5/03 White House Pokes Gun Owners In The Eye

White House Pokes Gun Owners in the Eye
-- Admits receiving "tremendous amount of e-mail" against semi-auto ban

Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151

Friday, May 9, 2003

Well, you've probably seen the news by now.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation yesterday to reauthorize the ban on scores of semi-automatic firearms.

As a result, reporters asked White House spokesman Ari Fleischer for the President's position. Fleischer said, "Often, the president will agree... with the National Rifle Association. On this issue, he does not."

The bottom line? The President supports the ban on many semi-automatic firearms and on magazines holding 10 rounds or more.

The White House seems to think that the bill will never reach the President's desk. At least that is what top officials are counting on. In pursuing this strategy, they are trying to please both sides and are playing a very dangerous game, to be sure.

No one should assume for a second that there are a majority of pro-gun legislators in the Congress that will join to kill this bill. It may be that Democrats in Congress will call the President's bluff and attach the Feinstein reauthorization bill as an amendment to some "must pass" bill.

With all the "horse trading" that goes on behind closed doors, don't be surprised if some fence-sitters in the Senate trade their votes in favor of the ban to gain the support of certain Democrats for tax cuts.

Meanwhile, the White House has been inundated with e-mail in opposition to the ban. Senior White House official Carl Rove told a director of Gun Owners of New Hampshire that they have received a "tremendous amount of e-mail" on this issue.

That's a testimony to all of you. Good work, guys!

But there is still much more that needs to be done. The White House is trying to straddle the fence on this issue. It's up to us to yank the President over to our side.

We have included a new pre-written letter for you to e-mail which answers the main objection that the White House is putting forth. But if you have the time, we encourage you to call the White House to deliver your message. Better yet, do both!

It is important that they feel the growing displeasure that is brewing in the grassroots. Making phone calls -- as opposed to just e-mailing -- is one way to do that.

As one legislative official said, "If you do phones, you can ruin the staff's day and they will get nothing done -- because they are spending all their time on the phone. That definitely gets their attention."

Let's get their attention.

ACTION: Please use the pre-written text below to guide your response to the White House. It is preferred that you call. But if you can only e-mail, please be sure to do that.

You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send a pre-written e-mail message to President Bush. To call or snail mail the President regarding the semi-auto ban, you can use the following contact info:

President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461 or 202-456-1907
Phone: 202-456-1414

------ Pre-written message ------

Dear President Bush:

I am sorely disappointed to hear that you support reauthorizing the Clinton-Feinstein ban on commonly owned semi-autos and on certain magazines.

Your spokesmen have said that you are being "consistent" because you have always supported the enforcement of existing gun laws.

First, the Second Amendment says the right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." That does not allow for you to play political games with the Bill of Rights!

Second, your support for "existing gun laws" means that you should support the EXISTING SUNSET in the semi-auto ban which forces the semi-auto gun ban to expire in September, 2004.

You are in the White House because gun owners in West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas believed they could count on you. We would urge you to keep faith with them and with us.



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