This material was download June 20, 1990 from the: FIREARMS COALITION BULLET'N BOARD 1-703

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This material was download June 20, 1990 from the: FIREARMS COALITION BULLET'N BOARD 1-703-971-4491 (2400,N,8,1) Whither White House? By NEAL KNOX WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 1) -- The late Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen had a much-pirated favorite saying: "When I feel the heat, I see the light." As indicated by George Bush's refusal to blame the gun for Joseph Wesbecker's murders, "Drug Czar" Bennett's Capitol Hill testimony that handguns -- not "assault rifles" -- are drug criminals' weapons of choice, and by today's House Select Committee on Narcotics hearings in which Federal agencies stated they needed no new "assault weapons" legislation, it is clear that the Bush Administration has backed off. Without question, the politically sensitive upper levels of the Bush Administration has felt the heat from outraged gunowners and is seeing the light. That doesn't mean that we gun owners should turn down the heat, forgiving and forgeting the Bush-imposed ban on "non- sporting" firearms or the Administration's proposed ban and registration of "high-capacity feeding devices," S. 1225 -- though that bill is almost dead. The once-certain Senate loss on "assault rifles" is now a toss-up, and as we've been saying for weeks, there's a good chance that there'll be no vote this year on DeConcini's Committee-passed S. 747. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum is trying to salvage Handgun Control Inc. -- and the establishment news media's -- massive "assault rifle" efforts by scheduling Nov. 21 handgun "waiting period" hearings. At some point we expect him to back off from an "assault rifle" ban to a "waiting period/background check" on both military-style rifles and handguns (which will make the bill both more and less difficult to defeat). But Congress, the White House and political operatives like Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater have been reading their mail, and watching election returns. "Gun Control" -- and the Bush Administration's reneging on last year's campaign promises -- have been issues in several special House election campaigns this year, and the Republicans have been hurt. The clearest example was in the race for the Texas seat of Speaker Jim Wright, who resigned in the face of an ethics investigation. The Republican candidate, a medical doctor and well-known television personality, when asked his views on the Second Amendment said "What's that?" When told, he said he was a hunter, but that he supported President Bush's efforts to "get rid of assault rifles." Whereupon, the Democratic candidate blasted the Republican for supporting "gun control." Now that's a switch! The Republican responded with an ad showing a hoodlum, and saying that the Democratic wanted crooks to be able to buy guns "no questions asked" -- and endorsed a "waiting period." Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America -- a former Republican member of the Virginia legislature -- went to Texas to help the Democrat. NRA, despite the importunings of key Republicans, fired a mailing into the district supporting the Democrat, Pete Geren, who was elected by 1,620 votes, far fewer than the number of votes turned by GOA and NRA. Without question, Geren wouldn't have been elected without the support of the gun groups. The same is true for George Bush, but Bush forgot it -- and is being reminded. A friend in the Republican National Committee told me that for months the No. 1 topic in their mail is Bush's two-timing two-step on the gun issue. Every time any Republican fundraising letter goes out to prior contributors, there's a flood of angry responses from gun owners -- but no checks in the postage-paid envelopes, each of which costs the GOP another 45 cents. Though gunowners get irritated at the continual urgings of their lobbyists, like me, to "keep those cards and letters coming in," it works. --- (Retain Neal Knox Associates as your lobbyist and begin receiving the bi-monthly "Hard Corps Report" by contributing to the Firearms Coalition, Box 6537, Silver Spring, MD 20906. For legislative updates call (301) 871-3006 [automated voice] or the Bullet'N Board Lessons From Lithuania By Neal Knox Those who avoid and evade the reason for the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would surely admit that if Lithuania had a Second Amendment, Mikhail Gorbachev violated it on March 22, 1990 -- the day Russian troops seized arms from the Lithuanian militia. Or was "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" actually violated two days earlier, when Premier Gorbachev ordered private citizens