Friday, May 13, 2005

A Little Recent History

I was reading blogs at work lunch today when I decided to Google something I just read. You know how Google works. You find one item that piques your interest, click on a new link, then click on yet another link, and soon you forget what you were looking up in the first place. Meanwhile, you find really interesting information. Ahh, the power of nonlinear thought.

My interesting find today is a Clinton White House press release dated April 11, 2000. Of course, that’s five years, one month and 2 days ago and blogs are supposed to be topical. Bear with me because I found a few lessons for today.

We really dodged a bullet when Gore wasn’t appointed president. The 2000 election was a mess. Our system is not built for ties and this election was as close to a tie as I’ll ever see in my lifetime. Courts were going to decide that election and now I’m glad the Supremes made a good decision for a change.

The Ten Ring is a gun blog and I won’t go into other matters. For instance, when I imagine President Gore’s response to 9/11 a shudder runs up my spine. Maybe he would’ve stepped up and hit a home run, but I really doubt it. No, he would’ve declared a national day of navel-gazing while asking what we did to deserve it. That’s enough of other matters.

The press release is an election tool for Gore as well as a way for Clinton to blow his horn. It’s titled “Keeping Guns Away From Youth and Criminals: the Clinton-Gore Administration Record.” Its text is a litany of what that administration did to gun owners. It crows about passing the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Act. Built into that subject’s facile description is sporting purposes: “…banned 19 of the deadliest assault weapons and their copies, while specifically protecting more than 50 legitimate sporting weapons.”

Here’s another bullet we partially dodged: gun buyback programs in public housing. Funds were allotted to buy guns from poor residents living in high crime areas. Not mentioned here are questions of self-defense and how rules were passed to evict those who owned a gun even if they could legally own it and did nothing wrong with it. So much for fairness to the poor that Democrats claim so loudly.

If you’ve ever wondered why most new guns come with a lock, Clinton signed a directive mandating that Federal agencies could only buy guns that came with child safety locks. Our government buys a lot of guns and eight manufacturers decided to include locks with their products. They probably did so for public relations as well as not having to differentiate which boxed pistol must go to the feds and which could be sold elsewhere.

Clinton also passed the Gun-Free Schools Act forcing schools to expel any kid caught with a gun on campus. Thank you Mr. Clinton for helping start zero tolerance policies that punish decent kids who forget to take a hunting shotgun from a car’s trunk.

Then there was that abysmal Smith & Wesson agreement, which included new restrictions on the firearms business. Smith & Wesson almost went out of business due to a gunnie boycott, its British owner sold it to an American company for a huge loss, and the agreement went into abeyance. It stands as an example to all gun companies to stop “cooperating” our rights away.

Now we are getting to what President Gore would have done to us. The Youth Gun Crime Enforcement Act included a Federal one-handgun-a-month provision, added gun show restrictions, required a three-day waiting period for all handgun sales and much more. It died in committee, but Gore could have worked to resurrect it.

Finally, there was a plan mentioned in a Clinton State of the Union speech to issue a Federal license to buy handguns. We really dodged a bullet here.

I’ve not included everything listed in the press release in an already long post. Needless to say, they had plans for us. I know George W. Bush doesn’t do everything we gunnies want our president to do. But, consider the alternatives—Gore and John Kerry. Maybe 2008 will bring us better choices.

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