I know I may be preaching to the choir here, and that almost all gun-owners are familiar with HR1022, but I felt I'd share my views. I've posted this one several different message forums unrelated to firearms. Surprisingly, even on those forums which I had pegged as being populated with mostly liberals, a majority of the replies made are pro-2nd Amendment. The few comments by anti-gun members were simply regurgitated mass-media platitudes and gun-grabber propaganda, and they were promptly silenced by an overwhelming show of logic and reality. _____________ If a gun-control advocate manages to be elected as America's Chief Executive, it could very well be time to say good-bye to one of our Nation's founding principles; the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, as outlined under the Second Amendment. And so it goes, other Constitutional Rights will be legislated out of existence later, and we will be without recourse; as our means of resistance will have been removed from the equation (willingly!). The Declaration of Independance states why our Second Amendment is so completely vital and necessary: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." The Constitution does not grant us the right to free speech, or the right to keep and bear arms. The most important document in the Free World only states that those rights are given to us by God, and are intrinsic to humanity; and that those rights & freedoms shall not be infringed upon, through acts of governance or tyranny. Without the means to resist, what recourse do we have against a government that has become contrary to the ideals & rights that we hold so dear? When a large-scale natural or man-made disaster occurs; the general good order of society breaks down, and State/Federal government agencies are unable to respond effectively; who will provide protection to our families against opportunistic criminals? And during a time when society is relatively stable, what stands between an opportunistic criminal and a law-abiding citizen, if that citizen's means (and right!) to defend him/herself has been excised by the government? One of my favorite quotes is: "Why do I carry a gun? Because a whole cop would be too heavy!" But the first steps to abolish these rights have been taken long ago, and continue to be pursued by those who seem to take America's past & present struggles for granted. The most frightening and disturbing gun-control bill that has passed into law since the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, is HR2640; otherwise known as the "NICS Improvement Act of 2007". HR2640- http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=h110-2640 Almost immediately after the Virginia Tech massacre, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy; the most rabid anti-gun politician besides James Brady, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Sen. Charles Schumer, introduced this bill on 11 June, 2007. Section 102(b)(1)(C)(IV) in HR2640 provides for the dumping of raw medical records into the NICS system. Any citizen that has been "adjudicated" as being "mentally defective" will have their 2nd Amendment Rights removed. Forever. Those two terms have been radically redefined by HR2640. The first, to be "adjudicated", in the past could only happen in a court of law with all the protections of due process; including the right to face one's accuser. Now, an adjudication in HR2640 would include a finding by a court, commission, committe, or other "authorized person"; namely, a psychiatrist. The second term, "mentally defective" in the past meant that one adjudicated as being "mentally defective" was "not guilty by reason of insanity". But under the Veterans Disarmament Act, "mental defects" has been stretched to include anyone whom a psychiatrist finds to be a danger to self or others, no matter how large or tiny a threat it is. And being diagnosed with PTSD is considered a "mental defect" under HR2640, hence placing thousands of American Veterans on the federal gun-ban list; the same list onto which convicted murderers, rapists, and other felons are placed. In print & in theory, provisions in this law allow for a veteran who's name has been place on the NICS list to seek an expungement. However, there can be no expungements at or under the federal level. This is due to the expungement procedure being blocked for over a decade by one of McCarthy's henchmen; Sen. Charles Schumer, who instituted a "funds cut-off" in the NICS system. Before this bill became law, the only way in which a veteran could be stripped of his/her 2nd Amendment Rights would've been being adjudicated/convicted in a court of law as being a criminal. There had to have been a trial with full due process, rather than a psychiatrist simply concluding that a veteran has developed PTSD. According to McCarthy, her bill was necessary to keep guns out of the hands of people like Seung Cho, who was found by psychiatrists in the past to be mentally defective. Americans throughout the nation did not question the negative impact her bill would have upon veterans, as the majority only focused on the fact that Cho was not somehow steered by the government from his course after being found mentally ill. The anti-gun establishment could not have hoped for a worse tragedy that would play off of the national sorrow, and media knee-jerk reaction, that in the end would guarantee the bill's passing into law. Three Republicans (Rep. Michael Castle (DE), Christopher Shays (CT), & Lamar Smith (TX) ) also co-sponsored HR2640, but I could find no recorded justification of their sponsorship. I've talked to several Veterans Administration case-workers who were fully aware of this bill, and very surprisingly, fully supported it. Their reasoning in doing so is that supposedly the Veterans Disarmament Act would prevent veteran suicides. Yet there has been no factual evidence that removing a gun from a suicidal person's possession, or the ability to legally buy a gun, would prevent them from carrying through. It has been proven that people diagnosed with PTSD commit violent crimes at the same rate as people without PTSD. The vast majority