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Rep. Jay Dickey

Friday, November 1st, 1996

Congressman Jay Dickey of Arkansas is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for November.

In nominating Rep. Dickey for the award, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director John Michael Snyder said “the pro-firearms owners rights movement in the United States owes Congressman Jay Dickey a vote of gratitude and thanks for his successful leadership of the effort to curtail the anti-gun activities of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Under the directorship of Dr. Mark Rosenberg, NCIPC was using funds to promote the anti-gun agenda. He even stated he “envisions a long term campaign, similar to tobacco use and auto safety, to convince Americans that guns are, first and foremost, a public health menace.”

Dickey initiated an appropriations move to take $2.6 million, the exact amount spent by NCIPC on so-called “firearm injury research,” and reprogram it within the CDC budget.

By the time Congress adjourned last month, the moneys in question had been earmarked specifically for traumatic brain injury research.

“This is a great achievement for Congressman Dickey and the individual right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms,” said Snyder, “and he is most deserving of this CCRKBA Award.”

During the congressional debate on the issue, Rep. Dickey said “this is an issue of federally funded political advocacy. We have here an attempt by the CDC through the NCIPC, a disease control agency of the federal government, to bring about gun control advocacy all over the United States through seminars, through the staff members and through the funding of different efforts all over the country on this one issue, to raise emotional sympathy for those people who are for gun control. It is a blatant attempt on the part of government to federally fund lobbying and political advocacy. Rather than calling violence a disease and guns as a germ, these people should be looking at the other root causes of crime: poverty, drug trade, gangs, and children growing up without parental support, and the cruel trap of welfare dependency. Those things have more to do with crime control than trying to come at it from a disease definition.

“Ownership of guns by itself is what this particular amount of money is going to. It is not a public health threat. In fact, the violence related to guns has been found to be going down to the extent of two-thirds, where we actually have a 173 percent increase in the number of guns in the United States. So it is obviously not a public health threat, because we are doing this through education and training and not through a discredited study program by the CDC through the NCIPC.

“Some quotes that exist from one of the officials that we pay federal money to, what we need to try to do is to find a socially acceptable form of gun control. Experts from Harvard and Columbia medical schools have reviewed the work on firearms that this agency has done with federal money and have stated that it displays an emotional anti-gun agenda and are so biased and contains so many errors of fact, logic and procedure that we cannot regard them as having a legitimate claim to be treated as scholarly or scientific literature. So this is discredited by authorities. It is not something we should be doing.”

Congressman Dickey was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. After graduation from Pine Bluff High School, he attended Hendrix College for one year on a basketball scholarship. He then transferred to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he made the Razorback basketball team and was given a full athletic basketball scholarship, only to contact polio in the spring of 1960, almost ending his athletic career. He fully recovered from polio in time to have an undefeated season with the tennis team as its No. 1 player, marry Betty Clark of Walnut Ridge, and enter law school. He graduated with a B.A. Degree from the School of Arts and Sciences in 1961 (combined degree) and from the School of Law in 1963.

Jay returned to Pine Bluff to practice law with his father. Early in his law career, he was asked to represent the Arkansas Fox and Coon Hunters Association against the Game and Fish Commission over the issue of the running of dogs. That series of suits took place around 1968. He won the suit and there is no such restriction on the use of running dogs.

In 1972, Jay began his business ventures with the purchase of a Baskin Robbins franchise in Pine Bluff. He currently owns two Taco Bell restaurants and Condray Sign & Advertising Company in Pine Bluff. Jay is the father of four children, John, Laura, Ted and Rachel. He is a familiar participant in local 5K runs. He was first elected Representative for the Fourth Congressional District in Arkansas in 1992. He serves on the House Committee on Appropriations.