Friday, February 27, 2004

Hopefully y'all have been tuning in to Geek & Uncle. If not go there now & catch up.

Short version is that nothing was voted on today. At least nothing gun related. A few amendments were introduced but no votes.

Monday will be a big day & I expect Tuesday is when they'll pull out the amendments we're all dreading. And as usual Geek & Uncle will be on top of things during the day & I'll try to spell them at night.

The NRA released a statement that says they want the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but won't accept an assault weapons ban renewal or expansion, or a gun show bill.

Over the weekend I'll try to address some concerns about the statement but if they stick to it then it's definitely a good thing.

Now here's something to think about: what would have happened if the net was as widespread ten years ago as it is today?

Senators are getting flooded with calss & e-mails, coverage of the Senate is taxing C-Span's system & pro-gun blogs, message boards & other internet medium are all getting much much more traffic than they usually do.

Ten years ago all we could do was read the papers account of how the new laws were passed (unless you lived in D.C.) & cuss. Now you get to cuss the Senators in real time as they're putting the knife in your back. (hey- at least it's progress!)

Ten years ago the NRA could cut any deal they wanted & issue a statement telling us how they tried but just couldn't do anything about it. Now they're issuing statements addrssing our concerns.

So with all the attention this has been getting, & all the feedback (positive & negative) it has generated I'm thinking that if the net was as prevelant ten years ago as it is today we wouldn't have an assault weapons ban to worry about.

Course I could be wrong & the only benefit is merely for us to see what's happening, but I think that at least to a small degree we are influencing things instead of just commenting after the fact.

For that I can't thanks Geek & Uncle enough - both for their on-line coverage & keeping me up to date whilst I'm away from electricity. The pro-gun Forums & websites deserve gratitude as well everyone who has e-mailed a blogger, commented on a blog, or posted on a Forum.

Another thing about the NRA - a few people are claiming that the "deal" they alledgedly cut was just a nasty internet rumor spread by those biased against the NRA & possibly by anti-gunners attempting to drai the NRA's resources.

Here's the thing: whether or not the NRA has or had plans to sell us out they are concerned that so many are watching & questioning them. Now it is entirely possible that they did not have plans to sell us out & were trying to do what they thought was best. As I've said before (though I can't remember if it was here or on a message forum - the last few days have been hectic) we can sort out the details later. I'll be more than happy to admit I was wrong for believing the allegations that the NRA was selling us out again. (in this instance that is). Likewise I'll not be timid about calling them on anything they tried to pull.

But what matters right nwo is that we make sure they know our thoughts. If they weren't cutting a deal to betray us then their members letting them know that they won't accept an extension of the assault weapons ban will be redundant, but certainly not draining. & if they were attempting to sell us out, then perhaps the members letting them know how they felt prevented that from happening or at least diminished its intensity. Other than the NRA feeling offended that anyone would think they'd support gun control there is no harm in making your feelings clear to the NRA. Ditto with Senators: if they're pro-gun to begin with then hearing from those who want them to be pro-gun should be an encouragement, not a hinderence. If they're anti-gun then perhaps it will help steer them back towards the light.

So when this is over one way or another we can discuss what the NRA did, didn't. was going to & wasn't going to do in depth. Right now we need to focus on keeping them on the straight & narrow. The hardest days are yet to come & who the hell knows what will happen.

I'll try to summarize things more in depth over the weekend. Right now I'm gonna shut down the PC for a while & hope they don't convene all secret like & pass a bunch of bad things.

I do thank all y'all for coming here & hope something made it worth your time.

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