OWAA LOYALTY TO SIERRA CLUB
FORCES NRA TO WITHDRAW SUPPORT
NRA has been forced to withdraw its support for the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), due to OWAA leadership`s continuing loyalty to the Sierra Club, a longtime foe of the rights of hunters. NRA will join the growing number of OWAA Sustaining and Individual members who are transferring their memberships to groups more favorable to hunters and free expression.
"NRA has long worked with others in support of game and habitat preservation," said NRA President Kayne Robinson. "We are the primary organization that works to defend the rights of hunters and protect access to hunting lands. The NRA will continue its fight for the rights of all hunters in America."
Robinson noted NRA`s efforts to curb government harassment of hunters, including bureaucratic red tape, civil rights invasions, unreasonable fees, and restricted access to public lands. "Many of our most vulnerable hunters are being driven away by hostile government actions and the NRA will never stand idly by while our rights are being eroded."
The Sierra Club, an OWAA member organization, embarked last year on a political campaign to defeat pro-gun and pro-hunting candidates by endorsing a slate of candidates in the 2004 elections that were opposed to hunting and firearm ownership. NRA opposition to the Sierra Club campaign was met with criticism by OWAA leaders.
"If the Sierra Club`s endorsed candidates had their way, private ownership of firearms would be banned," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. "We were right to oppose their campaign and their candidates, and NRA`s four million members turned out on Election Day and voted for their rights and their freedom."
Robinson pointed out the irony of OWAA criticism of the NRA in opposing the Sierra Club campaign. "This is an organization of journalists," Robinson noted. "Yet, as soon as we criticized the Sierra Club, we were attacked by the OWAA board in a clear exhibition of bias against free speech for its own members."
Robinson and LaPierre said that the NRA would join the large and growing number of former OWAA members who were transferring their memberships to groups more favorable to free expression and to the rights of hunters.
SNUBBING MICHAEL MOORE
Congratulations to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for getting this one right! The Academy snubbed Michael Moore`s "Fahrenheit 9/11" in this year`s Oscar nominations. Moore reportedly withdrew the politically hostile film from contention in the documentary category not only because he planned to air it before the November elections (a disqualification under Academy rules), but also in the high hopes that it would be nominated for best-picture. Moore`s hopes were dashed when the gamble backfired and the film was shut out across the board.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is the latest revisionist "fantasy" film by Moore and, not surprisingly, follows the same recipe as his previous films--the absurdly inaccurate, irresponsible, and arrogant works "Bowling for Columbine," "Stupid White Men," and "Dude, Where`s My Country?"
Commentator Mark Smith gives one possible explanation for the rejection: "Perhaps Hollywood decided, ‘We don`t want to be reminded of our bitter defeat in November (in the presidential election), and the best way to forget it is not to talk about Michael Moore at this year`s Oscars."`
In commenting on Moore`s being shut out from the nominations, the editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal noted that all members of the Academy would have recognized Moore`s "Fahrenheit 9/11" as "sophomoric, meretricious filmmaking." The Journal also had this to say: "Ultimately, Mr. Moore`s fatal misunderstanding was of Hollywood itself. To be nominated for an Academy Award, Mr. Moore has to win the election. You can say many things about Hollywood, but there is one Tinseltown verity that will never change: It doesn`t reward losers."
BRADY VIDEO SHOOTS BLANKS
In an obvious setup for an ammunition-banning "killer amendment" to defeat pro-gun legislation, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) have once again proven that they`ve never seen a gun they won`t try to ban. The target of this week`s sparsely attended Washington news conference was FN Herstal`s "Five-SeveN," an expensive and still rare polymer-framed handgun. At the same time they attack .50 caliber rifles for their large bullets and long-range capability, the anti-gun groups falsely claim the Five-SeveN--specially designed for short-range use with small, lightweight bullets--poses a threat to police.
The truth is, this pistol and its ammunition were approved for importation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), which stated that the ammunition is "not armor piercing" under Federal law. BATFE also noted that in tests by FN--one of Europe`s most respected firearm manufacturers--bullets from the Five-SeveN wouldn`t penetrate two kinds of soft body armor (you can see BATFE`s statement at: www.atf.gov/firearms/firearmstech/fabriquen.htm).
Law enforcement agencies and manufacturers follow 57 pages of detailed instructions when testing armor. Brady "ballisticians" simply shot a vest draped over a bale of hay and handed out a video.
The Brady Campaign`s latest media hysteria is clearly aimed at defeating pro-Second Amendment bills such as the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act." Last year, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) was soundly beaten at that game, when the Senate rebuffed his ploy to saddle the lawsuit bill with an amendment that would have banned most hunting rifle ammunition. The Senate rejected the Kennedy amendment on a 34-63 vote, wisely choosing instead to follow a 1997 BATFE report which found that "existing laws are working" and urged Congress to "avoid any experimentation with police officer lives."
