By Scott Tibbs, October 10, 2008
I sent the following letter to the National Rifle Association.
National Rifle Association
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
To whom it may concern,
I was shocked to discover that you endorsed Baron Hill in Indiana's Ninth Congressional District. With this endorsement, you have permanently lost my support. This endorsement undermines not only your credibility as an organization that allegedly supports Second Amendment rights, but also undermines the Second Amendment itself. I could not be more disappointed with this foolish endorsement.
First of all, I point to Baron Hill's record as recorded by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (http://www.bradycampaign.org/legislation/scorecard/scorecard.php?shr=IN). I want to highlight the following three pieces of legislation where the Brady Campaign gave Baron Hill positive marks:
|19: Final Passage of Campaign Finance Reform (107th Congress; 2002-02-14) H.R. 2356, The Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act. A YES vote supported the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March position. The bill passed by a vote of 240-189 and was signed into law by President Bush on March 27, 2002.|
I hope you realize how destructive limitations on free speech are to our Second Amendment rights. The First Amendment is a powerful tool to oppose anti-gun legislation and to expose the records of anti-gun politicians. Baron Hill actually voted to regulate the content of political speech, making it more difficult for supporters of Second Amendment rights to educate voters close to an election. While pro-gun organizations are most directly involved in defending the Second Amendment, you have to realize that once our basic Constitutional freedoms are abridged and those violations are allowed to stand, a precedent is set to allow other rights to be violated. The fact that the Brady Campaign endorsed "campaign finance reform" alone should make pro-gun voters question it.
|18: Pickering Amendment to Provide Exception for Gun Lobby Campaign Ads (107th Congress; 2002-02-13) H.R. 2356, The Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act. Representative Charles "Chip" Pickering (R-MS) offered an amendment that would have undermined the campaign finance reform bill by creating an exception so that the gun lobby could continue to run issue ads. A NO vote supported the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March position. The amendment failed 209-219.|
With this vote, Baron Hill specifically voted to restrict the political speech of Second Amendment rights advocates. With this vote, Baron Hill specifically voted to regulate the content of the National Rifle Association's political speech. I am dumbfounded as to how an organization that supposedly supports Second Amendment rights could support a politician who voted against an amendment to protect the ability of pro-gun organizations to oppose anti-gun legislation and expose the records of anti-gun politicians.
|13: Goode Amendment to Repeal Law Prohibiting Washington, D.C. Residents from owning firearms (106th Congress; 1999-06-18) H.R. 2122, "Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act" In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting residents from owning firearms. Representative Virgil Goode (D-VA), introduced this amendment that would have repealed that ban, a clear interference with the District's home rule abilities. A NO vote supported The Brady Campaign's position. The amendment failed 175-250.|
This is probably Baron Hill's most egregious anti-gun vote. The United States Congress had an opportunity to repeal Washington DC's draconian gun ban nearly a decade before the Supreme Court ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. Baron Hill not only refused to stand up for Second Amendment rights in the nation's capitol, he openly supported a strict anti-gun law. It cannot be stressed enough that the Supreme Court found the District of Columbia's draconian gun ban to be unconstitutional. Baron Hill's vote against repealing the ban was not only an anti-gun vote, but a vote against the rule of law.
I am very disappointed with the National Rifle Association. With this foolish endorsement, you have permanently lost my support. I will not donate to you or support you in any way. I have encouraged several friends who now support the NRA to withdraw their support from you. If you did not wish to endorse Mike Sodrel (who has a strong and consistent record supporting Second Amendment rights) for fear that Baron Hill is going to win, you should have remained silent in this race. Instead, it appear that you have sold your principles for access, representing everything that is wrong with modern American politics.