to turn in their hunting and competition guns to the Russian army within one week "for temporary safekeeping" -- or have them confiscated and their owners imprisoned? Or was "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" initially violated many years before, when the people were first prohibited from possessing guns without permission of government, and laws were passed requiring every gun to be registered? In fact, the Soviet Constitution guarantees the people the right to keep and bear arms, and Lithuania is part of the Soviet Union -- or so Gorbachev contends. But obviously the Soviet government pays no more attention to that constitutional freedom guarantee than does the majority of the U.S. government, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, or CBS and the Washington Post. What is the difference, precisely, between the confiscation of private firearms in Lithuania and the confiscation ordered by S. 166, the Graves bill now pending in the New Jersey Senate? What is the difference, precisely, between the registration law in Lithuania -- which makes confiscation possible -- and the registration of military-style firearms required by California's Roberti-Roos bill, which went into effect January 1, 1990. What is the difference, precisely, between Lithuania's law prohibiting the people from owning military-style firearms and the so-called "assault rifle" bans now pending in both Houses of Congress and in many states? The difference is that the people of the United States are free men and women who can trust their benevolent government. Forever? NOTE -- Nothing has so clearly demonstrated the reasons for the Second Amendment and the reasons it must be defended since Dec. 14, 1981, when Gen. Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland, placed all press under total government control, and declared all firearms licenses and gun registration certificates void -- requiring the licensed owners to turn in their registered guns within 48 hours. Of course, since the government knew where every gun was -- except those in the hands of criminals -- they had no choice but to comply. Please download this file, print it out and send it to your local newspaper -- putting your name on it if you think it will cause more letters editors to run it. Also please upload it to as many other bulletin boards and nets as possible. Neal Knox The Firearms Coalition Box 6537 Silver Spring, MD 20906 Reviewing Cassidy's Achievements By NEAL KNOX WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 30) -- Four years after the NRA Board gave J. Warren Cassidy the reins of NRA, membership is down to 2.6 million, the association has suffered some of its worst legislative defeats in history, its relationship with law enforcement is at an all-time low, the public thinks NRA is a four-letter word, and Cassidy wants a raise. Six weeks before the June 8-12 NRA annual meetings in California -- site of the worst legislative defeats -- Cassidy reportedly has launched an effort to blame NRA's troubles on the NRA Institute and the officers and directors who have opposed his politics of appeasement. Cassidy has no one but himself to blame for NRA's problems. The NRA office in Sacramento which failed to prevent -- or caused -- a gunowner-elected governor and several key legislators to turn against them has operated largely under the direction of Cassidy and the California Rifle and Pistol Association. Their eagerness to compromise has cost Californians dearly. The Los Angeles Herald Examiner banner on Feb. 2, 1989 exulted: "NRA Holding Its Fire On Assault Rifle Legislation." The article quoted former CRPA Lobbyist Kent DeChambeau as saying "I'm willing to consider a compromise. ... We've got to stop having dead children on our schoolyards." The greatest single cause of NRA's legislative problems has been the woeful decline in relations with law enforcement -- an area in which Cassidy has always exercised direct control, and for which he must take sole responsibility. Through his compromises, such as NRA's support of S. 104, a bullet ban which he said would "protect America's police," he advertised that NRA would violate Second Amendment principles in an effort to curry police favor. When the bill was announced at a June 14, 1984 "joint press conference," Sen. Edward Kennedy extolled NRA's willingness to compromise. But the police groups soon made a slight change so they and NRA were no longer supporting exactly the same bill, allowing them and Handgun Control Inc. to continue blasting NRA for not supporting their version of the "Cop-Killer Bullet" bill. When NRA members denounced the "compromise," Cassidy told them through the "American Rifleman" that NRA had taken "no position" on the bill. That lie infuriated lawmakers like Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Az.) who had co-sponsored the bill at NRA's specific request and were left swinging in the breeze when NRA members began hammering them for supporting the bill. (That fiasco is almost certainly the reason that Sen. DeConcini introduced his "assault rifle" bill, S. 747). In 1985 the NRA Board ordered a law enforcement liaison to be hired. Cassidy didn't comply until mid-1988, and then, in violation of the NRA Bylaw giving ILA exclusive responsibility for such political and legislative operations, Cassidy placed the "Law Enforcement Relations Division" under his personal control. Despite the objections of NRA's public relations firm which said the new police liaison wasn't qualified to debate the gun issue, Cassidy ordered that he represent NRA on "NBC Today" -- where he embarrassed the NRA and its members. During the Orlando annual meetings in 1988, Cassidy told the Legislative Policy Committee that the rift between NRA and police organizations could not be resolved unless NRA acquiesced to their demands for a police permit and waiting period on handguns, and said members "would get accustomed to them." Incredibly, just a few months later Cassidy appeared before the same committee and angrily blustered that certain directors were claiming he had made such "scurrilous statements." Legislative Chairman (and Vice President) Dick Riley informed Cassidy that he was one of those directors, and that Cassidy had told the committee the very things he was now denying. (Not surprisingly, Cassidy is attempting to prevent Riley from moving up as NRA President.) Earlier this year Cassidy announced the long-needed "Office of Women's Issues and Information" would be established this fall, directed by the highly capable Liz Swayze, who formerly worked for Massachusetts' Gun Owners Action League. Again Cassidy intends to violate the Bylaws by putting both the women's issues division and the field reps directly under his control, pulling the field reps out from under ILA. Cassidy would probably prefer that he didn't directly control membership promotions, for while other gun organizations are growing rapidly and NRA-ILA is receiving unprecedented contributions, NRA membership has sagged. The reason: while ILA and the other gun groups are talking about the unprecedented assault upon long guns, NRA is spending some $15 million per year trying to entice members with shopworn sweepstakes offers -- instead of educating non-member gun owners to the dangers they are now facing, and using some of those millions to build permanent membership by building ranges for clubs that require NRA membership. Thanks to Cassidy's leadership, we have 200,000 fewer members and almost $50 million worth of canceled postage stamps and waste paper; Californians cannot buy dozens of guns and must notify police and wait 15 days before they buy, sell or trade even a .22 single shot rifle; our gun rights are hanging by a thread in Congress; and Cassidy expects NRA to want him to lead them out of the mess he led them into. Informed Juries Critical WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 12) -- Only a relative handful of military style semi-auto rifles have been registered or turned in to cities and states which have enacted prohibitive new laws. To put a stop to what the press calls "massive non-compliance," it's a sure bet that prosecutors will "throw the book" at the first persons caught with such illegal "heinous weapons." At the conclusion of each trial, the judge will solemnly instruct the jury: "If you find that the defendant had in his possession a contraband gun, you must find him guilty." That will be a lie. If the jury thinks the law is wrong, they -- or even a single juror -- can find the defendant "not guilty." As early as 1670 the English courts (on which our laws are based) were prohibited from punishing jurors who rendered such protest verdicts. And the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. has said a jury "has the prerogative to disregard uncontradicted evidence and instructions of the judge." That's the reason a jury trial was guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution -- to allow a jury of common citizens to pass judgement upon the law as well as the person accused of breaking the law. A few years ago the FBI -- looking for ways to punish a wealthy Florida food processor -- pre-empted BATF's turf and tactics by bringing 88 felony charges against him for procedural and paperwork violations of the Gun Control Act. As a skeet shooter who had become a license Federal gun dealer to write off some of his shooting expenses, he had let other shooters try guns for a few days without filling out a Form 4473, made transfers at ranges instead of only his business office, and otherwise violated the highly technical language of the law. The case had nothing to do with "crime control;" the least expensive gun involved was a Diana Grade Browning. The jury, pondering those 88 paperwork counts worth $440,00 in fines and potentially 440 years in prison, thought the whole thing was a bunch of nonsense and found him "not guilty" on every count -- though he openly admitted his guilt on the stand. Judges, prosecutors and legislatures hate that ability of commoners to overturn the edicts of the elite establishment, which is why [x]no one in the court room may inform a jury of the extent of its powers.