroots at (800) 392-8683. We will inevitably face additional legislation to re-authorize the ban as well, so please raise your objection to re-authorizing the ban to your federal lawmakers also.

H.R. 2038, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), does not just "reenact" or "reauthorize" the 1994 Clinton ban. It bans millionsmore guns. And it begins backdoor registration of guns. For details on H.R. 2038, please refer to the Grassroots Alert (Vol. 10, No. 19, 5/9/03). (Note: In that edition of the Grassroots Alert, we incorrectly referenced H.R. 2038 as the Conyers/McCarthy bill.)

In the Senate, the Clinton gun ban`s authors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), introduced S. 1034. The bill is less extreme than McCarthy`s, which they hope will give it a greater chance of passage. The two Senators recently explained their strategy: Feinstein said she would like to push for stronger gun controls, but "it isn`t in the cards right now." "We know that if we push it too far, we`ll have no bill," Schumer added. (Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2003) When Sen. Feinstein says "right now," it has a special meaning. She is already on record supporting gun confiscation, having said, "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren`t there." (CBS 60 Minutes, Dec. 5, 1995)

 

Like H.R. 2038, S. 1034 does not merely "reauthorize" or "extend" the Clinton gun ban, it: permanently bans millions of guns and amm-unition magazines, including magazines used in the most popular target shooting rifles and conventional handguns; expands the Clinton gun ban by prohibiting the importation of magazines; and places legitimate importers at increased risk of groundless prosecution for a 10-year felony offense.

COURT STAYS McCAIN-FEINGOLD RULING

The specially-created federal panel of judges that issued the decision on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" law has stayed its decision. This means until the Supreme Court reviews the lower court`s decision, the laws governing campaign activities will be those outlined in the McCain-Feingold law.

The court`s original decision actually expanded McCain-Feingold`s prohibition on running issue-related broadcast ads. The statute, as passed, prohibited groups like NRA from running these kinds of ads during the critical months leading up to an election. The court`s decision, however, prohibited these ads from running at any time during the year. By staying its ruling, NRA is able to forge ahead with ads criticizing Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others for their intransigence on S. 659—the Senate`s lawsuit preemption bill. If the court had not taken this remedial action, NRA would have been prohibited from running such ads. It will be up to the Supreme Court to render the final decision on the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold law.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

ARIZONA

HB 2353, a bill allowing gun owners visiting Arizona to carry concealed firearms if they have a valid permit from their home state, was signed into law by Governor Janet Napolitano (D). Please call Governor Napolitano at (602) 542-4331 and thank her for her support of the reciprocity bill.

COLORADO

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing a comprehensive conservation plan for the 6000 acre Rocky Mountain Flats National Wildlife Refuge and is seeking public comment on how the Refuge should be managed. Four public workshops will be held as an additional means of gathering public input. By law, hunting is a priority use of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but hunting opportunities need the involvement of hunters in the planning process. Information pertaining to the workshops and the draft plan for Rocky Mountain Flats can be found on the Internet at http://rockyflats.fws.gov. For information about other refuges undergoing management planning, you can log onto http://www.fws.gov/.

MISSOURI

Two bills, HB 349, which would establish a system for Missouri residents to obtain concealed carry permits, and SB 13, which stops cities and towns in Missouri from filing reckless lawsuits against gun manufacturers, await the signature of Governor Bob Holden (D). It is vital that you call the Governor`s office at (573) 751-3222 and urge him to sign both of these important bills.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

House Bill 415, which contains language that would safeguard New Hampshire`s law-abiding gun owners by preventing a patchwork of local anti-gun ordinances in municipalities throughout the state, will be considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please attend the hearing on Tuesday, May 27, at 10:15 a.m., in Room 105-A, at the State House in Concord. Also, because this bill could move quickly if approved by the committee, please contact your State Senators to voice strong SUPPORT for HB 415. For contact information for your lawmakers, please visit www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ie/ or use the "Write Your Representatives"feature at www.NRAILA.org.

NEW JERSEY

NRA commends the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) for their hard work in addressing the blatant attack on their First Amendment rights by the Montclair Board of Education. The ANJRPC filed suit against the School Board in June of 2000 after they were denied the same privilege of distributing a flyer that a gun-ban group was given. This resolution guarantees that Second Amendment groups will have the same rights as all other groups. The settlement calls for the following: 1) The School Board must distribute three leaflets to make up for past unequal treatment. The leaflets will promote ANJRPC`s 2003 education and training events for youth and women; 2) The ANJRPC will have access to the school system to conduct events; 3) The ANJRPC may grant scholarships; and 4) The ANJRPC may establish a student club. In the event the School Board votes to amend their policies and prohibit such activities, no one group may be exempted. A copy of the settlement agreement is posted on the ANJRPC`s website at http://www.anjrpc.org/.

NEW YORK

AB 8542, a bill that would expand the current handgun ballistic identification program to include rifles and shotguns, was considered by the Assembly Codes Committee and referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. As it stands, New York`s program requiring manufacturers, wholesalers, and dealers to provide ballistic samples to the state police before a handgun can legally be sold has yet to lead to a single successful prosecution of a criminal and already costs millions of dollars per year. Also considered by the Assembly Codes Committee was AB 4615A, a bill that would require law-abiding gun owners to lock up their guns or go to jail. AB 4615A was approved by the committee and now heads to the full Assembly for consideration. Please contact your Assembly member and urge him to oppose A 4615A and A 8542. You can find contact information for your Assembly member by using the "Write your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org.

TEXAS

This week, the Senate gave final approval to HB 3477 by Rep. Jack Stick (R-Austin) & Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls). This NRA-supported measure shifts responsibility for negotiating concealed handgun license (CHL) reciprocal agreements from DPS to the Attorney General`s office. This should result in Texas recognizing more out-of-state licenses and vice-versa. The bill heads to Governor Rick Perry (R) for his expected signature. As this went to press, the Senate had not yet voted to accept House amendments to NRA-backed SB 501 by Sen. Ken Armbrister (D-Victoria) & Rep. Suzanna Hupp (R-Lampasas), a bill closing a loophole in the criminal trespass law that cities and counties are using to ban CHLs from public buildings and property. We`ll keep you posted!

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend,

and remember those who

paid the ultimate price to protect our freedom!

NRA ILA

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.