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CRIME IN ENGLAND: THE PRICE OF GUN CONTROL

In March of 1996, a deranged man walked into a school in Dunblane, Scotland and killed sixteen children and one teacher. In the aftermath of this heinous tragedy, British politicians sought to reduce violent crime by enacting an injudicious ban on all handguns. Handgun owners were given a February 1998 deadline to turn in their firearms--and they did. The UK was supposed to become a much safer place--but it didn't. Not by a long shot.

As reported in a May 14 article in the Edmonton Journal, England's recently released gun-crime statistics for the first five years following the gun-ban indicate a very different outcome than that which was forecast. According to the article, "the incidence of gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled from 13,874 in 1998 to 24,070 in 2003. And the incidence of firearms murder, while thankfully still very small, has risen 65 per cent," (emphasis added).

The article details statistics from another report issued last year by Britain's Home Office, which reveal that there has also been a dramatic increase in robberies in recent years. They report that robberies, "rose by 28 per cent in 2002 alone and, since 1998, there has been an increase in the annual average of muggings of more than 100,000. England alone has nearly 400,000 robberies each year, a rate nearly one-quarter higher per capita than that of the United States," (emphasis added).

Do gun bans serve to reduce violent crime? When law-abiding citizens are disarmed, is their society a safer one? England's plight is just the latest example to show us, yet again, that the answer is "NO."

THE BRADY-KERRY CONNECTION

More rock-solid proof that Presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) is a bitter enemy of the Second Amendment surfaced in today's USAToday. An article therein reported on a meeting of the recently formed liberal political strategy group "America Votes." The article disclosed that, during the meeting, the group discussed the latest polling data gathered by gun-ban groups. Pollster John Martilla, an adviser to NRA-PVF "F" rated Kerry, presented the results of a national survey that he conducted on behalf of the Brady Campaign!

The Brady Campaign, of course, steadfastly maintains that you have no individual right to own any firearm.

Kerry can't hide from his past. His abysmal voting record on firearm-related issues, and his support of the Clinton gun ban, clearly show where he stands on our issue. Take some free advice from us, Mr. Kerry, and don't try to pretend you support the Second Amendment.

ALERT US TO, AND ATTEND TOWN HALL MEETINGS

Next week, Congress will be out on its Memorial Day Work Period. During this time, your Senators and Representative will be back home in their respective states and districts. Many lawmakers use this time to hold town hall meetings, where they can report on what they've been doing in Washington, and take questions from their constituents. These meetings afford you an opportunity to personally voice your strong support for the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act (bills S. 1414 and H.R. 3193)--legislation seeking to restore the constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights of the residents of the District of Columbia--and your staunch opposition to legislation that seeks to reenact or expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban (S. 1034, and H.R. 3831). Please contact your lawmakers' district offices and ask when they plan to hold their town hall meetings during the break. If you do not know the number for your lawmakers' district offices, you can use the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.

If you get a chance to meet with your lawmakers, we once again urge you to ask your Senators to cosponsor and support S. 1414, and to oppose S. 1034. Also, please encourage your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 3193 and to oppose H.R. 3831.

In addition to attending town hall meetings and speaking out in support of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, please forward the dates, times, and locations of any town hall meetings to your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners, and to the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, so we may compile this information and share it with the pro-gun community. Please forward this information to the Grassroots Division by calling (800) 392-8683, by faxing to (703) 267-3918, or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. Also, please take advantage of this recess to try and schedule personal meetings with your lawmakers and/or their staffs in their district offices to discuss these issues.

For a current list of these meetings, please visit www.NRAILA.org, choose "Get Involved Locally," and then click the "Event Calendar."

NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ELECTION WORKSHOPS

In preparation for the 2004 elections, NRA-ILA is hosting FREE Grassroots-Election Workshops across the country. These Workshops provide NRA members with training on what they can do locally to propel pro-gun candidates to victory in 2004. The meetings also provide a venue for lawmakers, candidates, and their staffs to reach out to NRA members and explain their positions on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Upcoming Workshops are slated for:

-Albuquerque, New Mexico--6/12/04

-St. Louis, Missouri--6/17/04

-Independence, Missouri--6/19/04

NRA members who are interested in attending should contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) for details and to reserve their seats. NRA members who have access to the Internet can also go to www.nraila.org/workshops/ to reserve their seats on-line.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

ILLINOIS
Time may be running out for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) and other anti-gun Chicago Democrats to advance their attacks on gun shows and semi-automatic firearms, so expect these anti-gun extremists to bring as much pressure to bear on the Illinois General Assembly as they can muster over the next few days. SB 947, the assault on Illinois gun shows that seeks to tax firearm sales, register transfers, and increase the waiting period, could be brought up for consideration any day. It is being promoted in spite of the fact that anti-gun organizations have admitted that there is no gun show "loophole" in Illinois. The gun-ban crowd also continues to target semi-automatic firearms, and Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) has threatened to veto any pro-gun reform unless he is also sent legislation that would ban countless sporting firearms. Blagojevich and Deputy Governor Bradley Tusk (D), a former staffer for U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), will continue to work overtime to build support for their gun-ban agenda. Please be sure to call your State Senators at (217) 782-4517 and urge them to oppose any attacks on gun shows or semi-automatic firearms. For additional contact information, you can use our "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.

LOUISIANA
This week, the House Natural Resources Committee approved SB 2, the NRA-backed right to hunt, fish and trap constitutional amendment sponsored by Senator Joe McPherson (D-29). The bill moves to the House floor for final approval early next week. Please contact your State Representatives and urge them to support SB 2 and to oppose any amendments to this measure! Meanwhile, SB 837, the NRA-backed Right-to-Carry Reciprocity bill sponsored by Senator James David Cain (D-30), has been referred to the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee. Please contact Criminal Justice Committee members and urge them to support SB 837. A hearing could be set on this measure as early as next week. Contact information for your State Representatives and committee members, as well as next week's committee schedule, can be found at www.legis.state.la.us.

MINNESOTA
On May 19, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) signed the Omnibus Game and Fish Bill, HF 2368. Law-abiding sportsmen will now be able to enjoy a dove hunting season in Minnesota for this first time since 1946, much like hunters in 39 other states. Despite pressure from extreme anti-hunting groups, Governor Pawlenty and the Minnesota Legislature stood resolute in the establishment of a mourning dove season in Minnesota. Please contact Governor Pawlenty at (651) 296-3391 and thank him for supporting Minnesota's hunting heritage.
 
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