A LOOK AT THE STATES
On January 27, the Connecticut General Assembly`s Public Safety Committee voted to hold hearings on SB 714, a measure that would ban the future sale of .50 caliber rifles and would require individuals who currently own this type of firearm to obtain a permit in order to legally possess them. Several years ago, Connecticut lawmakers passed legislation prohibiting the sale and importation of .50 caliber "armor piercing" or incendiary ammunition, and it`s clear that this is just another attempt by the gun-grabbers to ban one more type of firearm. Other gun bills to be heard by the committee, although seemingly positive for gun owners, stand a very good chance of being gutted and used as anti-gun vehicles, should they come out of the Public Safety Committee. It is critical that no firearm bills be approved by the Public Safety Committee because they all have the potential to become the latest law on the books diminishing the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Please contact members of the Public Safety Committee and urge them to oppose all gun bills being heard by the Public Safety Committee. For a list of committee members and their phone numbers, please contact NRA-ILA`s Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.
Next week, the Joint Appropriations Committee has scheduled a public hearing on Governor John Baldacci`s (R) proposed budget for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that includes limited Sunday hunting. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 3, at 1:00 p.m., in Room 228 of the Capital building. The proposal would make Sunday hunting lawful for all species and seasons except the November deer firearm season. No Sunday hunting will be allowed during the deer firearm season except for duck hunters. The Governor excluded deer hunting because of the number of hunters in the woods and possible conflicts and problems with landowners and the public. You must act now to help us achieve the Sunday hunting opportunities offered by Governor Baldacci in the proposed new state budget. Please contact the Governor at (207) 287-3531 and let him know that you appreciate and support his decision to allow Sunday hunting opportunities. Also, please contact your State Representative and Senator by using the "Write Your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org.
House Bill 272, currently in the Montana House, would guarantee half-priced deer and antelope licenses to certain disabled combat veterans. Please call your Representative and ask for a "yes" vote on this important measure. Up for a vote in the Senate is House Bill 225, a measure that would clarify how and under what circumstances a landowner or a landowner`s guests or lessees can hunt on private property. Introduced to negate concerns brought forward as a result of a court decision, which determined that public safety concerns outweighed private property rights, HB 225 is a necessary step towards protecting Montanan`s Constitutional right to hunt.
By a vote of 3-3, the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee tabled HB 161 which sought to ban the discharge of firearms within 450 yards of any building or dwelling. Proponents of the measure could attempt to resurrect the bill at anytime. NRA will keep you up to date with information regarding firearm related bills in New Mexico.
Please keep contacting your Representatives to ask them to sign on as cosponsors of H 3110--NRA-backed legislation that seeks to establish a straight recognition law regarding Right-to-Carry permits. If H 3110 becomes law, South Carolina would automatically recognize any valid Right-to-Carry permit issued by another state. Eight Representatives have already signed on as cosponsors since we asked you to start calling last week. Again, please contact your Representative and urge him to cosponsor H 3110, and work to ensure it becomes law. If he has already signed on, please thank him for his support, and ask him to encourage his colleagues to become cosponsors, as well. You can find contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.
This week, the Virginia Senate rejected SB 807, a bill that would have required background checks on all private firearm sales at gun shows. Prior to the vote, gun show opponents went so far as to cite fictional characters in a novel in a shameless attempt to justify their misguided attack on legal firearm transactions. Fortunately, by a vote of 20-17, the Senate once again sided with Virginia`s law-abiding gun owners and refused to enact a solution in search of a problem. Special thanks to Senators Ken Cuccinelli (R-37), Ken Stolle (R-8), Creigh Deeds (D-25), and John Edwards (D-21) for their leadership and support on the Senate floor. To find out how your Senator voted on this critical bill, please visit http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+vot+SV0111+SB0807. Please take the time to thank those Senators that voted to preserve Virginia`s gun shows, as well as to express your disappointment with those who voted in favor of SB 807.
House Bill 271, slated to be heard before the House Travel, Recreation and Wildlife Committee, will appropriate monies from the General Fund to build and maintain a public shooting range in Laramie County. It is vital that NRA members voice their support for this much-needed facility as soon as possible, since bills move quickly in Wyoming. House Bill 298, introduced by Representative Becket Hinckley (R-41), will allow for the carrying of concealed firearms without a permit (as recently implemented in Alaska), leaving the current permitting system in place for the purpose of reciprocity with other states. This bill is slated to be heard in the House Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee as early as next week. You can find contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.