Gun Turn-In Schemes FBI Keeps Records
The Feds Want To Teach Gun Control
With Labor Day just around the corner, millions of kids will be heading back to school. But whether you realize it or not, what they may be taught could have a tremendously negative impact upon your gun rights.
H.R. 1078, introduced by Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS), would set up Presidential Academies to train educators in teaching civics and history. That certainly sounds innocuous enough. What's the problem with that?
The problem is that by further centralizing the training process for teachers, radical educators will find it much easier to excise Second Amendment rights and other important principles from this nation's classrooms.
The Feds have already imposed curriculum standards on the nation's government schools with previous legislation. The result was the publication of "guidelines" which are reflected in an anti-gun textbook called We the People.
The guidelines and We the People are so busy teaching multiculturalism and environmentalism that they have no time for teaching the Tenth Amendment, which severely limits what the federal government can do.
Is that a surprise to anyone? If kids are never taught there are limits to the federal government's power, then we shouldn't be surprised when tomorrow's leaders don't have problems passing gun control legislation.
We the People does mention the Second Amendment in the section on historical development. But it gets the student to start questioning the wisdom of the amendment, asking the student whether the right to keep and bear arms is still as "important today" as it was in the eighteenth century and to decide what "limitations" should be placed on the right.
It's bad enough that the major news media, along with TV shows and movies, present a one-sided view of the right to keep and bear arms. Kids growing up today are bombarded with anti-gun sentiments and viewpoints, with few facts and little information to the contrary.
It has often been said that today's children are the leaders of tomorrow. One trembles in considering the perspectives these future leaders will hold when it comes to the Bill of Rights and, specifically, the Second Amendment.
Anti-gun propaganda has already taken root in much of our nation's curriculum. But rather than reversing this process, H.R. 1078 writes a blank check so that teachers can be trained in the "key events, key persons, key ideas and key documents that shaped the institutions and democratic heritage of the United States." Right away, we are in trouble, because America was not founded as a democracy, but as a constitutional republic.
The reason our firearms freedoms are supposed to be secure is that a fifty percent vote of citizens, legislators or judges cannot do away with them. If the U.S. were a pure democracy, our liberties would only be secure as long as a majority of the people were in agreement.
There is no doubt that as control over education becomes more and more federalized, the ideas which children are learning become more and more radical. This agenda has already been seeping into curriculum standards for years. But if H.R. 1078 passes, radical educators will begin instructing teachers in a soon-to-be-funded Presidential Academy.
While H.R. 1078 is currently in the Select Education Subcommittee, its companion bill (S. 504) has already passed the Senate. But with your help, we can protect our rights by protecting our children's education. Let's keep H.R. 1078 from passing.
ACTION: Please urge your Representative to oppose H.R. 1078, a bill which will contribute in dumbing down the next generation of Americans -- at least as far as our constitutional rights are concerned. You can contact your Representative by visiting the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send him or her a pre-written e-mail message.
The above was provided by Gun Owners of America: GOA
MORE PROOF THAT MAJOR
ARE BIASED AGAINST OUR RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
A recent study by the Media Research Center (MRC) documents the palpable anti-gun bias of the major television networks in reporting firearm-related news. A study released by the MRC last year examined 653 morning and evening news stories from July 1, 1997, to June 30, 1999, and found that stories advocating gun control on ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC outpaced those opposing by a ratio of nearly 10 to 1. The recent study examined the same period, and showed that the bias advocating more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners is accompanied by an apparent unwillingness to cover stories that the pro-Second Amendment community would like to see.
For example, over the past several years, when NRA spokesmen had been invited to comment on the debate over gun control on news programs, they regularly pointed out the failure of the Clinton-Gore Administration to prosecute armed violent felons. But the MRC study showed that TV reporters mentioned the drop in federal prosecutions under Clinton only eight times during the period studied. Similarly, NRA has been promoting real crime-fighting programs such as the "Project Exile" prosecution model, which originated in Richmond, Va., for several years. The networks, however, mentioned this program a mere three times over the period studied. "Project Exile"—a cooperative effort among local, state, and federal law enforcement and prosecutors—targets violent felons who violate firearm laws, seeks the most stringent penalties available, and has been credited with a dramatic reduction in Richmond's violent gun-related crime.
The lawful, defensive use of firearms by law-abiding citizens is a subject that has also been widely ignored, according to the MRC. Although award-winning criminologist Gary Kleck has estimated that firearms are used as often as 2.5 million times a year for protection, the networks reported such acts only 12 times out of the 653 firearm-related stories covered.
