Posted: 2/26/2001 11:12:33 AM EST
FYI : http://wnd.com/frame/direct.asp?SITE=www.gopbi.com/partners/pbpost/epaper/editions/sunday/news_13.html
Drop gun control bills
By Eunice Moscoso, Palm Beach Post Washington Bureau
Sunday, February 25, 2001
WASHINGTON -- Some conservative Democrats have three words of advice for their party leaders: Drop gun control.
"This is not an issue that helps the Democratic Party, particularly in rural America," said Rep. Jim Turner, D-Texas. "Those of us who believe in the Second Amendment and the right of gun ownership have been pretty outspoken in telling our friends this is an issue they need to leave alone."
Turner and fellow House Democrats and Texans Ralph Hall and Max Sandlin are concerned about renewed efforts to push gun control in Congress.
Two powerful senators -- Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and [b]John McCain,[/b] R-Ariz. -- are working on a bill that would increase background checks at gun shows and provide additional money to enforce existing laws.
In addition, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., plans to introduce a measure that would mandate background checks for all buyers at gun shows and expand the definition of a gun show to include events, such as flea markets and swap meets, where firearms are not the main product sold.
The Texas lawmakers say gun control efforts have hurt Democrats, including former Vice President Al Gore.
"If the Democrats and the Gore campaign had not been so strident in opposition to gun rights . . . there's absolutely no doubt that Vice President Gore would be president," Sandlin said. "It cost him a tremendous amount of support across the South."
Sandlin said that passing any gun control bill will be difficult, especially in the House.
In the last Congress, with the Clinton White House clamoring for gun control, a bill never made it out of a conference committee.
The measure started out strong in 1999, when gun control took the spotlight in Congress after the shooting tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
A month after the shooting, the Senate stunned the powerful gun lobby and voted for a juvenile justice bill that included provisions such as increasing background checks at gun shows.
But the measure never made it through the House, and efforts to incorporate it into a joint House-Senate juvenile justice bill failed.
With President Bush in the White House, chances for a gun control bill could be even more bleak.
As governor of Texas, Bush generally sided with the National Rifle Association, signing bills that allow people to carry concealed weapons and prevent municipalities from suing gun makers.
But supporters of gun control say that the issue has momentum because of increasing public support.
"The gun issue works in different places in different ways," said Joe Sudbay, public policy director for the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group based in Washington.
Women across the country strongly support gun control, as do urban and suburban voters, he said.
Sudbay disputes that supporting gun control cost Gore the White House.
The swing states of Pennsylvania and Michigan voted for Gore despite a strong anti-Gore campaign there by the NRA, he said.
Some conservative and moderate Democrats, including Hall, say they are willing to listen to ideas about further regulation of gun shows and trigger lock requirements.
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"I understand that handguns are a problem. People get killed with them. Children get killed with them. And I think we ought to continue to pursue something on it," Hall said.
But Hall also said he would have a hard time voting for "anything that violates or dents the Second Amendment" because the ultimate goal of gun control proponents is to outlaw possession, as the nation's capital has done.
"I'm here in Washington, D.C. -- probably the most dangerous city in the northeastern part of the country after darkness falls -- with a painted glass between me and the outside world . . . and I can't have a gun in my home. Give me a break," he said.
Turner said he hopes his party will focus on other matters. "The Democrats desperately need to unite behind issues that have a broad base of support within our caucus," he said. "There's a large number of Democrats who are strong supporters of the Second Amendment."
FUBAR, I wouldn't believe them for a second, they just know that Bush will not sign any major gun control, if he hopes to get re-elected.
Now is NOT the time to let our Guard Down, It is time to FIXED BAYONETS.
Never Again, Never Forget
Seek the Truth
Liberate Your Mind
Jim Turner is our Representative here. Not the greatest choice but a heckava lot better than some of the alternatives.
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