[xx] There's a nationwide movement to correct that outrage by enacting "Fully Informed Juror" laws and constitutional amendments. They would [x]require[xx] that juries to be told of their rights, privileges and duty to judge both the law and the person accused of breaking the law. Arizona State Senator (and non-renominated NRA Director) Wayne Stump is in the forefront of the fight. His bill died in committee but signatures are being gathered to put it on the ballot as a state constitutional amendment. Similar legislative and initiative efforts are being pushed in a dozen states by "Fully Informed Jury Amendment," P.O. Box 59, Helmville, MT 59843; (406) 793-5550. Since the Supreme Court has diligently refused to consider blatantly unconstitutional gun laws, the only way to uphold the right to keep an bear arms may lie in the true court of last resort -- a jury of one's peers. Brady Testimony Aimed At Justice Report By NEAL KNOX WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 21) -- With an increasingly temperamental Congress staggering to adjournment, Sen. Howard Metzenbaum couldn't get a vote on an "assault rifle ban" (the "gun control fad of the year") so he had to settle for a media event: former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady testifying for passage of the "Brady seven-day handgun waiting period" bill. The timing of the unusual last-day Senate hearings was clearly designed to blow away yesterday's Justice Department report that neither an "instant background check," as called for by last year's "McCollum Amendment," nor a seven-day check as proposed by the "Brady Bill" could deny handguns to any significant number of criminals. However, Attorney General Richard Thornburgh called for the eventual development of an instant-check system under which dealers would use a touch-tone telephone to check buyers against a database of disqualified persons. He wrote that Justice Department could not meet Congress' requirement for an "immediate and accurate" check until both Federal and State criminal records were corrected and automated -- which would require at least three years. HCI's carefully calculated move to divert attention from the Justice report clearly worked, for Brady -- who was shot in the head and barely survived John Hinckley's 1981 assassination attempt upon President Reagan -- was shown on all the television networks condemning a "gutless" Congress and "the Evil Empire" NRA for failing to pass a waiting period law. The fact that Handgun Control Inc.'s strategists dropped their emotional "nuclear weapon" at a time when Congress was leaving town for two months -- instead of on the eve of the vote for the bill -- indicates just how concerned they are about the impact of the Justice Department report. A four-page Nov. 20 letter from Attorney General Richard Thornburgh to the Congress, accompanying the 127-page "Report on Systems for Identifying Felons Who Attempt to Purchase Firearms," noted that there were "several major hurdles to achieving the goal of 'immediate and accurate' identification of felons seeking to legally purchase handguns." "The greatest of these hurdles ... is the reality that felons obtain guns through many illegal, unlicensed means. ... One study, performed for the National Institute of Justice [by Wright and Rossi], concluded that 84 percent of the incarcerated felons surveyed who admitted to owning firearms, had obtained them on the streets and not from licensed dealers." The Attorney General's letter called "the second obstacle ... the current state of record-keeping.... (M)any of the criminal history records maintained by law enforcement are either out of date or incomplete, or both. Finally, current records often contain arrest information without a notation of the final disposition." To comply with last-year's last-minute Metzenbaum amendment to the McCollum Amendment requiring "implementation ... of an immediate and accurate" background check within 30 days, Thornburgh stated he was ordering a modernization of FBI records and diverting $27 million of drug funds. Nevertheless, Metzenbaum charged that the Attorney General was violating the law by failing to instantly implement the impossible "instant check." But no one paid much attention to his ravings. What he and his supporters are carefully ignoring is that the background check required by the "Brady Bill" would have to use those same inaccurate and incomplete criminal history records that the Attorney General's Task Force -- composed of seven Federal Agencies -- found to be inadequate. Shortly before 3 p.m. June 5, the Senate rejected, by 54-37, a motion to limit debate on S. 1970, the Biden Crime package which includes the provisions of S. 747, the DeConcini gun ban. That means that S. 1970 and over 300 amendments still may be debated at length, in effect a filibuster. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell had said that if the cloture vote failed, as it did, that he would "pull down" S. 1970 -- killing it. However, there will be another cloture vote on Thursday, June 7. If cloture is again defeated, Mitchell is likely to kill the bill, but another vote on S. 747 is a certainty, either as a standalone bill or as an amendment to other legislation. Based on last week's vote, it would pass by a margin of 51-49. A change of one vote could reverse the outcome. A Yes vote signifies that the person voted to take the DeConcini amendments out of the Omnibus Crime Bill, while a No vote signifies a vote to keep the ban on 14 assault weapons in the bill. Senator STATE vote Murkowski AK Y Stevens AK Y Heflin AL Y Shelby AL Y Bumpers AR N Pryor AR N DeConcini AZ N McCain AZ Y Cranston CA N Wilson CA N Armstrong CO Y Wirth CO N Dodd CT N Lieberman CT N Biden DE N Roth DE Y Graham FL N Mack FL Y Fowler GA N Nunn GA N Inouye HI N Matsunaga HI - Grassley IA Y Harkin IA N McClure ID Y Symms ID Y Dixon IL N Simon IL N Coats IN Y Lugar IN Y Dole KS Y Kassebaum KS N Ford KY Y McConnell KY Y Breaux LA Y Johnston LA Y Kennedy MA N Kerry MA N Mikulski MD N Sarbanes MD N Cohen ME Y Mitchell ME N Levin MI N Riegle MI N Boschwitz MN Y Durenberger MN Y Bond MO Y Danforth MO Y Cochran MS Y Lott MS Y Baucus MT Y Burns MT Y Helms NC Y Sanford NC Y Burdick ND N Conrad ND N Exon NE Y Kerrey NE N Humphrey NH Y Rudman NH Y Bradley NJ N Lautenberg NJ N Bingaman NM Y Domenici NM Y Bryan NV Y Reid NV Y D'Amato NY N Moynihan NY N Glenn OH N Metzenbaum OH N Boren OK N Nickles OK Y Hatfield OR N Packwood OR N Heinz PA Y Specter PA Y Chafee RI Y Pell RI N Hollings SC Y Thurmond SC Y Daschle SD N Pressler SD Y Gore TN N Sasser TN N Bentsen TX N Gramm TX Y Garn UT Y Hatch UT Y Robb VA N Warner VA N Jeffords VT N Leahy VT N Adams WA N Gorton WA Y Kasten WI Y Kohl WI N Byrd WV N Rockefeller WV N Simpson WY Y Wallop WY Y (Retain Neal Knox Associates as your lobbyist and begin receiviIng the bi-monthly "Hard Corps Report" by contributing to the Firearms Coalition, Box 6537, Silver Spring, MD 20906. For legislative updates call (301) 871-3006 [automated voice] or the Bullet'N Board [computers] (703) 971-4491.) ------------------------------------------- NEAL KNOX REPORT California Revising Ban By NEAL KNOX WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 10) -- California's attorney general has ruled that the trend-setting Roberti-Roos "assault weapons" ban on about five dozen specified guns is so technically flawed that "enforcement is not practical." (It's a mathematical fact that it's also not practical to put into jail all of the tens of thousands who have refused to comply with that law -- in what may be the most massive civil disobedience since liquor prohibition. The fact that California doesn't have that many jail cells may have something to do with the Attorney General's ruling.) Senate Leader David Roberti is moving S.B. 263 to "clarify" the law by specifically adding another three dozen listed guns. The bill also bans "variations" of those guns in a vague definition that, according to The Sacramento Union, could prohibit "90 percent of all semiautomatic weapons in circulation in California, including some of the most popular hunting and sport rifles." (The pending Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms regulations on last year's crime bill show how even seemingly precise language can be deliberately expanded: BATF has declared that an "identical" firearm doesn't mean an exact copy, but any firearm that they wouldn't allow to be imported under their totally subjective "non-sporting" criteria.) In an effort to counter Roberti's attack, California legislators like Tom McClintock, Pat Nolan and Dick Mountjoy have offered an amendment that essentially repeals Roberti-Roos. But the press is ignoring a batch of recently revealed internal California Department of Justice documents which show that -- as in the rest of the nation -- there is not, and there has never been, a crime problem