of World War 2 and Vietnam veterans (or even violent crime & Sept. 11th victims) have long been able to own firearms and work normal jobs without becoming spree killers or suicide victims. A diagnosis of PTSD alone does not immediately connotate suicidal or violent tendancies. Another strike at the 2nd Amendment, this time on the State level, has been enacted by the State which is the current champion of anti-gun policy. Ah-nold the Governator has signed into law a bill that requires the "microstamping" of matching serial numbers on bullets & brass, and then entered into a database containing the details of the buyer. Ammunition not microstamped is illegal to own, and must be turned in for destruction. Another requirement of this is the manufacture of firearms that microstamp a serial# onto the brass shell each time it is fired; even though the technology to accomplish this doesn't exist, and would not be possible on some guns such as revolvers. In any case, criminals would quickly learn to use revolvers, or simply collect the fired casings from the crime scene. Many criminals do so already, even before this microstamping existed. Similar bills have already been introduced in several other States, Tennessee & Mississippi being among them. And illustrating the hidden agenda followed by anti-gun proponents, these bills are being pushed through ten States by a lobby-group called "AmmunitionAccountability" for the benefit of manufacturer ACS, or "Ammunition Coding Systems". Obviously in bed with the many anti-gun advocates, the lobbyists & ACS stand to make millions of dollars if their bills pass. Not only is this an attempt by companies & individuals to turn a profit, it has been embraced by anti-gun advocates as an alternative to a blanket gun-ban: "If we can't ban the firearms, then ban the bullets they shoot!" These proposed laws would instantly criminalize a huge portion of American citizens. It would also effectively cripple or destroy many ammunition & firearms manufacturers, as well as the handloading industry. Thousands of Americans would lose their jobs; and since the price of "lawful" ammunition & firearms would rise significantly to reflect the increased technical difficulty & cost inherent in developing & retooling assembly lines, many citizens would be unable to afford both firearms & ammunition. This back-door approach at total gun-control is largely off the radar of most Americans & their representatives in the government. The mass-media will not report these attacks on our Constitutional Rights, as the mass-media itself is largely on the payroll of anti-gun advocates, both private & public. Law-abiding, gun-owning citizens are very seriously concerned about the continued preservation of our Constitutional Rights as a whole, and seem to be the only demographic who fight & vote for the Constitution as a whole. Whereas moderates, independants, liberals, & socialists only focus on those rights which apply directly to their own party line or interests. They are wholly unfazed by the prospect of abolishing one or more of the Constitutional rights; as long as it doesn't affect the individual or party agenda. The subject of gun-control has been largely untouched by almost all of the Presidential candidates (the past exceptions being Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, & to a lesser extent, Fred Thompson). However, the ailing economy is at the forefront of nearly every campaign on both sides; and the firearms industry ties into our economy in a very big way. And yet another Assault Weapons Ban has been introduced (currently in committee- Judiciary, subcommittee on Crime, Terrorisim, & Homeland Security). In addition to the aforementioned Veterans Disarmament Act and Ammunition Accountability Act, HR1022 is far more sweeping and suffocating than the 1994 Clinton/Brady AWB, which expired in 2004. And to no surprise, this one is also the afterbirth of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (busy year for her & her cronies). This new proposed law, titled the "Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007", in conjunction with those other laws I have discussed here, would all but destroy the 2nd Amendment, as well as cripple a large segment of our economy. HR1022- http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=h110-1022 The Nation's economy, which has seen many businesses remove their operations to foreign shores, has maintained this very vital & growing indigenous industry. I know a lot of law-abiding & tax-paying Americans who own firearms-related businesses that are enormously concerned about the threat posed by gun-grabbers, and justifiably so. Since the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 expired in 2004, the firearms industry has been booming; but if H.R. 1022 & the AA-bill come to pass, the industry will cease to be a major source of stability in our shaky economy. And it (or a later facsimile) will become so, especially if Clinton or Obama are elected. Even John McCain stands with the gun-control advocates on a number of things (assault-weapon bans being one), and H.R. 1022 has a good chance of being signed in one form or another if McCain wins the general election. The anti-gun movement is still fixated on "assault weapons", even though it has been proven many times over that military-style semiautomatic rifles account for less than 2% of all violent firearms-related crimes nationwide. There were ridiculous provisions in the '94-'04 AWB, such as the sale & ownership restriction of any semi-automatic rifle with the means to equip a bayonet; the restriction of magazines larger than five rounds; and the ban of any imported semi-automatic rifle bearing a pistol-grip and standard stock which were manufactured with less than 3 US-made components. Such imported firearms required that the stock instead be a "thumbhole" sporter stock. These restrictions present in the '94-'04 AWB have been expanded to encompass nearly every semi-automatic firearm in existance. Since when has there been a factual, recorded incident involving a drive-by bayoneting? Or a bayoneting with an "assault rifle", period? Even sound suppressors are covered under the National Firearms Act of 1934 as being destructive devices, and aside from the homemade variety (easy to do, and highly illegal), can only be sold to civilians if they pass an expensive, time-consuming, rigorous and extremely strict screening process. Even if a citizen completes the requisite BATF paperwork, FBI background checks, and obtains permission from their local Sheriff/Police Chief, NFA/Class III weapons often cost well over $8k-$15k! A majority of the most rabid gun-grabbing lawmakers, lobbyists, and citizens have no idea what actually constitutes an "assault weapon". Even the author of H.R. 1022, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D.