And while NRA constantly points out that passing new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners does nothing to reduce crime, especially in light of the countless laws that are violated in every high-profile shooting, this argument was mentioned only five times over the study period.
This latest study complements last year's study, and supports another MRC study released in 1994. The 1994 study focused solely on evening news programs from December 1, 1991, to November 30, 1993, and found that 62% of the 107 stories examined devoted substantially more time to anti-gun arguments than pro-gun. It also found that news commentators who endorsed gun control outnumbered those opposed by nearly 2 to 1, and the anti-gun bias was even more distinct when the story concerned the Brady bill, expanding to 3 to 1 against the pro-Second Amendment view. Of course, advocates of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms have been painfully aware of this institutional bias for years, but as more studies report what we already know to be a problem, perhaps the networks will begin to take notice. If they don't, more and more viewers will desert them for more objective news sources. If you would like more information on the MRC and its recent study, go to its website at www.mrc.org.
GUN TURN-IN SCHEMES FIND NO SHORTAGE OF CRITICS
Fox News reporter Adrienne Mand recently took a look at gun turn-in programs and apparently had little trouble finding critics of schemes such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) BuyBack America. "Designed to reduce the toll of gun violence," BuyBack America was launched last Spring in 84 communities and used funds from HUD's Drug Elimination Grant Program to purchase guns and destroy them.
In her November 22, 2000, report, Mand asked David Kennedy, a senior researcher at Harvard University's Kennedy School program in criminal justice, about such turn-in programs. "They do very little good," Kennedy said. "The pool of guns that get turned in in buy backs are simply not the same guns that would otherwise have been used in crime. If you look at the people who are turning in firearms, they are consistently the least crime-prone: older people and women."
Michael Romero, a research associate at the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, also noted that "the guns that are turned in for these programs may not resemble the guns that are frequently used in crimes."
Finally, Richard Rosenfeld, of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has also studied turn-in programs, and told Mand: "People should simply keep in mind what their goals are. If it's reducing violence, it's not going to have an effect." Rosenfeld did say, however, that he thought such efforts helped citizens who reside in high-crime areas "to see that the larger community is trying to do something." Unfortunately, that "something," as stated by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA), is often a no-questions-asked policy that provides criminals with a legal and foolproof way in which to dispose of a firearm that has been used in a crime, all funded by tax-payer dollars.
HOT AIR AND LAME DUCK PROPOSALS
True to form, and unable to pass up possibly his final chance to engage in anti-gun grandstanding, President Clinton marked the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Brady Act on Thursday, November 30, with a call to further expand the rarely-enforced federal law.
With only 50 days remaining in the Clinton-Gore Administration's orchestrated 8-year assault on law-abiding gun owners, Clinton called on Attorney General Janet Reno and Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to launch new efforts to "strengthen enforcement" of selected provisions within the Brady Act and National Instant Criminal [Background] Check
System (NICS). Mired in the waning days of his presidency, and still grasping to secure a legacy, Clinton has tossed out some last-minute proposals centered mainly on the concept of using new technology to develop a national notification system to more effectively provide information to state and local law enforcement officials about persons who attempted to illegally purchase firearms and were denied via NICS checks.
Under the current procedure, state and local law enforcement are notified of denied sales to fugitives, felons, and persons under domestic violence restraining orders. The thrust of Clinton's request of DOJ, FBI and the Treasury Department is that state and local law enforcement be provided more information more quickly about NICS denials of other categories beyond the above mentioned categories of prohibited purchasers.
As a federal law, of course, the Brady Act is under federal jurisdiction, but neither procedure dedicates federal personnel to its enforcement. In claiming that the Brady Act "has now stopped more than 611,000 felons, fugitives and domestic abusers from buying guns," the most anti-gun chief executive in the history of our nation failed to address the shameful fact that his Administration has failed miserably to prosecute violent armed felons.
Further casting a cloud of doubt over the president's touting of Brady Act successes is his Administration's ongoing denial to news organizations and the general public of access to data showing how it has enforced the nation's firearms laws. Such information has routinely been made available in past administrations, yet the Clinton-Gore Justice Department uses only selected data in carefully crafted press releases and congressional inquiries in attempts to both advance its policies and
deflect valid criticisms. If the complete data support his Administration's claims, why have the numbers been hidden from our
nation's news organizations and the general public?
WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?
