If not for the massive volunteer work of persons concerned about the Second Amendment, George W. Bush would not have won the very close elections of 2000 and 2004. To state the obvious, the citizen activists would never have spent all those hours volunteering for a candidate whose position on the constitutionality of a handgun ban was "Maybe."I'm seeing this more and more across the Internet (and, as one of the commenters noted, in the NRA statement. "It's not George's fault...it's the ATF...or the Solicitor General...but not George..."
The SG brief was one that might have been expected from the administration of President John Kerry. As a Senator, Kerry voted for a resolution affirming the individual Second Amendment right, and also voted for more repressive gun control at every opportunity.
The 2004 Bush victory over Kerry made a great difference in the US posture at the 2006 UN gun control conference, and in the signature of the Protection of Lawful Commerces in Arms Act. The election does not appear to have made a difference in the management of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, or of the Office of the Solicitor General.
My question is, "Why not George?" Yes, the ATF is and has been an agency in search of a mission ever since Prohibition was repealed. But does anyone actually believe that President George Bush wasn't involved, or at least kept informed, on his Solicitor General's brief? Does anyone believe that George Bush wasn't informed specifically of the implications of the filing this brief?
Most importantly, does anyone actually believe that George Bush did not sign off on this brief?
I came across a similar theme during the battles with the U.S. Forest Service...I was cautioned out of Washington D.C. to not push my criticism "too high," because it had the potential to "embarrass George Bush." I'm not a very good politician, so I said, "Let me get this straight...USFS officials are closing public lands to shooting across the West and I'm supposed to be careful about 'embarrassing' a Bush appointee?"
Here's my question to our Washington cadre — is power unexercised still power?
It is my believe that the DOJ brief has damaged the progun movement on a number of levels:
•It has outlined a way where we can "win" on the individual interpretation and still "lose" to the gun grabbers.
• It has emboldened our enemies. The antigun forces were dispirited and largely bankrupt. The government's sell-out has given them a new lease on life.
• It has outlined a rationale for a new Assault Wespons Ban...and a subsequent ban on "some" handguns.
• It has helped establish Charles Schumer as one of the most powerful men in Washington...Schumer supports Bush's Attorney General nominee and, viola!...the DOJ reverses itself on the Second Amendment and sells out the very people who got Bush elected...twice.