January 2005

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

According to a Gallup Poll taken
just before the national elections in
November, and shortly after
expiration of the so-called “ban” on
so-called “assault weapons” in
September,” slightly more than half
of Americans (54 percent) said laws
covering the sale of firearms should
be made more strict, while 11
percent said they should be less
strict, and a third (34 percent) said
they should be kept as they are.
According to Darren K. Carlson,
Gallup’s Government and Public
Affairs Editor, these “most recent
results are part of a larger pattern
that suggests the public is
becoming less willing to say that
gun laws should be stricter. Between
1990 and 1993, an average of 71
percent of Americans said laws
regulating firearms should be
stricter. After Congress passed two
major gun laws, the Brady Bill on
handguns in late 1993 and an
assault rifle ban in 1994, support for
stricter gun laws dropped to 62
percent in 1995. Average results
from six surveys Gallup conducted
in 1999 – the year of the Columbine
High School shootings – showed
that 63 percent of Americans
thought gun laws should be made
stricter that year.”
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
(USSA) reports that the Humane
Society of the United States (HSUS)
plans to join forces with the Fund
for Animals to create a single and,
the two anti-hunting groups hope,
a stronger and better-funded socalled
animal “rights” organization.
The two groups have been
classified as “non-profit charities,”
a designation restricting then
amount of money they’re able to
spend on lobbying. Under a new
classification as a “social welfare
program,” the newly organized
group will be able to spend much
more on lobbying activities.
According to reports, the new
group will have assets in excess of
95 million dollars with which to fund
its anti-hunting agenda.
In the behind-the-scenes
politicking which goes on in
Washington, D.C. while
appropriation measures are being
considered, Congress cut federal
grants to local and state law
enforcement agencies in
investigating and prosecuting
crimes committed with firearms.
The Administration had requested
$45 million for local grants under
the Justice Department’s gun
prosecution program, Project Safe
Neighborhoods. Congress,
though, in passing a $388 billion
spending bill in late November,
eliminated the direct money sought
for the program. John Scofield, a
spokesman for the Appropriations
Committee of the U.S. House of
Representatives, said that, although
“we didn’t specifically set aside any
money for the program,”
nevertheless, “we think we’ve taken
care of the need because we
provided $900 million over what the
Administration asked for in other
general assistance for states and
locals.”
In Lampasas, Texas, a parentteacher
organization is raffling off a
deer rifle to raise money for a school
project. The goal of the unique
raffle is to raise $15,000 to fence in
a portion of a junior high school.
Marta Ellison, who is one of the
organizers of the raffle for the Hanna
Springs Intermediate School
Parent-Teacher Student
Organization, told The Dallas
Morning News that the group
consists of moms using guns as
tools to protect their kids. The idea
of the fence followed an incident in
2003, when a registered sex
offender began talking to a student
while she was jogging for gym class.
Hopefully, the gun raffle will bring
in enough money to build the fence.
“Russian society,” reports
Pravda, “is on the verge of the real
firearms fever.” The drive on the
part of average Russians to acquire
firearms started to take off after the
terrorist act in Beslan, where
extremist islamist militants took over
a school for a time and murdered
teachers and students. “People
are racing to hospitals, psychiatric
facilities in order to obtain needed
certificates which will enable them
to purchase firearms,” stated
Pravda. They all want “one thing
only,” according to the report, “legal
permission to store firearms at home
in order to protect their families.”