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28


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 28, May 15, 1997

'An Organization Without Honor, Principle or Integrity'

By Vin Suprynowicz
vin@lvrj.com

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         In Nevada, the "concealed carry permit" bill OKd by the 1995 Assembly, with NRA backing, calls for handgun "carry" permits to be issued only after the petitioner proves he or she has taken a $100 safety class. Then, the permit is issued only for the weapon with which the applicant has passed the "safety class" -- by serial number.
         The idiocy of contending this has anything to do with "safety" should be obvious. If I pass my driver's license road test in an old Plymouth with a manual transmission, is that license invalid when I later trade in the Plymouth for a Chevy with an automatic? Do I have to go take a new road test and get a new driver's license every time I want to drive another car .... a license good only for a single automobile? Of course not.
         The only reason to force a "concealed carry permit holder" to get a separate permit for each weapon, once he or she has passed the background check and "safety" rigmarole, is so police can collect a list of the serial numbers of every weapon out there, and the addresses of the sock drawers in which each one is kept.
         "There's a story behind how we got that," said an active west-coast gun lobbyist when I took him to lunch last week. "I hate to criticize anyone by name, but at the time that was going through the Legislature in Carson City, the NRA changed the people who were assigned there. They pulled one team out, and threw in new people. And the new people knew nothing about legislative procedure. (Former Nevada state Sen.) Sue Lowden actually asked me at one point, 'Why did you guys want this bill? What the hell are we doing with this "one gun" thing on the permit? You ought to be able to carry any gun you want. We could have gotten through a much better bill, if you'd just asked for it'."
         ("Gosh, we're going back a couple of years now," responded Ms. Lowden when I reached her at home one recent evening, helping one of her offspring with a homework project. "Probably during a hearing I did ask those questions. Yes, that sounds like something I would ask.")
         Clarence Lovell of Colorado, a wealthy retired chemist now aged 77, served 14 years on the NRA's national board of directors, leaving that post in 1985.
         "(Colorado State Rep.) Marilyn Musgrave was gonna support Vermont-type carry, and she was intimidated by Steve Schreiner and an NRA field representative," he reports.
         "This is a bad bill," Mr. Lovell says of the concealed-carry measure that finally landed on Gov. Romer's desk, recently. "I'm scared to death the son-of-a-bitch'll sign it. This is a bill that has $120 for three years and also has a damned training requirement, which God knows what it'll cost ..."
         In other states, Mr. Lovell reports, "Invariably when the NRA has gotten this (type of bill) through, we've lost the right to carry a gun in a car, and they've upgraded it from a misdemeanor to a felony....
         "Our state Constitution, article 2 section 13, says the right to keep & bear arms shall not be called into question. ... The NRA's screwing us, they're setting us up, they stuck us with that damned instantaneous background check.
         "You have to have a background check, government permission to buy a damned gun, because they hide behind skirts, put a bunch of moon-eyed females up there. The dumbest people I know are in gun clubs. The NRA members are probably about the worst informed, the kind of people who want someone to take them to the bathroom. ... Every right that we have lost in the past 20 years had been deliberately given away by the NRA and their bureaucrats. ... All they want is power, money, and recognition."
         The NRA's willingness to stress "the sporting use of arms has degraded our Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is to protect our right to resist government tyranny. Instead the NRA has become the country's largest sportsman organization and the country's largest cop organization."
         Is that bad -- the large number of police officers in the NRA?
         "They'll kick your door in just as fast as anyone else. ... Wayne LaPierre gets $190,000; their hands are in the cookie jar; what would they do for a living? This is their career and they keep it going. In Pennsylvania their field staff helped pass the worst gun law in the history of the state, and they got a thank-you letter from Sarah Brady" (on the stationery of Handgun Control Inc. -- this reporter has seen the letter.)
         "It's an organization without honor, principle or integrity. I'll have to stay with Gun Owners of America. Basically, never trust a hired gun, they'll sell you out. These little whiners that want someone to blow their nose for them are gonna get in trouble every time. You've got to fight it yourself, at the local level."
         State Sen. Carol Martin of Oklahoma, whose March 31 letter about the NRA started us down this path last week, returned my call one recent morning before the cats had had their breakfast:
         "When I ran, I was supported by Gun Owners of America," she says.
         Sen. Martin's opponent, incumbent Democrat Larry Lawler, "was supported by the NRA even though he opposed concealed carry. ... If it's an incumbent, even if they're not right on the issues, they'll continue to support him. Before I got up here there was never even a vote on any gun issues. They were out supporting him, giving him an 'A' rating even though his questionnaire was totally bogus."
         Oklahoma's current concealed carry bill "has a lot of things in it that I did not like, that they (the NRA) were backing," Sen. Martin explains. "We've had to go back in and repeal them over the past two years. It still requires some kind of training, and you have to pay for the permit and the classes. ...
         "We refused to put the serial number in the bill because we feel that that is registering the gun, and that's what Hitler did, is register guns and then seize them. If a law-abiding citizen wants to carry a gun, why do they always need to get the government's permission? I just think they (the NRA) have been infiltrated by more liberal-minded people, especially at the top, and they no longer reflect the grassroots citizens, who want these rights defended."

 
Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The web site for the Suprynowicz column is at http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/. The column is syndicated in the United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.


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