L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 126, June 18, 2001
Cancel Dad's NRA Membership!
What Part of "Shall Not Be Infringed" Do You Not Understand?
by GrassRoots North Carolina
Special to TLE
From: "GRNC - WeB" <email@example.com>
Grass Roots North Carolina, P.O. Box 10684, Raleigh, NC 27605 919-664-8565, www.grnc.org, GRNC Alert Hotline: (919) 562-4137
GRNC ALERT 6-16-01:
To NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker: WHAT PART OF "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?"
[Analysis] On May 13, NRA representative NICOLE PALYA completed her sellout of gun shows in North Carolina by allowing Sen. FOUNTAIN ODOM (D-Meck, GRNC *) to incorporate Sen. BRAD MILLER'S (D-Johnston, Wake, GRNC 0-star) full gun show bill, SB 1097 into their own bill to prevent cities from suing gun makers. The resulting "Jeckyl & Hyde" gun bill passed the NC Senate Finance Committee without a single objection being offered by the NRA. It will soon go to a floor vote in the Senate. Monitor for upcoming GRNC alerts to stop SB 680 on the Senate floor.
The NRA has been handing out slick brochures telling supporters the bill restricts municipal suits against gun makers. What the NRA neglects to tell members is that, in its present form, SB 680 also:
WHY DID NRA SELL YOU OUT?
Because despite giving Senate President Pro Tem MARC BASNIGHT (D-Dare, GRNC *) an "A" and an endorsement, he has held their gun litigation bills hostage in the Senate. So they made a deal to include ALL of the gun show bill which GRNC has defeated for the last 3 years-a bill drafted by lobbyists for NC's Handgun Control affiliate, North Carolinians "Against Gun Violence." Translated, that means NRA JUST GOT INTO BED WITH NCGV.
Oh, they'll tell you, "We can get the gun show language amended out when the bill goes to the House." What they fail to mention is that if the House passes a different version of SB 680 than the one passed by the Senate, it must return to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Do you think anti-gun Democrats, leading a Senate controlled 35-15 by Democrats-all with cover from the NRA-will vote to concur with a bill lacking gun show restrictions? Think again.
What will happen is that SB 680 will end up in a House-Senate "conference committee," which will likely pass a final bill WHICH STILL CONTAINS GUN SHOW RESTRICTIONS. All this to pass a bill to prevent city suits which are currently going down in flames in the courts anyway. In North Carolina, even the city of Durham, anti-gun bastion that it is, decided such suits are not viable in this state.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
THE FULL STORY OF THE SELLOUT
Behold a Machiavellian tale of the North Carolina Senate in which the NRA has allied itself with a gun control organization called North Carolinians "Against Gun Violence" (NCGV) to close the mythical "gun show loophole" and register private gun sales with the FBI.
The NRA, trying to pass legislation restricting cities from suing gun makers, is repeatedly frustrated in the Senate. No matter how they brown-nose Senate leader Marc Basnight (including an undeserved "A" rating), he denies them a committee hearing.
Likewise, despite hiring big-buck lobbyists, NCGV is frustrated in its many attempts to impede gun shows. (Given how voters rejected gun control in the 1994 and 2000 elections, even Democrats are loath to stand up against gun owners).
But Mecklenburg Senator Fountain Odom and lobbyist Joe McClees, aided by Nicole Palya, an ambitious if gullible NRA representative, have ended the standoff by allowing both to be married into a single bill.
In May, Palya informed me that Odom would amend Senate Bill 680, the NRA's moribund gun litigation proposal, to include all of SB 1097, an equally comatose gun show bill. In exchange, the Senate leadership (read that "Basnight") would give the resulting "Jeckyl & Hyde" legislation a hearing in the Finance Committee.
The likely deal-maker is McClees, who seems to have his fingers in the pockets of most politicians in the legislature. Less clear, however, is whose interests McClees holds most dearly. Lobbyists, you see, constitute the world's second oldest profession. Although in past years McClees hasn't bothered to register as an NRA lobbyist (representing them nonetheless), he is currently registered not only for the NRA, but for a mélange of others ranging from The Firearms Dealers Group to The Portable Toilet Group.
Sen. Odom's motivations are just as murky. Although touting his NRA endorsement and sponsoring their bills, he also surfaces amid anti-gun efforts. In 1995, his subcommittee gutted the bill for our present concealed handgun law. When he threw the NRA a bone with a minor amendment to his own hatchet-job, they rewarded him with an "A" rating.
Sealing the deal, the NRA is handing out brochures lauding the benefits of SB 680 in restricting suits against gun makers...while neglecting to tell NRA members the bill also requires them to register private sales with the FBI. Palya is even infuriating NRA's own supporters by ignoring Representative Wayne Sexton's straightforward gun litigation bill, even though it resoundingly passed the House and also resides in the Senate...where it's being held hostage by NRA-endorsed Sen. Basnight.
Lurking behind the scenes, NCGV lobbyists Bruce Thompson and Al Adams, who drafted the original gun show language, cheerfully let the NRA, Senate Democrats and McClees do their bidding.
Everybody wins. The NRA "succeeds" in limiting gun litigation, Odom and Basnight push gun control under cover of NRA endorsements, NCGV registers private gun sales, and McClees rakes in money.
Well, everybody except you, of course. If you support gun shows, understand the NRA uttered not a peep when the Finance Committee passed SB 680. In pol-speak, "compromise" is just another word for selling you out.