Dear Senator McConnell:
The White House, Senate, and House are all in Republican control, in part, because of significant help from the Second Amendment community. Few would argue that.
A little over a month ago, it appeared that Congress would pass legislation long desired by gun owners: concealed carry reciprocity, the Hearing Protection Act, restoring veterans’ gun rights, and the Buck Restoration of Rights Amendment.
In fact, Gun Owners of America had heard from many sources on Capitol Hill that concealed carry reciprocity would move soon.
Sadly, it now appears that the gun agenda is on the back burner. In effect, this tells the millions upon millions of lawful gun owners in this country that somehow their freedom plays a role in the criminal misuse of a firearm. This is not acceptable coming from a Party that claims the individual right to keep and bear arms as an important plank in its platform.
To make matters worse, some Republicans are even falling over themselves, looking for ways to appease The Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC with a new package of gun controls, centering on ways to buck up the anti-gun Brady law.
Remember, in 1994, that this law was passed with Republicans help so the country could once and for all “get the [gun control issue] behind us.” (Those were Bob Dole’s words.) But, of course, passing any part of the gun control agenda doesn’t get the issue behind us — it makes gun grabbers want more.
And here’s the irony: Shooters in virtually every major mass shooting in recent years passed the Brady check. These include killers in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Orlando, Aurora, Ft. Hood, the Navy Yard and many more. And the one that didn’t, in Newtown, killed his mother and stole her guns.
And yet, we are told that, if we just pass one more gun control measure, it will somehow make a difference. Really? Even if the background system (which is, incidentally, unconstitutional) worked better, do you really think criminals would not get their hands on firearms? Do you really believe passing laws to address yesterday’s crimes will help us tomorrow?
Virtually every recent mass shooting in recent years also had something else in common: They were brought to an end when a “good guy with a gun” arrived on the scene.
Sometimes, this guy was an armed civilian, as with Stephen Willeford, who used his own AR-15 to stop the carnage in Texas.
But Mr. Willeford is by no means an outlier. Consider:
• Good guys with guns have stopped mass shootings before they could begin in Arlington, Texas; Darby, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Anderson County, South Carolina; and many more.
• Guns are used 16-100 times more often to save life than to take life, according to Obama’s Center for Disease Control.
• Rifles, including semi-automatics like the AR-15, are not the weapon of choice for criminals. In fact, fists and feet kill at least twice as often as all rifles, including AR- 15s, according to the FBI.
• Furthermore, background checks like the National Instant Check System are failing, as roughly 95 percent on initial denials are “false positives.”
Make no mistake about it: Your political enemies want you to help them to defeat you by “putting points on the board” for gun control.
And the most delusional notion of all is that, by tweaking the failed Brady Check system, it will make a difference.
If you want to lose the House and Senate in 2018, and the White House in 2020, you will abandon your base and listen to your political enemies.
But if you want to energize your base, please consider enacting real public safety improvements that involve protecting liberty, not taking it away. So, as you scramble around looking for “something to do” about recent criminal acts, here are a few things to ponder.
1. Pass concealed carry reciprocity. This legislation has the public support of almost half the Congress and would enable honest gun owners to defend themselves across state lines.
2. Enact the Veterans Protection Act. Our veterans shouldn’t have their gun rights taken away just because someone else handles their finances. These protections have already passed the House, and the Senate needs to act.
3. Pass the Hearing Protection Act, which will go a long way in protecting the rights — and hearing — of hunters and gun owners across the country.
4. Pass the Buck Amendment, which allows restoration of Second Amendment rights to decent Americans. This amendment has already passed the House, and so it’s time for the Senate to send this language to the President’s desk by whatever means possible.
Please renew your efforts to pass a “safe streets agenda” consisting of these items above. And reject the calls for yet another in a long line of failed gun control measures.
Sincerely, Tim Macy Chairman
cc: President Donald Trump House Speaker Paul Ryan