with military-pattern semi-auto firearms. A Feb. 13, 1991 memo from S.C. Helsley, Assistant Director of the Investigation and Enforcement Branch of the California Department of Justice reports that only a relative handful of Roberti-Roos "assault weapons" were seized or examined in 1990 by the department's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and Bureau of Forensic Services. Incredibly, 80 percent of the guns banned by the law didn't even show up in the two agency's records. Apparently there were ZERO crimes committed with four out of five guns on the list. So on what ground were they banned? The BFS operates 11 regional laboratories providing criminal investigation services in 46 counties with about 9 million population. Only 22 of 378 firearms examined were on the Roberti-Roos list, and just seven had been used in homicides or assaults: three Colt AR-15's, two MAC-10's, one UZI and one AK- 47. The other 15 guns were allegedly illegally possessed. In 1987, BFS conducted a similar study and found that of 215 firearms submitted from homicide and assault cases during a 10- month period, "5 were 'assault-type' weapons." The Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, which operates state- wide, seized 1,979 firearms during the course of 6,338 arrests. Of those, only 3 percent of the guns seized were listed "assault weapons." Despite all the noise about the threat of "assault weapons" to law enforcement officers, no Bureau of Narcotics agent has been shot at with an "assault weapon" in the past 20 years. The only shooting in 1990 involved a suspect with a handgun. "With both BNE and BFS, the weapons most frequently encountered continue to be revolvers and semi-automatic handguns," the report states. In an Oct. 31, 1988 memo requested by his Director, Helsley foresaw the difficulty of formulating a definition of "assault weapon." He wrote that "assault weapons cannot be defined in a workable way by size, caliber, action type or magazine capacity." Such uncommon common sense, supported by hard evidence that the California "assault weapon" problem is purely an illusion, should have a major impact in Sacramento. Want to bet whether it will? -------------------------------------------------- NEAL KNOX REPORT BATF's Elastic Dictionary By NEAL KNOX WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 31) -- "Identical," according to Webster's Dictionary, means "being the same," but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says that's not what Congress meant when it used that very precise word in the firearms section of the 1990 crime bill. Instead, according to BATF, "identical" does not mean sameness, only similarity -- as they define similarity. By grabbing for powers far in excess of what Congress granted, BATF has done us an immense favor -- proving that vague and imprecise terms like "assault weapon" and "Saturday Night Special" always will be interpreted to give BATF the broadest possible powers. The present crime bill headed for the floor of the House, and the bill that passed the Senate in mid-summer, are full of vague wording far less precise than last year's seemingly specific prohibition. The 1990 crime bill, when it hit the House floor, contained a prohibition against domestic manufacture of any shotgun or semi-auto rifle "identical" to a gun which BATF had prohibited from importation under the nebulous "non-sporting" standard. An NRA-backed amendment by Rep. Jolene Unsoeld (D-Wash.) limited the prohibition to assembly "from imported parts." But proposed new regulations published in the Federal Register Aug. 19 (Vol. 56, No. 160, pp. 41105-07, interpret that section as prohibiting any person from modifying an imported semi-auto rifle or any shotgun -- such as by installing a different forearm and making a different magazine -- if BATF wouldn't have allowed a company to import such a gun. Further, an individual would be in violation of the law if he installed an imported stock, magazine, or any two of 22 major or minor parts, on a domestically made shotgun or semi-auto rifle if the BATF decides it would not have allowed an equivalent gun to be imported. Congress never specifically gave BATF the power to restrict importation of military-style rifles. They simply took it -- as counseled by Handgun Control Inc. and the National Coalition to Ban Handguns. In 1989, after the HCI/NCBH-instigated, Stockton schoolyard shooting-generated, media assault upon privately owned military- style firearms, BATF "redefined" the 1968 Gun Control Act prohibition against importing firearms "not particularly suitable for sporting purposes." The sole target of that undefined and undefinable phrase were undefined and undefinable "Saturday Night Special" handguns, which were subsequently prohibited from