Who Gets Credit for Demise of Useless Gun Ban?
And How Can We Spread These Important Warnings?
by Angel Shamaya
September 13, 2004
Ten years was a long time to attempt to prove the value of the 1994 federal semi-auto rifle and magazine ban. The gun prohibitionists had their chance to do so, but they could not. The ban was useless against crime -- the alleged reason it was passed in the first place. Even federal studies couldn't prove that it reduced crime. All kinds of public officials and media figures lied through their teeth to renew the ban, but they all failed miserably and now hang their heads in total defeat.
We put up with it for ten years. A decade-long insult. The sunset provision just kicked in, the law has now disappeared from the books, and that's that. It's a huge success of historical import. (Be sure to read the BATFE web page announcing the result of this gun and magazine ban being allowed to expire. Email a copy to any in a long list of mediafolk who've been so utterly deceitful in their attempt to force a renewal of the ban.)
So who gets the credit for this bad law going bye-bye? Lots of parties will take credit, of course. But who really deserves the credit? Who stopped this law from being renewed?
In a word: we all did. The combined efforts and tireless activism of many groups and individuals prevented Seig Heil Feinstein and her shamefully disobedient cronies from renewing, strengthening and making permanent this particular assault on your right to keep and bear arms. While listing them all would be impossible, naming some names and giving some praise is certainly in order on this day of celebration. Not necessarily in this order:
Coalition Against the Semi-auto Ban
The Coalition Against the Semi-auto Ban is a collective of gun rights groups and leaders who vowed (or whose leaders vowed) to basically do whatever it took to make this sunset happen. Most or all of the members of this coalition have worked hard to bring about this victory. The combined number of people reached by email and snail mail via this loosely-connected group rivals the NRA's membership in sheer people power. Members of this coalition deserve heaps of praise, and credit, for the sun-setting of the Clinton/Feinstein gun ban -- and support in their new efforts to work for the rights of gun owners.
Of all gun rights issue websites on the internet, the most thorough website devoted to the demise of the semi-auto rifle and magazine ban is definitely AWBanSunset.com. Building and maintaining this website has taken quite a bit of work. It's been a strong, helpful resource to many. Mike Caswell has done the lion's share of the work. According to Mike, Todd Bradish, Mitchell Northcutt, Steve Martin, Ray B., and forum moderators Jeremy Loos and Davin Anderson have also helped measurably. Thank you, gentlemen. Good job.
Writers, Researchers & Media
The volume of writers and researchers on "our side" of this battle is substantial. Hundreds or even thousands of people committed to sun-setting the ban have published articles, editorials, letters to the editor, issue papers and studies in support of the sunset. Many people have spoken to media, or as media, to sunset the law. In one strong, unified voice, our 'NO' was clearly heard above the din of dishonesty coming from the victim disarmament camp. Everyone who used the written and spoken word to help vanquish this law deserves credit, praise and appreciation.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
Sen. Bill Frist is not considered a constitutional stalwart. In fact, he's considered rather squishy by some, and with good reason. But he deserves credit for not bringing Feinstein's bill to the floor again. He could have pushed the issue, and we've already seen that the Senate was the weak spot in this contest. He didn't push it. He let it ride.
I'm no fan of President Bush. I've outlined why. In my NBC Nightly News interview, I castigated him for falling short of his duties as leader of this great nation. But he deserves credit for not using his resources to press the ban's renewal. If anyone could have used his power to bring about a renewal, it is definitely President George W. Bush. I suspect he'd have done so if the gun rights community hadn't made it clear that he'd regret it. If Bush thought he could have passed the ban and won the election, I believe he'd have pushed hard to make it happen and would have signed it into permanent law. Yet those things don't change the fact that he refrained and thus helped sunset the law. And I believe he will win the November election because he let it go.
National Rifle Association Leadership
Praise for the NRA leadership? Sure. Absolutely. NRA's spokesmen have been all over the place, spreading the truth about the nature of the semi-auto rifle and magazine ban. Television. Radio. Newspapers all across the nation. Their efforts in Congress to sunset the ban are obvious. Their work behind the scenes and out of the public eye has surely been costly. They have the biggest voice and the largest reach of any gun rights organization in the world. If any one organization could have used their resources to renew -- or simply allow the renewal of -- the gun ban, it is clearly the National Rifle Association. Anyone who denies that fact is either blind or just plain dishonest. NRA has more members than any other gun rights group, and their members' outcry for the sun-setting of this gun ban has certainly been felt where it counts. My financial support will still go to the groups in the Coalition. But my hat is now off to the NRA today, too.
When all is said and done, the real reason this gun ban has sunset is people -- individuals who voiced their objections and stood up for freedom. All organizations are made up of individuals, and the combined efforts of millions of individuals have put an end to a bad law. Letter writing. Phone calls. Faxes. Discussion forums for strategizing and education. Endless, relentless persistence. If you did anything at all to make your voice heard against this now-deceased gun ban, today is a day for you to celebrate.
Now that the ban has sunset, it is vitally important to issue a few warnings for the good of society. Please help me spread the word on these urgent reminders:
1) Be much more careful when you go about your business in public. Today, people can now add bayonet lugs to certain rifles where yesterday it was a federal crime to do so. There will be a rash of drive-by bayonettings and blood in the streets.
2) If you are foolish enough to upgrade your 10-round magazines to 11-round magazines, be very, very careful. Law enforcement officials have been allowed to buy brand new ones for the last ten years, of course. And they have done so in great volume, of course. But unless you are a law enforcement official, that extra round can turn you into a raving lunatic and definitely a murderous beast if you're not careful. You've been warned.
3) Most importantly, today, in most of America, you are now allowed to buy, own and legally keep and bear a few brand new magazines and rifles that were available only to law enforcement officials yesterday. That includes some which are stamped: "Restricted law enforcement/government use only". As you acquire such fine keepsakes, be aware that you may one day encounter an uneducated government employee who might take exception to your possession of any such item bearing such an inscription.
I cannot tell you how to handle such a matter. But I can tell you what I intend to do. First, I've printed off a copy of the BATFE statement regarding the sunset of this obnoxious law and have placed it in my wallet. I definitely intend to acquire several such items personally, at my leisure and as time and money permit. When I do so, I will either pay someone to inscribe upon them or inscribe upon them myself -- right next to, or on top of, those highly offensive words -- the following words of my own, or something quite like them:
Dianne's Gun Ban Comes to Pass--
She and Chuck Can Kiss My Ass!
And now it's time to find out where to get good prices on STANDARD CAPACITY magazines. The Law of Supply and Demand is about to prove itself once again. Enjoy!
He foegot to mention Tom Delay, R - TX.
A fine fellow.
If I had to pick one, it would be Sen. Larry Craig. The Bane of Bullshit.
WE the People of the United States of America.
Tom DeLay !!! The Hammer
honorable mention to Sen. Larry Craig