Further adding to his "wish list" during the closing days of his term, President Clinton is once again giving lip service to the enforcement of existing firearms laws. He is calling upon the Congress to provide him with a budget that will include funds to add another 500 BATF agents and inspectors, as well as an increase in federal, state, and local prosecutors. Yet despite Clinton's public hand-wringing, this is still the same Administration that has presided over the BATF's embarrassing 44%
decline in federal firearm prosecution referrals from 1992 to 1998.
Meanwhile, it wasn't until last year that the Clinton-Gore Administration reluctantly admitted that enforcement initiatives such as NRA-backed Project Exile really do work, and even then still didn't give the program backing by the full weight of the executive branch. While details of this latest proposal are still largely unknown, it remains clear that for nearly 8 years, this Administration has done little to ensure that existing laws were enforced. Rather, it has presided over a
catch-and-release system for known offenders.
The above was provided by the: NRA
COURT ALLOWS FBI TO MAINTAIN RECORDS ON LAW-ABIDING GUN PURCHASERS
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in National Rifle Association of America, Inc., et al. v. Janet Reno (see FAX Alerts Vol. 5, No. 50 and Vol. 6, Nos. 3 & 27) that the FBI is not prohibited from maintaining an "Audit Log" on law-abiding gun purchasers who have cleared a National Instant Check System (NICS) check. The 2-1 ruling was sharply divided, however, with two Clinton appointees ruling in favor of Attorney General Janet Reno and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and one Reagan appointee strongly dissenting. NRA's opinion on the case is very simple -- the Brady Act, which established NICS, clearly directs that all information submitted on a firearm purchaser be destroyed immediately once the system determines that the transfer should not be denied. Also, federal law prohibits the registration of gun owners, not only under the Brady Act itself, but also under the 1986 Firearms Owners' Protection Act. Reno, however, contends that the retention of records, which she refers to as an "Audit Log," is needed to ensure proper management of NICS. She also claims that the current system (NICS) is not capable of destroying the records of law-abiding gun buyers, and it is her opinion that federal law is not explicit enough to "prohibit generally the recordation of information generated by the NICS." The majority opinion agreed with Reno and is shot through with Clintonesque ramblings over the possible meanings of words that, for most of us, are quite clear -- words such as "record" and "destroy."
The majority opinion by Judges David S. Tatel and Merrick B. Garland held that federal law "does not prohibit all forms of registration," and that maintaining the "Audit Log" is permissible because it does not include all firearm owners in the United States, and is not permanent. However, federal law does specifically prohibit "any system of registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions or dispositions," regardless of how complete the records are or how long they are kept. The majority also held that, even though the Brady Act clearly states that the FBI must destroy all records on lawful firearm transfers that are subject to a NICS check, the law sets no specific timetable as to when the records must be destroyed. Tatel and Garland claimed the Brady Act is vague and the court must defer to "agency expertise."
In his dissent, Judge David B. Sentelle argued that Reno exceeded her authority, and that Congress was clear when it stated that records on lawful gun purchasers subject to NICS must be "destroyed." Reno's assertion that the lack of the word "immediately" following Congress's command to "destroy all records" led Sentelle to write, "The Attorney General's position strikes me as reminiscent of a petulant child pulling her sister's hair. Her mother tells her, ‘Don't pull the baby's hair.' The child says, ‘All right, Mama,' but again pulls the infant's hair. Her defense is, ‘Mama, you didn't say I had to stop right now.' I do not think that the parent's command to the child is ambiguous, nor that of Congress to the Attorney General." NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker commented, "When you have words in the law like ‘destroy,' ‘don't record' and ‘no system of registration,' it seems fairly obvious to us."
NRA will be filing a motion for a re-hearing before the full court and will also continue to press for Congressional action to clarify, beyond any doubt, the law that prohibits any retention of information on law-abiding gun purchasers through NICS. On June 21, hearings were held in the U.S. Senate to address recurring problems with the overall operation of NICS (see FAX Alert Vol. 7, No. 25), during which retired U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan.) testified that his original intent when working on the legislation that eventually became the Brady Act was to mandate the immediate destruction of the records in question. Be sure to let your federal lawmakers know that you would like to see them work with NRA to put an end to the Clinton-Gore Administration's maintaining any records on law-abiding gun owners. You can contact your U.S. Senators by calling (202) 224-3121, your U.S. Representative by calling (202) 225-3121, or use the "Write Your Reps" tool at www.NRAILA.org.
Last Update: March 22, 2006