Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The Consumer Federation of America has announce its support for the "Assault Weapons Ban & Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003" according to Join Together, an anti-gun organization.

"Susan Peschin, CFA's Firearms Project Director, states, "It's no secret that the current assault weapons ban does not meet its stated objective. Reauthorization of the ban under the McCarthy-Conyers bill includes substantial improvements to prevent the gun industry from continuing to flood America's streets with these deadly weapons."

"CFA is a non-profit association of more than 285 groups, which, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through advocacy and education."

The CFA is comprised mainly of non-profit 'pro-consumer' organizations. They have a page on their website about their bias against firearms. They claim they are first & foremost an 'advocacy' group & work to influence the White House, Congress, various agencies & the Judiciary.

Menawhile House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says that there are not enough votes to keep the assault weapons ban from sunsetting.

"A group of mostly Democratic senators last week opened a drive to get the extension passed in the Senate, and called on Bush to help.
They said they were optimistic it would clear the Senate but that it would need active help to win in the House, where pro-gun sentiments are stronger and Delay has considerable control over the agenda.
'The votes in the House are not there to reauthorize it,' said DeLay, a Texas Republican and staunch foe of gun control."

While this may seem like good news I wouldn't get confortable just yet. Politics are unpredictable. Politicians even more so. Kim duToit is skeptical about the McCarthy-Conyers bill (the assault weapons ban & law enforcement protection act of 2003) having enough support to pass. While I agree that it may be unlikely, I do believe there is enough of a possibility of it passing to warrant concern. There are simply too many elected officials who are 'flexible' on the second amendment.

Yes, I know we have a Republican controlled Congress. Yes I know there are more anti-gun Democrats than there are anti-gun Republicans. But there are more anti-gun Republicans than there are pro-gun Democrats & Republicans combined. Look here for the House of Representatives. Look here for the Senate. Anything less than a "B" rating means they are not oppossed to voting for gun control if it suits them. According to my calculations there's 18 pro-gun Senators & 176 pro-gun Representatives. That's counting the B minus among the pro-gun. !8 out of 100 & 176 out of 434.
There are 64 anti-gun senators & 201 anti-gun Representatives. That's counting D, F & Not Rated. 64 out of 100 & 201 out of 434.
In the Senate it would merely take the F,D & Not Rated Senators to vote for the McCarthy-Conyers assault weapons bill for it to pass. In the House it would take 17 C rated Representatives in addition to the F, D & Not Rated Representatives for it to pass. The Senate would have enough votes to negate a presidential veto, but it'd take 261 or so from the House, which would mean 60 C rated voters in addition to the F,D & Not Rated.

As for Bush? It could go either way, but considering his past record on gun rights I doubt he would veto it if it came across his desk.

So if we go by GOA's rating system, which I find to be much more honest than the NRA's recomendations we find there is a very clear anti-gun majority in both houses of Congress. & if the elected officials vote according to their GOA rating, then it is possible that the McCarthy-Conyers Assault Weapons Ban would become a reality.

Now another possibility that Kim duToit brought up is that the McCarthy-Conyers bill could be a negotiating tool. They could use this as a starting point to negotiate a 'reasonable compromise'. For more on the definition of 'reasonable compromise', see the NRA. ( yes, that was a cheap shot, but a deserved one). Simplisticly this means they have nothing, but we have something, so unless we give them half they'll take it all. Childish? Yes. What's worse is we (gun-owners) usually fall for it, or at least our elected officials fall for it on our behalf.

I don't discount that it could pass or it could be used to gain support for a less restrictive measure. Either is feasible. Of course it'd be wondeful if Mr. duToit & Rep. DeLay were correct & it wouldn't have the votes to come out of the House, but I'm not that optimistic.

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