NRA-ILA FAX Alert Vol. 8, No. 47 11/30/01
McCAIN ANNOUNCES ANTI-GUN SHOW
CAMPAIGN WILL BE REVIVED IN JANUARY
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) told USA TODAY that he will launch an aggressive campaign to promote S. 890—the legislation he authored with U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) that would effectively end traditional American gun shows—as soon as the U.S. Senate convenes in January for the second session of the 107th Congress. In an effort to help move his stalled legislation, McCain has embraced the anti-gun organization Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) and the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI, as well as the shameless strategy these groups have adopted of exploiting our nation's legitimate fears over terrorism in the wake of the attacks of September 11.
Even more troubling, perhaps, is the fact that Senator McCain is also parroting the AGS/HCI myth that "terrorists" use gun shows to pose a threat to national security. McCain told USA TODAY: "Clearly, alleged members of terrorist organizations have been able to secure guns and weapons using the gun show loophole," a bogus claim AGS began making within days of the terrorist attacks. NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker accused McCain, AGS, and others who attempt to link terrorist acts to legal gun shows of "trying to bootstrap on the Sept. 11 tragedy," and told USA TODAY, "None of the terrorism we saw visited on this country on September 11 had anything to do with firearms." (For the truth regarding the "terrorists at gun shows" myth espoused by McCain, AGS, et al., see NRA-ILA's FAX Alerts Vol. 8, Nos. 39 & 46.)
It should not be too surprising to find Senator McCain reading from an AGS-supplied script, however, as the Arizona lawmaker and the anti-gun organization have schemed to promote attacks on gun shows for more than a year. AGS—founded and funded by billionaire and former HCI Board Member Andrew McKelvey—has committed to spend at least $1 million to promote McCain's legislation. So much for McCain's "opposition" to well-funded special interest groups, which has been the rhetorical crux of his efforts to pass campaign finance "reform" legislation.
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