As reported in the March 28 issue of the Grassroots Alert, Michael Moore`s Academy Award winning "documentary" film Bowling for Columbine is nothing more than a pretentious and shamefully deceitful work of anti-American, anti-gun, anti-NRA propaganda. That the film should have been allowed to be nominated in the first place is highly questionable. That Moore won an Oscar for the film is simply outrageous. Almost from the start, questions swirled over Moore`s deceptive, dishonest handling of the "facts" and whether the movie even qualified as a documentary under the Academy`s own rules. The resulting public outcry provoked an on-line campaign to recall the award.
The ongoing controversy further intensified recently as a September 2 WorldNetDaily.com article described in detail Moore`s failure to satisfy the unique procedural requirements for the film`s eligibility. The article notes that the Academy`s qualification rules demanded that documentaries be exhibited in a commercial theater for paid admission for seven consecutive days in either Los Angeles County or Manhattan prior to September 30, 2002, and that the entire engagement of the theatrical run be displayed in a major newspaper`s movie pages. While the film did reportedly run in Los Angeles County prior to the deadline, it apparently ran for only four days. In addition, the requisite major newspaper ads were apparently never published. Either of these deceptive omissions constitute a failure to satisfy the Academy`s requirements.
Futhermore, fellow Academy Award nominee Dan Gifford has asked the Academy to investigate whether Moore "fabricated scenes and video of real people that has been edited to manufacture a fictional reality intended to mislead viewers."
While an investigation would certainly be welcomed, the deceptive filmmaker has already given us "Moore" than enough "documentation" in the movie itself.
As we`ve repeatedly noted in the Grassroots Alert, one of NRA-ILA`s top legislative priorities in Congress continues to be the passage of a federal law to block reckless, predatory lawsuits against the firearm industry. The passage of S. 659 is critically important. We hope to have a vote on this crucial legislation in the coming weeks, and we cannot over-emphasize the need for you to remain actively engaged in ensuring its passage. It is imperative that you continue to contact your U.S. Senators in support of S. 659 and urge them to do everything in their power to end these meritless lawsuits and ensure that this essential legislation is approved. Let your Senators know that it is crucial they cosponsor and support S. 659. Also, please urge them to support the will of the majority by working to derail the filibuster that anti-gun Senators have threatened to launch in a last-ditch attempt to defeat S. 659.
Also, please continue to communicate with your U.S. Representative and your Senators, and urge them to oppose current legislation seeking to reauthorize and expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban—H.R. 2038, S. 1431, and S. 1034. Please remember that for all of the above-mentioned action items, you can find contact information for your elected officials by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.
KERRY LAMBASTES NRA
If there was ever any doubt about the views of U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) on gun-related issues, they have been put to rest. Kerry, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, not only has supported every gun control scheme that`s come down the pike, but he recently lashed out directly at NRA. Kerry noted, "Our party will never be the choice of the NRA, and I am not looking to be the candidate of the NRA." While we`re sure Kerry`s remarks won`t be well received by the millions of pro-gun Democrats across the nation, one thing is certain, John Kerry will never have to worry about being the "candidate of the NRA."
2003 GUN RIGHTS POLICY CONFERENCE
This year`s Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) will be held September 26-28, at the Marriott Hotel at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. The conference is sponsored by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), in cooperation with NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers` Institute (SAAMI), and many state gun owners` organizations. Speakers at this year`s conference will include: NRA Executive Vice President Wayne R. LaPierre; SAF President Joseph Tartaro; CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb; NSSF Vice Presidents, Lt. Gen. James Chambers (USAF, ret.) and Gary Mehalik; National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA) Executive Vice President John Miller; Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.); Alaska State Rep. Eric Croft (D-Anchorage); acclaimed author and scholar, John R. Lott, Jr.; syndicated radio show host Tom Gresham; and others. Registration, conference materials, receptions, and continental breakfasts are free. Participants are required to pay for their own lodging, travel, and other meals. Advance registration is required. For more information, or to register for this year`s GRPC, call (425) 454-4911, fax to (425) 451-3959, or e-mail your registration to GRPC2003@saf.org.
A LOOK AT THE STATES
On Tuesday, September 9, the cities of Phoenix and Tucson will be holding citywide elections for Mayor and council districts. To find out about NRA-PVF-endorsed candidates, please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.
Next week the General Assembly will hold a special veto override session. Governor Holden (D) vetoed two bills: HB 349, Right to Carry and SB 13, Reckless Lawsuit Preemption. Both bills passed the Senate and House by overwhelming majorities. It is critical that you contact your legislators in Jefferson City, and tell them that law-abiding Missourians expect them to override the Governor`s action on these bills. You can contact your Senator at (573) 751-3824 and your Representative at (573) 751-3659.
