Thursday, March 19, 2009

65 Congressional Democrats tell Holder "No" on the Assault Weapons Ban

Led by Arkansas Congressman, Mike Ross, sixty-five pro-gun Democrats--including Oregon's inestimable Pete DeFazio--signed an open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder opposing any effort to renew the so-called Assault Weapons Ban. 65 Congressmen represents a significant portion of Democratic house majority; enough to show clearly the assault weapons ban (AWB) is dead in the current Congress.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, respectively the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, have already gone on record publicly opposing any new AWB. It is my sincere hope that the perennial anti-gun legislators will recognize the futility of bringing forward any new legislation to ban any currently legal class of firearm, thus avoiding political theater that could only damage Democrats despite the hard work by so many Democratic Congressmen.

Reprinted here is the complete text of the letter, followed by a list of all who signed it. If your own Congressman isn't on the list ask him or her "Why not?"
Text of Mike Ross's letter:

Dear Attorney General Holder:

As strong supporters of the Second Amendment, we were very concerned to see your recent remarks suggesting that the administration will push for the reinstatement of the 1994 ban on "assault weapons" and ammunition magazines.

We believe that this ban was ineffective during the 10 years it was law, and would oppose its reenactment. Crime began falling before the ban was passed in 1994, and continued falling during and after the ban. The last time the murder rate was at its current level was more than forty years ago.

Even the Urban Institute study of the ban's effectiveness mandated by the 103rd Congress found that it could only have a limited effect because "the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders."

It is hard to believe the ban would be any more effective in controlling crime by well-funded international drug traffickers, who regularly use grenade launchers, anti-tank rockets and other weapons that aer not available on the civilian market in the United States.

The gun control community as intentionally misled many Americans into believing that these weapons are fully automatic machine guns. They are not. these firearms fire one sot for every pull of the trigger. Some of the guns that would be banned under proposed bills have been around for more than 70 years, and are often passed down from generation to generation.

Many of our constituents lawfully own and use these firearms and ammunition magazines that would be affected by the new ban. Indeed, these are commonly owned firearms through the country. Law-abiding Americans use these guns for all the same reasons they use any other kind of gun--competitive shooting, hunting, and defending their homes and families.

Our constituents also have very real and serious problems that we in Congress urgently need to address. People are worried about keeping their jobs, paying for their families' health care, educating their children, and retiring with the kind of security their parents and grandparents enjoyed. A long and divisive fight over a gun control issue will only distract us from giving these more important issues the attention they deserve.

Again, we would actively oppose any effort to reinstate the 1994 ban, or to pass any similar law. We urge you to abandon this initiative and to focus instead on effective law enforcement strategies to enforce our current laws against violent criminals and drug traffickers.

List of Democratic Congressmen against the assault weapons ban:

1. Mike Ross (D-AR)
2. Tim Holden (D-PA)
3. Jerry Costello (D-IL)
4. Jim Matheson (D-UT)
5. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
6. John Dingell (D-MI)
7. Marion Berry (D-AR)
8. Nick Rahall (D-WV)
9. Gene Green (D-TX)
10. Chet Edwards (D-TX)
11. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)
12. Gene Taylor (D-MS)
13. Bart Stupak (D-MI)
14. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
15. Harry Teague (D-NM)
16. John Tanner (D-TN)
17. Allen Boyd (D-FL)
18. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
19. Eric Massa (D-NY)
20. Steve Kagen, M.D. (D-WI)
21. Betsy Markey (D-CO)
22. Paul Hodes (D-NH)
23. Ron Kind (D-WI)
24. Peter Welch (D-VT)
25. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
26. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
27. Walt Minnick (D-ID)
28. John Boccieri (D-OH)
29. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
30. Tom Perriello (D-VA)
31. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)
32. Ben Chandler (D-KY)
33. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
34. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL)
35. Travis Childers (D-MS)
36. Tim Walz (D-MN)
37. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
38. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX)
39. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)
40. Rick Boucher (D-VA)
41. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
42. John Murtha (D-PA)
43. Bart Gordon (D-TN)
44. Zach Space (D-OH)
45. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
46. Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
47. Artur Davis (D-AL)
48. Charlie Melancon (D-LA)
49. John Barrow (D-GA)
50. Christopher Carney (D-PA)
51. Dan Boren (D-OK)
52. Parker Griffith (D-AL)
53. Charlie Wilson (D-OH)
54. Heath Shuler (D-NC)
55. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD)
56. Jim Marshall (D-GA)
57. Jason Altmire (D-PA)
58. Larry Kissell (D-NC)
59. John Salazar (D-CO)
60. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN)
61. Frank Kratovil (D-MD)
62. Glenn Nye (D-VA)
63. Bobby Bright (D-AL)
64. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)
65. Joe Baca (D-CA)


brian r said...

This is great news! Exciting indeed.

19 Turkeys said...

Now, I just wish we knew where Jeff Merkley stood. I have e-mailed him twice and all I got were auto-replies saying he is trying to figure out how to set up his e-mail.

For the record, I am a registered Republican that voted for Peter DeFazio.

Steve W.

Zak Johnson said...

During the campaign last year I had several conversations with Jeff Merkley about gun policy. Broadly speaking, he doesn't favor new bans but he has spoken in favor of background checks for most sales. Click this link to see the statement on the 2nd Amendment Merkley issued during the campaign.

My impression with political offices is that email is fine and dandy, but they respond better to and are more likely to personally read good old fashioned snail mail

19 Turkeys said...


Thanks for that information on Jeff. BTW, I received an e-mail back from DeFazio that was absolutely pro-Second Amendment even stating that he voted against the 1994 Clinton ban. (I was living in OH at the time & was unaware of that.)

& I enjoyed working with you & your group when you visited Grants Pass & the Josephine County Sportsman Association. Please let me know if you would like to repeat that event in the future.

Steve W.

brian r said...

Thanks for the support of our caucus. As far as 2nd amendment issues go, we are all fighting for the same goals.