importation under a totally arbitrary "point system" which has never been submitted as formal regulations because it cannot pass the Administrative Procedures Act's prohibition against arbitrariness. The list of rifles banned in 1989 consisted entirely of models which BATF had earlier correctly and specifically approved for importation as "particularly suitable for sporting purposes." After a certain date they weren't. Thus sayeth the Lord. BATF arrogantly spells it out in the Federal Register: "the proposed regulations take the position that the phrase 'identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation' means that a firearm may not be lawfully assembled from (more than two) imported parts if that firearm would not be importable" under their arbitrary definition. This startling definition first popped up when friend Joe DeSaye of J&G Sales, Prescott, Ariz., received notice from BATF that he was putting his customers in jeopardy by selling folding stocks for the SKS rifle. Joe advised BATF that the folding stock was U.S.-made. BATF wanted documentation. A few days later they told him it didn't make any difference, because the buyer of the U.S.-made stock would be assembling it with an imported part: the SKS rifle. Now, to make that interpretation "legal," they've filed these regulations. You have until Nov. 18 to protest this rewriting of the law and the English language. Write Chief, Firearms and Explosives Operations Branch, BATF, P.O. Box 50239, Washington, D.C. 20091, ATTN: Notice No. 723. Send a copy to your Congressman with the suggestion that $1 million of BATF's next appropriation be earmarked so it could be spent solely for the purchase of dictionaries. -------------------------------------------------- NEAL KNOX REPORT Lesson From Russia By NEAL KNOX WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 21) -- The KGB-backed military coup in Russia seems to be unraveling, praise be, and the press is crediting it to "the will of the people." That's simply not true. As CNN correctly reported the first day, there could be no meaningful resistance from the people because they have been disarmed. Despite the courage of Boris Yeltsin and thousands of individual Russians with rocks, bottles of gasoline and a handful of stolen Army guns, the coup failed because of the unwillingness of the Army to open fire on their own people. President Yeltsin acknowledged as much by thanking the Russian Army commander who was ordered to storm the Government Building and capture Yeltsin, but who disobeyed orders. The Chinese students at Tiananmen Square showed equal courage, but they had only about a dozen AK-47's, which were destroyed immediately before the Army rolled into and over them. A disarmed people could stop either coup only by convincing the Army to oppose it. If the Russian solders had been from a remote region -- as were the Chinese troops at Tiananmen Square -- and if their leadership had been as ruthless, we would have seen a replay of the China horror. The initial edict of the Communist hard-liners demanded (1) immediate reregistration of newspapers (for registration gives control) and (2) immediate surrender of already-registered personal firearms. The U.S. Founding Fathers, too-familiar with such edicts, sought to protect this nation with the First Amendment and Second Amendment. What happened in the Soviet Union -- and what has happened for centuries in Russia and much of the rest of the world -- again illustrates their wisdom. But those who venerate the First Amendment denigrate the Second Amendment; politicians ignore it, and the courts avert their eyes. What the Committee of Eight ordered in the USSR is precisely what Mayor David Dinkins has ordered in New York City. He -- and the majority of the city's press -- have bullied the City Council into passing a law demanding the immediate surrender of most of the city's registered semi-automatic firearms. The stated reason for New York's new law is the control of crime, but when a minority city councilman demanded to know how many registered so-called assault weapons had been used in crime, Police Commissioner Lee Brown replied "None." Since crime isn't the reason, I don't know why Mayor Dinkins is determined to outlaw semi-autos, or why Gov. Florio pushed through a so-called "assault weapon" ban in New Jersey, or why Gov. George Deukmejian signed one in California, or why the U.S. Congress is trying to ban and register military-style firearms. But I know why the Soviet Communists did it. They were afraid of the people. So why are American politicians doing the same thing the KGB and the Communist hard-liners were doing? What do they have in mind for us that would make them fear the people? It is far from impossible that this nation might someday