Gun Owners of America on Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney and Gun Control

In the recent Presidential debate, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann said America’s voters did not need to “settle” for the moderate candidate.  Amen to that.

And gun owners do NOT want candidates who talk out of both sides of their mouths.

As the Gun Owners of America’s Board of Directors looks at the Republican candidates running to unseat radical anti-gun President Obama, we see several who have strong pro-gun backgrounds.  Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman all have solid pro-gun records and deserve a hard look from pro-gunners.

At least one frontrunner candidate stands in contrast with a decidedly mixed record on the gun issue.  While Mitt Romney likes to “talk the pro-gun talk,” he has not always walked the walk.

“The Second Amendment protects the individual right of lawful citizens to keep and bear arms. I strongly support this essential freedom,” Romney assures gun owners these days.

But this is the same Mitt Romney who, as governor, promised not to do anything to “chip away” at Massachusetts’ extremely restrictive gun laws.

“We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them,” he said during a gubernatorial debate.  “I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”1

Even worse, Romney signed a law to permanently ban many semi-automatic firearms.  “These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense,” Romney said in 2004. “They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”2

Romney also spoke in favor of the Brady law’s five day waiting period on handguns.  The Boston Herald quotes Romney saying, “I don’t think (the waiting period) will have a massive effect on crime but I think it will have a positive effect.”3

Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

And that makes it all the more troubling that Romney refuses to answer GOA’s simple candidate questionnaire.  In our more than 36 years of experience, a candidate is usually hiding anti-gun views if he or she refuses to come clean in writing with specific commitments to the Second Amendment.

Today, Romney may be a favorite “Republican Establishment” candidate of the national press corps.  But that is exactly what gun owners DON’T need in a new President. We need someone who will stand by true constitutional principles and protect the Second Amendment.

 


[1] Mitt Romney in the 2002 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate.  Part of the quote can be read in this article at Scot Lehigh, “Romney vs. Romney,” Boston Globe (January 19, 2007) at: http://mittromney4potus.blogspot.com/2007/01/context.html

[2] “Romney signs off on permanent assault weapons ban,” July 8, 2004, at: http://www.iberkshires.com/story.php?story_id=14812

[3] Mitt Romney, quoted by Joe Battenfeld in the Boston Herald, Aug. 1, 1994.

Gun Owners of America on Newt Gingrich

Prior to the “Republican Revolution” of 1994, Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia had earned an A rating with Gun Owners of America.  But that all changed in 1995, after Republicans were swept to power and Gingrich became Speaker of the House.

The Republicans gained the majority, thanks in large part to gun owners outraged by the Clinton gun ban.  And upon taking the reins of the House, Speaker Gingrich said famously that, “As long as I am Speaker of this House, no gun control legislation is going to move in committee or on the floor of this House and there will be no further erosion of their rights.”

His promise didn’t hold up, however, and his GOA rating quickly dropped to well below the “C-level.”  In 1996, the Republican-led Congress passed the “gun free school zones act,” creating criminal safe zones like Virginia Tech, where the only person armed was a murderous criminal.  Speaker Newt Gingrich voted for the bill containing this ban.[1]

The same bill also contained the now infamous Lautenberg gun ban, which lowered the threshold for losing one’s Second Amendment rights to a mere misdemeanor.[2] Gun owners could, as a result of this ban, lose their gun rights forever for non-violent shouting matches that occurred in the home — and, in many cases, lose their rights without a jury trial.

While a legislator might sometimes vote for a spending bill which contains objectionable amendments, that was clearly NOT the case with Newt Gingrich in 1996.  Speaking on Meet the Press in September of that year, Speaker Gingrich said the Lautenberg gun ban was “a very reasonable position.”[3] He even refused to cosponsor a repeal of the gun ban during the next Congress — despite repeated requests to do so.[4]

Also in 1996, Speaker Gingrich cast his vote for an anti-gun terror bill which contained several harmful provisions.  For example, one of the versions he supported (in March of that year) contained a DeLauro amendment that would have severely punished gun owners for possessing a laser sighting device while committing an infraction as minor as speeding on a federal reservation.[5] (Not only would this provision have stigmatized laser sights, it would have served as a first step to banning these items.)  Another extremely harmful provision was the Schumer amendment to “centralize Federal, State and Local police.”[6]


Final passage of H.R. 3610, Sept. 28, 1996 at:  http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll455.xml . Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) warned his colleagues about the hidden dangers in H.R. 3610, and in regard to the Kohl ban, noted that it would “prohibit most persons from carrying unloaded firearms in their automobiles.”

See Gingrich’s vote at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll455.xml .

[3] Associated Press, “Gingrich Favors Handgun Ban for Domestic Abuse Convicts,” Deseret News, Sept. 16, 1996.  The full quote reveals how much Speaker Gingrich had adopted the anti-gunners’ line of thinking:  “I’m very much in favor of stopping people who engage in violence against their spouses from having guns,” the Georgia Republican said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think that’s a very reasonable position.”  But the fact that this gun ban covers misdemeanors in the home is primary evidence that NON-violent people have been subjected to lifetime gun bans for things like:  shouting matches, throwing a set of keys in the direction of another person, spanking a child, etc.

[4] See H.R.1009, “States’ Rights and Second and Tenth Amendment Restoration Act of 1997,” introduced by Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID).

H.R. 2703, March 14, 1996 at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll066.xml .

S. 735, April 18, 1996 at:  http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll126.xml .

Gun Owners of America on Rick Perry

As Governor of Texas for a decade, Rick Perry has shown himself to be a tough defender of the right to keep and bear arms.

In his private life, Gov. Perry carries concealed and knows how to use his weapon.  While jogging with his dog last year, he used his .380 Ruger to shoot and kill a cayotte that was menacing his pet.

