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Pat Toomey

Monday, December 1st, 2003

The CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for December goes to Congressman Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
 In nominating the Keystone State solon for the award, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director John Michael Snyder said, “Rep. Toomey is an outspoken proponent of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms not only in the halls of Congress but in the public media. He truly is an articulate defender of our traditional rights and is certainly deserving of this Award.”
 Toomey, a cosponsor of H.R. 3193, the proposed District of Columbia Personal Protection Act introduced by Rep. Mark E. Souder of Indiana, recently defended the proposal during a nationally-televised debate on the issue with D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, an outspoken opponent of the measure. Toomey and Norton squared off in October during an edition of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC.
The bill would allow law-abiding citizens in Washington, D.C. to possess handguns and rifles in their homes and businesses, by repealing the registration requirements for firearms and ammunition, and by eliminating criminal penalties for the possession and carrying of firearms in homes and businesses.
 Toomey, blasting away at the virtual DC gun ban, said that, “If gun bans worked, Washington would be the safest city in America instead of the most deadly city in America.”
 Holmes argued that the problem in Washington, D.C. is that thugs get guns from Virginia and Maryland and then come into the nation’s capital to commit crimes with those guns.
 Toomey said, “Virginia doesn’t have the same kind of homicide rate as Washington does, so obviously, that’s not the cause of the problem in Virginia.” He said that, with regard to the anti-gun laws in Washington, D.C., “the fact is all we do is systematically make sure that law-abiding citizens have no way to defend themselves.”
 When Matthews asked Norton what people should do if they hear a disturbing noise in the house, she replied that they should “call the cops.”
 Then Matthews said, “Call them. There’s the question. Go ahead. What happens when you call the police? Are they there in time to save you?”
 Toomey said, “You wait and a half hour later…”
 Matthews added, “Drawing the line around the body on the floor.”
 “Exactly,” Toomey responded. “If the criminal says, you know what, ‘I’ll have a cup of coffer and wait a half hour for the police to get here and then I’ll just turn myself in.’ It’s ridiculous.  And, again, I think that people miss the point. Making guns available to law-abiding citizens doesn’t make them into criminals. If I’m able to defend myself by having a gun in my apartment in Washington, it doesn’t make me any more likely to go out and mug you or harm anybody else, but it does make me a little safer in my home. And the fact is, criminals know this. What we’ve done is systematically disarm and create sitting victims, sitting ducks, of law-abiding citizens.”
 Toomey, who has been in Congress since 1999, serves on the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Financial Services. He chairs the Subcommittee on Tax, Finance and Exports of the Small Business Committee.
 Prior to his service in Congress, Toomey spent 15 years in business. An investment banker for seven years, Toomey lived and worked in New York, London and Hong Kong. He later built a restaurant business with his brothers in Allentown and Lancaster, PA.
 He is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in government. He and his wife, Kris, have two children, Bridget and Patrick.
 “I firmly believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the federal government from denying law-abiding citizens the right to own and bear arms,” Toomey told Point Blank. “Our Founding Fathers considered this a fundamental right and ensured that the right to ‘keep and bear arms’ was guaranteed by the Second Amendment of our Constitution. I find it ironic that the same liberals who are always concerned about protecting First Amendment free-speech rights seem to have conveniently forgotten about the equally important Second Amendment. The bottom line is that gun control measures restrict the freedom of law-abiding citizens while criminals continue to break laws and take advantage of bad public policy.”