-NY), has absolutely no clue as to what her own proposed piece of anti-Constitutional drivel actually details. She is simply acting as the mouthpiece for groups & lobbies like the Joyce Foundation, Brady Campaign, AFL-CIO, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Federation of Teachers, National Organization for Women, etcetera…. In this video from MSNBC, Carolyn McCarthy describes a "barrel shroud", and why it constitutes an assault weapon. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ospNRk2uM3U"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ospNRk2uM3U[/ame] Yet another example of the ignorance ("Heat-Seeking Bullets"???) exhibited by gun-control advocates is this video; featuring a representative of the Freedom States Alliance, who is pushing another back-door assault on our Second Amendment. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRQqieimwLQ"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRQqieimwLQ[/ame] The anti-gun lobby is collectively foaming at the mouth over HR1022 & similar bills, and so are the liberals (60 cosponsors) in Congress. While it is still sitting in subcommittee, it will gain support with every school shooting and high-profile murder by firearm. The sad bit is that there are plenty of uninformed & propagandized Americans who sincerely believe, that even with the massive illegal immigrant invasion, rising crime, terrorism (at home and abroad), and a shaky economy, gun-control is the right thing to do! A taste of the future with gun-control advocates having their way was given to us during the Katrina disaster. Citizens were stripped of their firearms "for their own protection" by police; and as such were then made defenseless against possibly armed looters & criminals. There are many, many cases of lawfully armed residents successfully defending themselves; killing or injuring would-be burglars/robbers. These criminals are often armed as well; and have no compunctions about removing witnesses to their crime, should a confrontation occur. A recent quote that I've heard is this; "Armed robbery is only a trigger-pull away from murder."- a Police detective on a Discovery Channel crime show. That quote is very true. If a burglar/robber is slain or wounded & arrested in the course of a crime, the homeowner has performed a service to their community; and avoided the terrible ordeal of being a defenseless (and possibly dead/injured) victim in their own home. A huge joke among those of us who proudly and lawfully own firearms are the ADT/Brinks commercials on TV. Home-invaders are dangerous criminals and often armed. It is ridiculous to assume that one would simply break a window and flee if an alarm sounds. If a confrontation with a home-invader occurs, waiting for the security service to first call the victim, then contact police, and finally wait for law-enforcement to arrive can have deadly consequences. Chances are good that responding LEOs may not have any idea of what they are responding to, as they were contacted not by the victims, but by a third-party who was notified by a simple flashing alert on their computer screen; especially if the residents did not answer the security service's call. The seconds/minutes it takes for ADT/Brinks to conduct this phone-tag add to a busy LEO's response time. But I can already hear the gun-control advocate's retort; "Think of the children! Guns kill kids, because kids like to play with things! If there's no guns, kids won't accidentally shoot themselves or others!" These are flimsy & ridiculous reasons to not have a gun in the house; or as a lawful concealed-carry piece, for self-defense and/or hunting & recreation. Ignorance is the flaw in the gun-control movement's reasoning; and ignorance is not an excuse to remove other citizen's rights, simply to theroretically protect them from themselves. As a kid, rifles & pistols were either within my reach or I knew where they were kept. But I was taught very thoroughly about the rules & dangers which accompany any gun. I never touched a firearm unless I was given permission and was under direct supervision. This is the story with many responsible gun-owners; we all developed a deep respect for firearms, due to the proper education given to us by our parents. With any child; teaching safety, the reinforcement of potential consequences, and familiarization with firearms will firmly plant the knowledge that guns are not toys. I remember as a kid, handling a gun even while under the supervision of a parent or responsible adult, made me feel somewhat nervous or uneasy. I felt the potential danger inherent in a firearm, and I was acutely aware of how to properly handle and operate one safely. This is something that all kids should feel when looking at/handling a gun; the deep respect (and fear) of the weapon. But firearm education doesn't have to stop with children. Many adults who have never even seen a gun up close and who don't know much about either guns or the laws & rights covering them, can benefit greatly from proper guidance and education. Again, I hear the gun-grabber's retort; "Guns allow suicidal or mentally disturbed people to hurt themselves or others! Guns are responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre!" Schools & their teacher associations at all levels are pushing anti-gun propaganda onto the children and young adults of our Nation. And it is becoming very effective, as increasing numbers of parents