need its guns for the very reason contemplated by the Founding Fathers -- as an insurance policy for freedom. The notion of taking arms against our government is repugnant. But none of us would cancel our homeowner's policy just because we don't want our house to burn. -- I will go to Independence Hall in Philadelphia Sept. 21 for an 8 p.m. candlelight vigil commemorating the 200th year of the Second Amendment, to give thanks for the Founders' wisdom, and to demonstrate my support for the freedoms it has guaranteed. That vigil, which will feature speakers from several organizations, will be at the Lewis Quadrangle across from the Liberty Bell. It is part of the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference sponsored by Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We expect several hundred, and I hope you will help make it several thousand. --- [End] -------------------------------------------------- From: rats@cbnewsc.cb.att.com (Morris the Cat) Newsgroups: talk.politics.misc,misc.headlines,talk.politics.guns Subject: SETTING THE STAGE (Neal Knox Report) Message-ID: <1991Nov13.181556.25898@cbnewsc.cb.att.com> Date: 13 Nov 91 18:15:56 GMT NEAL KNOX REPORT SETTING THE STAGE By Neal Knox WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 10) -- To drum up media support for his "assault weapon" ban on the eve of the H.R. 3371 vote, Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) invited his colleagues and the press to shoot some of those "evil guns" at the police range in the Rayburn House Office Building. What Schumer hadn't planned on was the host of pro-gun Congressmen who eagerly went to the range both to punch paper and to punch holes in his arguments -- in front of the television cameras Schumer had carefully gathered. Immediately after the "demonstration", Rep. Ron Marlenee (R-Mont.) called me gleefully to report: "We rained on their parade". He was right. The gun-knowledgeable Congressmen unhesitatingly interrupted Schumer and his friends whenever they misstated facts -- such as the banned guns being the choice of criminals or ultra-powerful. So the contrived "dog and pony" show became an impromptu debate that forced the media to at least partially report both sides -- or ignore it. Most ignored it. All the TV networks except Fox scrapped their videotapes. The Washington Post reported it only in the local news section. National Public Radio -- taxpayer-paid radio -- broadcast only the comments of anti-gun Rep. Bill Green (D-N.Y.). The single TV report on Fox showed Rep. Marlenee popping off several rounds from a conventional SIG Sauer 9mm pistol faster (and witnesses said more accurately) than the clip of Schumer firing a 9mm UZI carbine. Then Ron turned to the camera, pointing out that the two guns fire the same cartridge, have large capacity magazines, have the same rapidity of fire -- "one pull, one shot, one pull, one shot". "Is there any real difference between these guns", Rep. Marlenee and Rep. Schulze repeatedly asked Schumer. Rep. Schumer, as Ron later told me, repeatedly refused to answer, then sneered: "Maybe we should've banned the pistol, too." To Schumer's further discomfort, Rep. Harold Volkmer (D-Mo.) showed a real difference between guns when he blew three gaping holes in the 9mm-peppered silhouette target with his personal 12 gauge duck gun. "See those little holes? See these big ones? Tell me again how deadly those popguns are!", Rep. Volkmer told the press. The TV stations didn't show that, but the Congressman retrieved the target and said he would be showing it on the House floor during the scheduled Oct. 16-17 debate. Fox did show Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) defending the right of law-abiding citizens to possess whatever gun they wished for protection of their families. Other Congressmen, including Richard Schulze (R-Pa.), Bill Brewster (D-Ok.), Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Don Young (R-Alaska), made the same points to other reporters. This afternoon the Rules Committee -- which decides what amendments may be offered -- approved a single amendment to strike both the "assault weapons" and 8-shot magazine bans. Schumer asked the committee to remove the other gun sections, including multiple-sales reporting to local police and giving local police veto power over dealer licenses. Incredibly, Schumer told the committee that he would have preferred to ban all semi-autos, and that he opposed the "grandfather" provision allowing present owners of banned guns and over-7-shot magazines to keep them. No one can say he didn't tell us where he intends to take us, no matter what this year's final crime bill may contain. --------------------------------------------------

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