(Monday, May 14, 2001) -- Republican Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire is giving gun-haters fits once again.
Smith has filed an amendment allowing teachers and principals to use a gun on school grounds to "prevent a school massacre." Currently, federal law prohibits citizens from carrying a gun within a thousand feet of school property in virtually all circumstances.
The Smith provision would protect decent Americans like Assistant Principal Joel Myrick of Pearl, Mississippi, who circumvented federal law when he used a firearm in 1997 to stop a killer's rampage.
It is imperative that gun owners contact their Senators right away in support of the Smith amendment. The Senate is currently debating an education bill (S. 1) that has become something of a magnet, attracting all kinds of gun-related amendments dealing with kids and schools. Smith's amendment is the only one that would advance Second Amendment rights.
On the negative side, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) has introduced the most far-reaching anti-gun amendment, as it would impose a new tax upon gun buyers, who will have to purchase "lock up your safety" trigger locks with every retail handgun sale.
Moreover, the Byrd provision would impose lifetime gun bans for juvenile indiscretions and expand the arcane rules making it virtually impossible to teach your kids the safe use of firearms.
The Smith and Byrd amendments to S. 1 could be voted on this week.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to support the Smith amendment to prevent further school massacres. [The provision is known as Senate Amendment 547, or SA 547.] Also, urge your Senators to vote against anti-gun provisions like the Byrd amendment (SA 410). Distribute this alert and encourage others to contact their Senators as well.
Please use the pre-written letter below to help direct your comments to Capitol Hill. You can call your Senators at 1-877-762-8762 (toll free) or at 202-224-3121. To identify your Senators, as well as to send a message via e-mail, see the Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm.
Please support the Bob Smith amendment (SA 547) to prevent further school massacres.
On at least three occasions, there have been school shootings that were halted by an armed security guard, assistant principal or catering manager. In all of these cases, an adult used a firearm to stop a student from killing more people.
The Smith amendment will save children's lives and will protect people like Assistant Principal Joel Myrick of Pearl, Mississippi, who used a firearm to stop a killer's rampage in 1997.
Unfortunately, I think that people sometimes want to use school tragedies to promote their own political agenda. There are not enough police to patrol every school in America. So it is imperative that Congress pass the Smith Amendment -- a public safety measure that will actually save lives.
Should Senator Smith offer his amendment, you will have a chance to vote on whether you prefer dead children or reasonable public safety measures. I hope you will vote for public safety measures.
Please vote for SA 547, the Smith amendment to prevent school massacres. Thank you.