are relying almost completely upon those educational institutions to teach (and even raise!) their kids from day-care/pre-school onward. That said schools are already "Gun-Free Zones", they are becoming ever larger targets with each child & parent subverted; and each gun-control law put onto the books. Gun-control advocates had won a huge victory with HR2640; passed in an attempt at preventing school/workplace massacres. That law, combined with HR1022 & the Ammunition Accountability Act, means there will be no need for firearms education; as firearms (all but the most ineffective or expensive) will be removed from the hands of law-abiding citizens, and made available only to criminals & terrorists. For our Nation to continue in such a fashion is fairly insane! Proof has been made crystalline clear that there is a massive threat from terrorists against our schools. Our national media outlets have conveniently ignored and/or forgotten about the lessons of the Beslan school siege & massacre! And the fact that blueprints & detailed plans for assaulting American schools were discovered in Iraq was only briefly covered by the media! The relative success & brief sensationalized coverage of the Beslan massacre served to enbolden terrorists everywhere. But still, I have heard very little from law-enforcement, Federal, or State planners that they are even attempting to avert or deal with a Beslan-style tradgedy at home. It seems that the American government at all levels has returned to the Ostrich Plan; falling back onto a policy of reaction, rather than action. It's not that I think that defense & law-enforcement should make their plans & capabilities in dealing with another Beslan transparent; I think that those agencies should at least make it known that in one form or another, they are ready and able to defeat an organized terrorist or criminal attack on one of our educational institutions. Such a limited disclosure would definitely be a deterrent against all but the most determined attacker. But without the right & ability for the average citizen or civil servant to protect themselves or help protect others until authorities arrive in force, an attack on an educational institution becomes a "when" situation, not an "if" scenario. The police departments in most small towns are rather glaringly inadequate if asked to deal with such a situation. And likewise I doubt that any police force, regardless of size & sophistication, would be able to deal with two or more simultaneous, organized criminal or terrorist attacks; at least without military aid/intervention. And regarding lone individuals like Cho, did the Virginia Tech shooter conduct his attack using "assault" weapons as described in the Clinton-era AWB, or the new H.R. 1022 bill? And would've he succeeded as thoroughly, if at all, had a student or faculty member been lawfully carrying their own defensive firearm? I highly doubt that he would've. Since then, many Virginia Tech students & faculty have stated that they'd wished someone who was carrying their own firearm was present at the time. The resulting argument from gun-grabbers is that if such were the case; that some students & faculty were lawfully armed, law-enforcement would have a much larger problem in discerning who is the attacker, and who is an armed civilian. For once, the gun-control advocates have made an intelligent point. And that is definitely a sticky problem. However, if there were multiple armed civilians defending themselves against a lone (or pair) gunman, I believe that 99% of the time the perpetrator(s) will have been killed and/or incapacitated by the time LEOs arrive. At that point, it's a simple thing for a civilian with a concealed-carry firearm to disarm prior & declare themselves to police when they show up. But in any case there will be many more Americans who will lose their lives due to their inability to adequately protect themselves & their families if confronted by a violent criminal or terrorist at home, work, or school; and certainly thousands (possibly more!) of honest & hard-working Americans will be ruined financially by the success of blanket gun & ammunition bans. As American citizens, we have an obligation to protect our own, protect our economy, and help protect our nation. This is much larger than just being allowed to own whatever rifle/pistol we choose…… Aurstralia has provided an example of what gun-control can accomplish, and is a shining beacon of the danger posed by gun-control. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their government; a program costing Australian taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was spent in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. We don't and won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property, while gun-control laws adversely affect only law-abiding citizens. ——————————— It is our duty to educate our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about the dangers of gun-control. Though it is not my intent to force a pro-gun viewpoint upon others, I believe that through fact-based information, American citizens that were previously unaware of the hidden assault against our Constitution can respond at the voting-booth according to their own informed belief structures; rather than passing agendas & supporting views which were reported on & given as the only option by the mass-media. Our Nation could well be entering a very dark time; our homeland, our economy, and our Constitutional Rights are being endangered on many fronts. The worst part is that some of the largest threats are posed by our fellow Americans; who through ignorance, political agenda, or simple greed, are eating away at the foundations of our Nation and society. _____________________ Thanks for reading this, and I'd love to hear any thoughts, comments, or corrections. I tried my best to thoroughly research the information here, and if I got a fact wrong, I want to know so I can correct the discrepancy. The most effective tool in fighting gun-control is proven fact and sound logic; rather than the knee-jerk arguments, "What If?" scenarios, and baseless claims by "experts".