Last week, the subcommittees of the New Mexico Blue Ribbon Tax Commission (BRC) submitted to the full Commission their final recommendations and options for changes to the state`s tax laws to cover a proposed $300 million income tax cut and elimination of the tax on most foodstuffs. One option put forth by the Equity Committee would remove the exemption for receipts of 501(c)(3) and (c)(6) entities. The increased paperwork and tax burden resulting from such a change could severely impact the fundraising operations of many non-profit and charitable organizations, such as the NRA Foundation and your local Friends of NRA Committees. At a time when charitable giving is already down, the state would be asking these groups` volunteers to shoulder an additional bureaucratic burden. This would only serve to discourage participation in many civic groups that perform invaluable public services. Unless the Commission members hear from you, this misguided proposal could find its way into legislation that will be debated in Santa Fe during a special session of the legislature later this fall. The Commission will meet and debate any proposed changes to 501(c)(3) group status on September 10-11. Please call your state lawmakers and tell them that any form of tax could cripple 501(c)(3)s. Please forward this information to any other sportsmen`s group or community service organization to which you or your family members belong that may be impacted by such a proposed change. This could include the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, veterans groups, gun clubs, wildlife associations, and church-based organizations. Thank you for your time and efforts!
The Sportsmen`s Association for Firearms Education, Inc. (S.A.F.E.), will host the 2003 Right to Carry Conference and Second Amendment Rally on Sunday, October 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Doors will open at 12:00 noon. The rally will be held at the Sheraton Long Island, 110 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, Smithtown, N.Y. (on Motor Parkway on North side of LIE between exits 53 & 55). Be sure to come out and get the latest updates on the Right to Carry, and hear guest speakers raise issues and give information you won`t hear anywhere else! Valuable prizes will be offered in drawings limited to attendees only. This is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with fellow sportsmen concerning our civil rights, and to raise issues of concern with local and national leaders of Second Amendment organizations and local legislators. In attendance will be: NRA Executive Vice President Wayne R. LaPierre; NRA President Kayne B. Robinson; NRA First Vice President Sandra Froman; the Honorable Bob Barr, former member, U.S. House of Representatives; Law Enforcement Alliance of America Executive Director Jim Fotis; and S.A.F.E. President, and NRA Board Member, John L. Cushman. Admission and parking are free, and family and friends are welcome. The S.A.F.E. and Women on Target are sponsoring a Women`s Only Clinic on Rifle Shooting on Long Island, to be held on Saturday, October 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, or 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., at the Long Island Shooting Center Indoor Range, 130 Freeman Avenue, Islip, N.Y. Experienced instructors will be on hand. This clinic is free and open to all women, regardless of experience. You will learn safe gun handling skills, proper firearm storage techniques, and fundamentals of marksmanship. The program includes free refreshments, a firearms safety class, all ammunition and targets, use of .22 caliber rifles, and all safety equipment. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is required by September 21. For more information, please contact John L. Cushman at (631) 475-8125.
A joint committee hearing on the 2003 Personal Protection Act (PPA) is scheduled for Tuesday, September 9 at 10:00 a.m. The hearing will be held in Room 411 South of the State Capitol Building in Madison. Media will be in attendance, making it imperative for gun owners to have a strong presence at this event. The likelihood that Gov. Jim Doyle (D) will veto this legislation makes it even more critical that Wisconsin gun owners stand up for freedom and attend this hearing in support of these bills. You can be sure that the anti-gunners in Madison will be mobilizing against your right to self-defense. If passed, Rep. Scott Gunderson`s AB 444 and Sen. Dave Zien`s SB 214 would make Wisconsin the 36th state to provide its citizens with the right to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense. If you are unsure of who your representative and senator are, you can visit http://www.legis.state.wi.us/waml and enter your home address. You may also call the Legislative Hotline toll-free at (800) 362-9472. Sen. Dave Zien (Dist. 23), the primary Senate sponsor of the 2003 Personal Protection Act, is offering regular updates on the status of the 2003 PPA. To receive these updates and review press releases, go to his web site at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen23/news/. Click on the link "contact me" and ask to be added to his PPA e-mail alert network. Legislation has also been introduced in the Assembly to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners by stopping reckless lawsuits against the firearm and ammunition industry which attempt to hold them civilly liable for the criminal actions of others. Please call your lawmakers and urge them to support AB 96. The legislature will likely act upon the Reckless Lawsuit Preemption Bill some time this month.