This material was download June 20, 1990 from the: FIREARMS COALITION BULLET'N BOARD 1-703
This material was download June 20, 1990 from the:
FIREARMS COALITION BULLET'N BOARD
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
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
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
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
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.
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
The Firearms Coalition
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
From: email@example.com (Morris the Cat)
Subject: SETTING THE STAGE (Neal Knox Report)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank