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You win some, you lose some - depends on who plays the game.

You Win Some, You Lose Some--Depends On Who Plays The Game

We did win the big one, thank goodness! That was the defeat of Dukakis on his bid for the presidency, to which he contributed so much by the things he said...i.e. "I don't believe in the people having guns--only the police and military!", and the things he did: letting desperate criminals out of prison on furlough, taking money earmarked for the Wildlife people to help balance his state budget, etcetera.

Our joy at this victory was slightly tempered by the loss in Maryland when the antigun people managed to sneak a win on that silly proposed gun bill, which established a nine-man board to determine which handguns should be made available for sale in Maryland. The Maryland group against this bill worked hard at trying to defeat it, but had some mighty tough opposition. Nearly all the politicians in the state, from the Governor of the state through to the Mayor of Baltimore, the Superintendent of State Police and on down were all in favor of it and spoke for the bill every chance they had. Senior police officers spoke for the bill in uniform, while rank and file were forbidden to participate in any NRA-sponsored activity in uniform, which mainly meant matches and training sessions.

And then there was the good old Washington Post which for five days on end had at least one "news" story against the bill, usually on the first page. And along with this, there was usually a big piece on the editorial page picking on the NRA. One classic article started on the front page with headlines and a couple of columns which carried over into much more material on inside pages. This story would bring tears to your eyes as it told how the poor antigunners didn't have any money for their campaign while the NRA was spending millions and millions of dollars trying to brow-beat the Marylanders into defeating this bill. The amount the NRA was accused of spending varied from day to day, but a few days before the election, they used the figure five million dollars. I don't know what it would have cost the anti's if they had been forced to buy this space from the Post; but certainly over the many Post diatribes covering a considerable period, it would have mounted into many dollars. Even many days after the voting, the Post was still running anti-NRA articles.

Here, for example, is one of the lead editorials from the main editorial page of the November 5 (1988) issue of The Washington Post: "For On 3: Battling Big Money." Question 3 on the ballot was the problem. The same day, incidentally, on the first page of the paper was a 2-column story (continued at some length inside, I may add): "Schaefer Swipes Back At NRA." Schaefer is the Maryland Governor, rabidly anti-gun.

According to the Post, "Aimed at cheap easily concealable weapons known as Saturday Night Specials, the law would create a nine-member board--appointed by the governor and including two gun industry representatives -- that would decide which handguns are legitimate for sporting use and self-defense. THOSE WEAPONS MANUFACTURED AFTER 1984 THAT ARE NOT ON THE APPROVED LUST WILL BE BANNED FROM MARYLAND." (I put that in caps, purposely, so that you would be sure to read it carefully.) While the law may have been aimed at Saturday Night Specials, there is nothing in the bill which specifies this. And no one--not even the courts of Maryland--can specify what a "SNS" is. They usually babble on happily about "cheap, easily concealable, inaccurate, unreliable, poorly made, inferior weapons that will blow up in their faces" but they can not put figures to these general words.

The December 9th (1988) issue of Gun Week reported in a story by Alan Gottlieb that Handgun Control, Inc. raised nearly four million dollars through the first 9 months of 1988. HCI reportedly spent nearly one and a half million in support of Federal anti-gun bills, but that figure does not include monies spent on state and local anti-gun activities, so I can't tell you how much they pumped into the Maryland thing and I don't recall The Washington Post complaining about the HCI part in that operation, so I have to assume that HCI didn't contribute anything worth while to the cause-or that their money was "better" than the NRA money spent trying to defeat this stupid bill.

Expenditures reported indicate that HCI paid the travel expenses for scores of police who showed up "spontaneously" in Washington to lobby for the Brady bill. Anti-gun Police Officer Dewey Stokes, Columbus, Ohio, and Police Chief Joseph McNamara, San Jose, California, were also on the "vendor's list" as having received funds from HCI. And HCI gave $11,500 to the anti-gun International Association of Chiefs of Police and $800 to the Fraternal Order of Police with its anti-gun leadership.
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Author:Crossman, Jim
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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