President’s column, The

President’s column, The

Heston, Charlton

Vote to defend your rights. And bring all those you can to the polls to support George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

Before you go to the polls on November 7, I’d like to speak to what these elections really mean. Personally, I’ve supported George W. Bush for quite some time, and now the NRA has proudly endorsed Gov. Bush for the U.S. Presidency. Let me tell you exactly why.

By now, you know where Al Gore stands on your right to keep and bear arms. He wants nationwide gun licensing, photo IDs, gun owner databases, gun registration and more Big Brother, anti-gun laws than this space allows me to list.

Where does George W. Bush stand? His record is clear. Where Al Gore wants to make you pay for the acts of criminals with your rights, George W. Bush vows to stop armed, violent criminals by enforcing the tough penalties in existing gun laws and to safeguard your right to protect yourself when all else fails. In fact, throughout his career of public service, Bush has steadfastly supported gun owners’ rights.

As governor of Texas, Bush signed a law allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms for self-protection. He secured legislation preventing frivolous lawsuits against lawful firearms commerce. He supports stricter enforcement of laws against the criminal misuse of firearms, and he adopted the proven Project Exile model against violent criminals who carry guns. He’s strengthened the Texas juvenile justice system with tougher sentences and better prevention programs. And he’s abolished mandatory early-release for convicted felons and passed a “two strikes and you’re out” law for sex offenders.

The result? Since Bush took office, overall crime in Texas has declined by 13 percent, violent crime has dropped by 20 percent, murder is down 44 percent and juvenile violent crime has plummeted by 44 percent. That’s why the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) enthusiastically endorses, and urges its members to vote for, Gov. Bush. As FOP President Gilbert Gallegos said, “As president, George Bush will always side with the men and women of law enforcement over violent criminals who prey on society.”

As for his vice presidential running mate, Dick Cheney’s service in the United States Congress was marked by integrity and a dedication to the Second Amendment. When it comes to your rights, his record is peerless. As Secretary of Defense, he understood that America’s strength comes from our being free as a “nation of riflemen.” He has more than earned our endorsement.

Nothing less than the future of the Second Amendment depends on your vote.

It really is that simple. With the next president poised to appoint two and as many as four U.S. Supreme Court justices, this is a defining moment in history-for America’s children more than anyone. Will they grow up in an America where the Second Amendment is locked away while criminals are freed? Or where criminals are controlled and our freedoms are upheld? Will they learn from Al Gore that honest gun owners and lawful gunmakers are to blame for violent crime? Or will they learn from George W. Bush that rights have responsibilities, actions have consequences and laws must be obeyed?

You can judge George W. Bush and Richard Cheney by their enemies. In a $4 million road-show campaign, Handgun Control, Inc., has called Gov. Bush’s record on firearms rights “dangerous.” There is nothing dangerous about a man who stands up for the rights and liberty of ordinary, hardworking, honest Americans-that is, unless you have an agenda to disarm the peaceable citizens of this nation.

A Bush-Cheney Administration is committed to undoing the Clinton-Gore abuses of executive power. It will end the aggressive, anti-firearms rights efforts of the Justice Department; shut down taxpayer-funded White House propaganda that has stoked the national media against us; stop the HUD extortion machine that has been used to destroy America’s lawful chain of firearms commerce; halt BATF abuses; and enforce the existing laws to take violent, armed criminals off the streets.

On November 7, vote to defend your rights. And bring all those you can to the polls to support George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

Copyright National Rifle Association of America Nov/Dec 2000

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