A 26-year-old Portsmouth, Va., mother had used her new ,40-cal. pistol at the target range for the first time and ended up relying on it to defend her family from an assailant the same night. Temesha Greene was fearful of the increasing crime rate in her community and had purchased the gun to protect her family. After learning to shoot the gun at the range, she went to a grocery store later that day with her boyfriend and her two sons. Upon returning home and while they were unloading groceries from the car, Greene said a man got out of a van and approached them in the driveway. Greene and her boyfriend, Cedric Williams, asked the man who he was but he did not respond. When Greene saw the man draw a gun, she pulled her handgun and the two exchanged fire. Williams found cover behind a tree and told the two boys to duck down. Greene was not injured, but managed to shoot the gunman, later identified as Emmitt Warren. When the gunfire subsided, the driver of the van started to leave, but Warren called out to him to wait. When the van was later located, Warren was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He and an accomplice have been charged with attempted murder and weapons violations. The Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads, VA, 11/04/03)
A young, armed thug was so startled by his would-be victim's defending himself that he turned tail and ran, leaving his gun-and his pride-behind. The inept robber entered JP Liquors in Wilmington, Del., and chatted up the clerk for a moment before pulling a semi-automatic pistol and demanding money. The 60-year- old clerk responded by pulling his own gun, firing two shots at the bandit who ran from the store, fell down some steps and dropped his gun in his haste. (The News Journal, Wilmington, DE, 10/25/03)
Two would-be robbers found their presence was most unwelcome at a Syracuse, N.Y., restaurant. The owner of the Welcome Inn was in the restaurant's kitchen when a masked man entered the establishment and aimed a gun at him, demanding money. Ready to defend himself, the innkeeper drew his own .45-cal. pistol and aimed it at the gunman, who fled the restaurant with another man. (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, NY, 11/01/03)
Norman Woodall shot and killed one of two men who broke into his home around 1:40 a.m. Woodall told police that one of the men had been armed with a gun when the two kicked open his front door and stormed in, apparently intending to rob him. Woodall struggled with the would-be robbers and fired his own gun, striking one of the men in the face and causing the second man to flee. The wounded assailant, later identified as Darnell Woodward, was pronounced dead at the scene. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 10/30/03)
Two armed men entered Shamrock Liquor in Quartz Hill, Calif., wearing black masks over their faces. One of the masked bandits pointed a gun at the clerk on duty, who reached into a drawer by the counter, pulled a gun and fired at the men, hitting one would-be robber in the chest. The suspects fled the store, and a man fitting the description of the wounded robber was later located at a nearby hospital where he was being treated for a bullet wound to the chest. The second suspect was not located. (Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, CA, 09/21/03)
Kirn Fedje shot and killed two dogs that had viciously attacked a herd of 13 llamas in her care before turning and charging her. Fedje was out on her morning rounds feeding the animals. As she approached the llamas, she noticed they were huddled together in a defensive stance. That's when she saw two dogs circling the herd. When she called out to the llamas, the dogs turned in her direction. "I could hear them growling from 40 yards away," Fedje recalled. "They were making a beeline for me. I thought I was dead." Fedje reacted by firing her rifle at the attacking dogs. The first dog fell after two or three shots, the second dog continued toward her until she had emptied her gun. Fedje called her fiancé who went back out with her to examine the animals. All 13 llamas had suffered dog bites. The dogs, a Labrador / Rottweiler mix, belonged to a neighbor who had taken them out for a walk the night before. Both animals had run off into a cornfield and did not return. (The Forum, Fargo, ND, 10/30/03)
Action Video store manager Ron Simpson says he knows guns. And he knew the "gun" pointed at him in a store robbery was fake. A man had approached the counter and pulled a gun from his waist- band, demanding money. Simpson, a Vietnam vet and gun aficionado, said the gun resembled a 9 mm, but the muzzle was far too small to project a bullet. "That is not a real gun," Simpson said. "This is a real gun," he added, pulling a -25-cal. handgun from his pocket. Simpson then used a cordless phone to call the authorities. Caught in his "fake out," the unarmed bandit fled when Simpson called the police. (News and Record, Greensboro, NC, 10/17/03)
The increasingly hysterical media assaults against the National Rifle Association-which began with a series of Brady Campaign attack-ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post-have made clear a new strategy for destruction of every American's Second Amendment rights.
To disarm the American people, the enemies of liberty are using the only weapon they possess-THE BIG LIE. With it, they will try to demonize, marginalize, then ultimately liquidate the one force that successfully protects firearm freedom in America-the NRA.
This endgame was expressed by former Montgomery County, Md., police chief, Charles Moose, a key member of the Brady Campaign Board of Trustees: "If I could drive over to the NRA headquarters and shut them down I would." That says it all.
Michael Barnes, the ex-Maryland congressman who directs the Brady gun-ban lobby, expressed deep fear and loathing of what we stand for-real democracy in action:
"The NRA wields an unparalleled control over our political process that is unhealthy for a democracy and out of touch with the common sense of the American people. The values of the NRA are not the values of Americans."
Values of Americans? How about the traditional American values of truth, honesty, liberty and, above all, respect for the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Sarah Brady, in announcing what she called "a massive nation- wide media campaign," made it clear that we can count on two common themes: hatred for the NRA and our traditional American values, and a consistent trashing of the truth.
The first tactical target of this propaganda blitz is to diminish the congressional backing for S. 659, the NRA-supported legislation to end the clearly abusive use of the courts by a cabal of greedy lawyers, big city mayors and gun-ban zealots to kill the law-abiding firearm industry outright. These lawyers have filed scores of malicious suits aimed at holding innocent, law-abiding, federally regulated businesses and individuals accountable for the totally unrelated acts of criminals.
