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Ginny Brown-Waite

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

 Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville, Florida is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for December.
 In nominating Rep. Brown-Waite for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “she is an outspoken legislative advocate of the individual, Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms.  Elected Republican Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus for the current, 109th Congress, this Congresswoman already has taken the lead in cosponsoring a number of pro-gun legislative measures.  These include a proposal to eliminate the draconian anti-gun laws in the District of Columbia, as well as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which latter recently was signed into law by President George W. Bush.  She certainly deserves this Award.”
 Ms. Brown-Waite recently was the subject of a Sarasota, Florida Herald Tribune article about her and other Floridians’ pro-gun activities.
 A few years ago, according to the article, the Congresswoman, at the time a Florida State Senator, pulled into a parking lot one night in Chiefland, Florida around midnight to take a rest from her drive to a state legislative session in Tallahassee.
 She awoke as four or five young men began rocking her car and demanding that she open it. 
 She said, “No.  I’ve got a gun in the glove compartment.  You’d better leave.”
 At the time, Brown-Waite, now 62, was bluffing, but the men fled.  Then, after training on a .357 magnum, she got a concealed weapon permit. She now owns a .38 and a .45, and gets real upset when people complain about the right to keep and bear arms.
 When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, she lashed out at what she called an “out-of-touch dwindling minority of Congress” opposing gun ownership.
 She stated that, “many of my liberal colleagues like to blame guns for perpetuating terrible crimes, but it is people who commit these violent acts.  Gun manufacturers should not be responsible for the choices of others.  S. 397 will stop greedy trial lawyers seeking to make their fortune on the backs of gun manufacturers.  While today’s debate clearly shows that an out-of-touch and dwindling minority is willing to shill for the agenda of anti-gun trial lawyers, I was proud to see that 282 of my colleagues understand that law-abiding firearm manufacturers should not be punished with reckless lawsuits for a crime that is not their fault.
 “Furthermore, it seems as though Second Amendment supporters, like me, have been fighting to protect the right to own a gun since the beginning of time.  There are some Members of Congress who claim to be the sole protectors of our civil liberties and who always manage to exclude one of the most important, our individual right to keep and bear arms.  Members of Congress don’t get to pick and choose which Amendments to the Constitution we have pledged to support and defend.  I know some Members have their own ideas about what parts of the Bill of Rights should and should not pertain in today’s world, but who told them to skip from the First to the Third amendment when talking about fundamental rights?”
 Rep. Brown-Waite is an active member of the Financial Services, Government Reform and Veterans’ Affairs Committees in the 109th Congress.  On the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, she serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Activity and also sits on the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. On the Financial Services Committee, Brown-Waite serves on the Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittees.
 Now in her second term in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Brown-Waite is a new member of the Committee on Government Reform.  She serves as Vice Chair of the Regulatory Reform Committee and also serves on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
Ms. Brown-Waite returns home to Florida every weekend and on all extended breaks from Congress’ normal legislative session, saying that, “I work in Washington, but my home is here in Florida.”
 A native of Albany, New York, and an alumna of the State College System, she received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration.  She is a mother to three adult daughters and a grandmother of four.  Her husband, Harvey, is a retired New York State Trooper.