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Once more Clinton is targeting guns and gun owners. Could it be
because he is again under close scrutiny by the press? The Newsweek
headline this week reads
“The Penetration is Total.”
China now has
our nuclear secrets and, as a result of Clinton’s “Wag the Dog” ploy of
sending cruise missiles into Afghanistan, has two undetonated cruise
missiles. So in his radio address last Saturday Clinton used his
favorite diversionary tactic — attacking gun-owners.

While bragging that his Crime Bill was responsible for the twenty
percent drop in crime, he directed Attorney General Reno and Secretary
of the Treasury Rubin to “use every available tool” to go after “gun
criminals” and “illegal gun markets.”

In addition, Clinton finally acknowledged that Richmond’s Project
Exile has reduced murders with guns by 41 percent. What he failed to
disclose was that he opposed the National Rifle Association’s (NRA)
initiative to expand Exile to several more cities. Last June, almost 10
months ago, NRA President Charlton Heston issued his challenge to
Clinton to give America another city where Project Exile could reduce
crime and violence. Since that challenge there has been silence and
opposition from the administration.

Was Clinton’s embrace of Project Exile a way of stealing his
opposition’s ideas and repackaging them as his own, or could it be that
a U.S. Senate hearing on March 22, featuring witnesses from his
administration and Richmond, VA would prove Exile a success? The hearing
was a “Review of DOJ Firearm Prosecutions” and was held by the Youth
Violence and the Criminal Justice Oversight Subcommittees of the Senate
Judiciary Committee. All the witnesses with the exception of Andrew Vita
from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) were
enthusiastically supportive of Project
Exile’s basic premise of using existing federal law to prosecute
criminals with guns. Mr. Vita focused on reducing the supply of illegal
guns since he stated, “as we take criminals off the streets, more
arise.”

Senator Strom Thurmond, the Chairman of the Criminal Justice
Oversight subcommittee, reminded the government witness that a Bush
initiative, “Operation Trigger Lock,” led to 7,048 prosecutions for
violating federal gun laws in 1992, while similar prosecutions are now
down to only 3,807. “Those laws are on the books for one reason: to be
enforced,” he said.

Senator Arlen Specter, who initiated the federal funding that enabled
Philadelphia to undertake the Project Exile experiment, was also
present. Specter recounted how he asked Attorney General Reno during
previous testimony why Project Exile was only allocated $5 million in
the Clinton budget. Her answers, he stated, were “insufficient.” Senator
Jeff Sessions, Chairman of the Youth Violence Committee, using
statistics from the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys, was
appalled that the numbers of prosecutions under both the school gun law
and the gun-transfer law were minimal. “If the Administration is so
interested in reducing crime, why so few prosecutions?” he asked.

Gun owners know that the Clinton administration is not concerned
about prosecuting criminals. If it were, hundreds of thousands of Brady
Law violators would be arrested and prosecuted. This administration’s
objective is to shrink the number guns in America. To accomplish that
objective they seek to shrink the number of gun manufacturers, gun
dealers, and gun owners. So Clinton once again supported requiring
background checks of all gun purchasers and also proposed “that violent
juvenile offenders” be banned from owning firearms for life.

Clinton’s radio address did not, as rumor has it, discuss the
importation of military ammunition. The latest restriction on ammunition
imports is just another re-interpretation of the Arms Export Control Act
by Clinton’s State Department. The policy is simple: all items procured
under State Department approved contracts or licenses, whether
manufactured in the US or abroad, can not be imported into the United
States for resale to law-abiding civilians. The State Department under
the Clinton administration has liberally interpreted this policy to
prohibit the importation of as much ammunition, firearms and firearms
parts as they can. The current State
Department’s suspension in the approval of ATF permits to import
military ammunition has caused the shortage — proving once again that
this is the most anti-gun administration in history. The only remedy is
to pass legislation that modifies the restrictions.

While the White House and the U.S. Senate sparred over Project Exile,
Congressman Barr and Senator Boxer intensified their fight over lawsuits
against the firearms’ manufacturers. Two weeks ago Congressman Barr and
over 30 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 1032, legislation to block the
frenzy of reckless litigation aimed at firearms manufacturers filed by
cities and anti-gun organizations. On Tuesday March 23 Senator Boxer
held a press conference to formally announced her opposing bill “The
Firearms Rights, Responsibilities, and Remedies Act of 1999.” Senator
Schumer, who attended the press conference, not only viciously attacked
the NRA but this writer personally. I’m impressed that he remembers my
name, but I wish he would stop lying.

Senator Boxer’s legislation, which doesn’t have a bill number yet, is
an attempt to undermine not only the Second but also the Tenth
Amendment. Basing her law on the federal government’s power to regulate
commerce, the legislation allows anyone “who has been injured by or
incurred costs as a result of gun violence” to bring an action in either
Federal or State court — a trial lawyer’s dream. Not only those
interested in Second Amendment freedoms, but also every group involved
in trying to reform product liability laws should be outraged.

This anti-gun activity at the federal level promises to continue.
During this past week gun grabbers have held press conferences almost
every day. Bill Clinton and his pals in the U.S. Senate will try every
maneuver to chip away at gun-owners’ rights. Senators Feinstein, Boxer,
Schumer, Durbin, Lautenberg, and Torricelli don’t get tired, they relish
the fight. The contest will not be on just one bill; it will be over
every one. For they intend to try and add each one of their bills to
every possible piece of legislation to hit the U.S. Senate floor. Be
prepared. It’s time again for all that value freedom to remain vigilant.

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