The Brady Campaign and its accomplices in the Hollywood elite and the national media are telling the public that this reform legislation is "giving gun manufacturers and dealers total immunity from civil lawsuits."
To this lie there is a simple rebuttal-the actual words of the legislation. The bill says that any person is free to bring "an action in which a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly and willingly violated a State or Federal statute " or "an action for physical injuries or property damages resulting directly from a defect in design or manufacture ... ."
The legislation in no way blocks legitimate, direct claims of civil or criminal negligence. Moreover, any dealer who violates the felony provisions of federal law is subject to criminal prosecution. What it does block are malicious lawsuits designed to bankrupt a law-abiding industry.
In a March 1999 report on the progress of dozens of simultaneous legal actions, The Tampa Tribune concluded: "To the mayors and gun control advocates, only good can come of the lawsuits. Handgun Control (Inc.) officials said the companies will either lose in court and pay, or settle out of court and pay ... the other option is that the firearms companies fight and, like dying from a thousand cuts, are driven out of business by the cost of the lawsuits."
The truth of that statement is widely known on Capitol Hill. The abusive nature of these lawsuits is the sole reason The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,K.R. 1036, passed the U.S. House on April 9,2003-by a 285 to 140 bipartisan roll-call vote.
Now the issue is before the U.S. Senate. This long-overdue tort reform has received overwhelming support because it is right and fair and because it corrects an obvious, ongoing and otherwise never-ending abuse of the courts aimed at taking down an innocent segment of the American economy.
Even Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who is not often on the side of the NRA, committed to voting to end this continuing abuse of process, saying: "/(is wrong, and it is a misuse of the civil justice system, to try to punish honest, law- abiding people for illegal acts committed by others without their knowledge or involvement. "'For his support of the reform, Daschle and others like him who see this as a matter of judicial equity and simple American fairness have been called "NRA puppets" and "sheep" by the Brady Campaign.
But character assassination won't beat the truth. And the truth is the sole reason the U.S. Senate version, S. 659, introduced by U.S. Senators Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has now garnered 55 co-sponsors, and counts sufficient bipartisan support to meet the 60-vote mark needed to overcome a filibuster threatened by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer.
Because of the "Blizzard of Lies" about these needed reforms, and because NRA is the target of this ongoing hate campaign, each and every one of us must do everything we can to assure that members of congress and U.S. senators have the courage to do what is right and fair. Call your senators. Write. E-mail. Tell them you want S. 659 brought to a favorable vote and sent to the president's desk for signature into law. Act now. Today.
As soldiers relinquished their fully automatic military firearms at the end of their duty, many returning veterans gravitated to the semi-automatic civilian versions of those firearms, such as the AR-15 and M1A. Literally tens of millions of these guns are owned by Americans. All the data show they are the guns least likely to be involved in crime or accidents. Indeed, the gun-haters have had 10 years to show any relationship between the banned semi-autos and crime of any kind. There is none. Banning guns for features, such as bayonet lugs, pistol grips and so-called flash hiders, is completely dishonest. When has anyone ever been bayoneted in a crime? What possible crime could a pistol grip commit?
And yet politicians now want to ban even more firearms based on those same silly cosmetic features. Two bills now in Congress-H.R. 2038 and S. 1431-introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) would ban millions of additional semi-automatics, including those with "pistol grips." But nearly all guns have "pistol grips"! Their legislation would also ban every semi-automatic shotgun in America-including the millions of Browning Auto-5 shotguns produced since 1903.
Clever, but no accident. Banning as many guns as fast as possible-and registering the rest-is what it's all about. One of the loudest cheerleaders for these semi-automatic gun bans has been Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who admitted on CBS's "60 Minutes": "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it." Those who hate our Second Amendment rights routinely attack semi-automatic guns because they hope to deceive the public into believing that semi-automatics are machine guns, which, of course, is totally false. As Josh Sugarmann of the anti-gun Violence Policy Center explained: "The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons-anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun-can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."
Recently, CNN reporter John Zarella used that technique. He had an anti-gun sheriff and deputy fire a fully automatic machine gun into concrete blocks to create the false impression that the gun was a semi-automatic covered by the Clinton gun ban. Zarella then asked Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Ken Jenne to explain the NRA side of the argument!
Zarella never told the audience that Sheriff Jenne had been a dedicated anti-gun state legislator and was now a dedicated anti-gun sheriff. Zarella never mentioned that the gun they had just fired was a machine gun and had nothing to do with the Clinton gun ban.
No one explained that semi-auto rifles are used in less than 3 percent of homicides. Nor that thousands of such guns are used in national tournaments every year, including the prestigious President's Match, which is fired almost entirely using semi-automatic service rifles such as the AR-15 and M1A-which were affected by Clinton's gun ban-and the semi-automatic Ml Garand, which would be banned by the McCarthy-Lautenberg bills.
These laws are aimed at veterans and are born of contempt for the military. Many of the leading anti-gun activists are also prominent anti-military activists. We all know the contempt the Clintons had and still have for the military. What an affront to America's freedom and her armed forces it would be to let anti-freedom politicians extend and expand a ban on semi-automatic firearms. If they can ban an entire class of conventional firearms that has never been an even marginally significant factor in crime-simply through rhetoric, hype, lies and hysteria-then they can ban any and every firearm in America.
We must close ranks and vow: We won't ever let that happen.