Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Some wise words from a few years ago:

Smart Democrats have always hated and feared the issue of gun control. Like the Sirens that used to lure Greek sailors onto fatal reefs, the gun control issue is the great liberal temptation. It is an easy way to appeal to the liberal contempt for rural America and hunters in particular. And serious leftists know that they cannot implement their most aggressive social engineering plans if too many Americans are armed. And at first glance it is a political winner - it polls well. But preference is not intensity. Preference gets you a "yes" answer on to a pollster. Intensity makes gun owners contribute, organize and drag their spouses and neighbors to the polls. A pro-gun control speech to one hundred citizens might get polite applause from the soccer moms who will have forgotten the speech by next week. Five gun owners in the audience will remember to hate that politician for life. Marginal congressional districts are won and lost by smaller swings than that five percent.

In the House, the strength of the second amendment forces can be seen in their vote on March 22, 1996 to repeal the Clinton assault weapon ban by a margin of 239 to 173.

Some liberals have argued that gun control is now a safer issue for Democrats because they have lost almost all their rural, Western and Southern congressional seats. This was the same reasoning that drove Clinton to declare war on tobacco. Democrats had once been the tobacco industry's major supporters, but after a decade of losing Senate and House seats in North Carolina, Kentucky and other tobacco growing states they felt they had nothing to lose in declaring war on an entire region. This trend can also be seen in Al Gore's war on western mining. Look at a map and there are only three Democrat House seats in the Rocky Mountain region and most of the Plain states.

The gun issue is becoming increasingly important and powerful as a result of a series of legislative victories at the state level that have enacted "shall issue" concealed carry laws. After the Civil War, many states passed laws against individuals carrying concealed weapons. These laws were not all anti-gun, but often flowed from the belief that honest men wore their guns out where folks could see them. Most states allowed permits be given to individuals by the local sheriff or police chief for individuals who had a need to carry concealed weapons. But over time these permits were given out in a discriminatory manner - in New York City - the rich and politically connected can get gun permits, shop keepers who fear robbers cannot. Some cities made it impossible to get permits.

In 1987, Florida passed a law that requires law enforcement officials to grant a permit to any law abiding citizen who passed a gun safety and competency test. No longer could police withhold concealed carry permits at their discretion. This legislation was hard fought with gun control advocates predicting wild west shoot-outs, road rage killings and an increase in crime. The `shall issue" law had the support of the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs association and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Florida was important because it was a large state with substantial urban population and it attracted media attention. Before Florida's "shall issue" law only Georgia, Washington state, Indiana, New Hampshire, Maine, North and South Dakota had "shall issue" right-to-carry laws. Alabama and Connecticut gave local authorities the power to issue permits at their discretion but gun owners felt they did so fairly. Vermont did not require a permit for its citizens to carry concealed weapons.

Today, there are 3l states with "shall issue" concealed carry laws which have 127 million Americans almost half the population. And the momentum is growing.....

Concealed carry laws have greatly embarrassed the Sarah Brady gun control advocates by exposing their dire predictions as lies. (In Florida where more than 300,000 concealed-handgun licenses were issued between October 1, 1987 and December 31,1995, there were only five violent crimes involving permitted pistols and none resulted in a death.)

Metaksa has compiled a strong collection of anecdotes of women defending themselves against criminals using guns. One of the most powerful stories in her book is that of Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, a Texas woman who was with her parents in Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas on October 16, 199l when George Hennard crashed his truck through the window of the restaurant and began to shoot patrons. Because Texas had not yet passed its concealed carry law, Dr. Hupp's pistol was in her car glove compartment and both her parents were killed. Dr. Hupp ran for the 54th Legislative district in Texas and was elected to the state legislature as a supporter of concealed carry laws. Sarah Brady cannot look Suzanna Hupp in the eye.....

The Republican governing majority is made up of individuals who are independent and wish to be left alone by government. Citizens who take their own defense and self-protection into their own hands rather than depending on the police are a natural part of the Republican base. It used to be said that Bill Clinton's worst nightmare was a self-employed American with a 40lK--because that person didn't want anything from the government other than to be left alone.

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