“Don’t attack my dog or you might get shot … if you’re a coyote,” he told the Associated Press.

As for his public record, Gov. Perry has a near-perfect gun record, having signed dozens of pro-gun bills into law.  Here’s his record as governor:

2001

Signed Senate Bill 766, which prohibits lawsuits against gun ranges, gun manufacturers, and distributors for anything carried out in lawful operation.

2004

Signed concealed handgun reciprocity agreements with Georgia and Montana.

2005

Signed House Bill 225 (Driver) which extends the renewal period for a concealed handgun license from four to five years without an increase in renewal fee.  The bill also included a provision that a person from any state can qualify for a Texasconcealed handgun license (CHL).

Singed House Bill 322 (Hupp) which reduces all fees for a concealed handgun license for military members and veterans by 50 percent and lowers the age from 21 to 18 for members of the military or veterans to obtain a concealed handgun license.

Signed House Bill 685 (Rose) which exempts military members and veterans from taking the range portion of the concealed handgun licensing process if they had been weapons certified in the military within the past five years prior to application for the license.

Signed House Bill 1483 (Frost) which expanded methods by which applicants for a concealed handgun license may pay the fees to include personal check, cash, and credit card. Currently only cashiers checks and money orders are accepted.

Signed House Bill 823 (Keel) which allows for concealed carry in a privately owned vehicle, without having to obtain a permit from the government.

Signed House Bill 1038 (Isett) which reduces the fee for renewal of a canceled handgun permit for senior citizen by 50 percent. The current renewal fee for a senior citizen is $70 for a four-year renewal period and this bill will reduce that fee to $35 for those 60 years of age or older.

Signed Senate Bill 734 (Williams) which restricts the ability of a city to prohibit the discharge of firearms on large pieces of land in their extraterritorial jurisdiction.

2007

Signed House Bill 233 (Ritter) which waives CHL fees for active duty military.

Signed House Bill 991 (Rose) which protected the privacy and safety of CHL holders by restricting access to such records, thus keeping names of permit holder from being made public.

Signed House Bill 1815 (Isett) which expands constitutional carry by allowing the carrying a handgun on one’s own premises or premises under one’s control, and between a premises and a car under one’s control, as well as in a vehicle under one’s control.  Defines premises to include recreational vehicles such as a motor home.

Signed House Bill 1839 (Bonnen) which eases renewal requirements after the third renewal of a CHL.

Signed Senate Bill 112 (Carona) which prohibits the seizure by police of lawfully carried and possessed firearms during a disaster.

Signed Senate Bill 322 (Duell), not allowing foster homes to prohibit firearms and ammunition.

Signed Senate Bill 378 (Wentworth), a castle doctrine bill removing the requirement to retreat before using deadly force against an attacker in one’s home, auto or place of business.

Signed Senate Bill 535 (Hegar) which prohibits the Lower Colorado River Authority from adopting rules against concealed carry or self-defense.

2009

Signed House Bill 2664 (Ritter), creating a defense to prosecution for the offense of unlawful carrying of a handgun by a license holder on the premises of certain businesses.

Signed Senate Bill 1188 (Estes) which expands the number of states from which Texans can purchase long guns.

Signed Senate Bill 1236 (Seliger), requiring that a person charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor offense be notified that upon conviction they may lose their right to possess a firearm.

Signed Senate Bill 1742 (Shapiro) which expands the authorities of cities to regulate the discharge of firearms outside of city limits (GOA opposes).

2011

Signed House Bill 25 (Guillen), extending the right to carry on a boat or watercraft with the necessity of a CHL.

Signed House Bill 1595 (Isaac) which protects shooting ranges from frivolous lawsuits.

Signed House Bill 2127 (Garen) which restricts the ability of certain cities to prohibit shooting.

Signed House Bill 2560 (Sheffield) which allows foster parents with a CHL to carry in an automobile with children present.

Signed Senate Bill 321 (Hegar) which allows Texans with a concealed carry permit to keep their firearm in locked glove boxes in their automobile while at place of employment.

Video: How reporters “wow” you with pure B.S.

This video from The Onion shows you just how elite media over-hype works and how they get you to care about news that really isn’t news at all. You will see the techniques that are designed to generate an emotional response and suggest the editorial point of view into your mind with very little facts at all. This is perhaps the most important video The Onion has ever done.

Kicking the Can Down the Road in Europe

The Federal Reserve pumping dollars into Europe is just a mild kicking of the can down the road. There is no way that Greece, Italy etc will get the political will to embrace the austerity and capitalist policies necessary for them to have a chance to pay their debts.

Of course loaning them more money even cheaper puts our dollar at further risk.  It seems that what the Federal Reserve  is trying to do is delay the Euro collapse until after the election.

AP:

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The central banks of the wealthiest countries, trying to prevent a debt crisis in Europe from exploding into a global panic, swept in Wednesday to shore up the world financial system by making it easier for banks to borrow American dollars.

Stock markets around the world roared their approval. The Dow Jones industrial average rose almost 500 points, its best day in two and a half years. Stocks climbed 5 percent in Germany and more than 4 percent in France.

Central banks will make it cheaper for commercial banks in their countries to borrow dollars, the dominant currency of trade. It was the most extraordinary coordinated effort by the central banks since they cut interest rates together in October 2008, at the depths of the financial crisis.

But while it should ease borrowing for banks, it does little to solve the underlying problem of mountains of government debt in Europe, leaving markets still waiting for a permanent fix. European leaders gather next week for a summit on the debt crisis.

The Euro banks are so over leveraged that as confidence in the Euro declines more and more people will pull their money out and buy gold, silver, or dollars, BUT the banks have loaned out so much money to governments that they could not possibly pay off the depositors. Unless something changes in a big way, the Euro seems finished.