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Gun Rights Defender of the Month, 1998

January     James Wright                  July         Sen. Jeff Sessions
February    Joyce Lee Malcom         August      Val. W. Finnell
March  John Ashcroft                      September    Tom Gresham
April    Bruce H. Kobayashi             October    Howard Phillips
May     Gov. Mike Huckabee           November     Rep. Jack Metcalf
June      John J. Lott                        December    Sen. Jim Bunning

January James Wright

Professor James D. Wright of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, a noted scholar in the sociological field of firearms research, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for January.

In nominating Wright, the Charles and Leo Favrot Professor of Human Relations in the Department of Sociology at Tulane for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, stated that "Jim has established himself as a leader in the objective study of firearms ownership in the United States. He is an expert on the relation between that ownership and the use and misuse of guns in our society.

"When Jim started out on the path of firearms research 20 years ago, he and his co-researcher at the time, Peter H. Rossi, were faced with a general ‘scholarly’ predilection against gun ownership. As a result of their analyses of literature in the field, however, they reported later in UNDER THE GUN: WEAPONS, CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN AMERICA in 1983, that ‘there is no compelling evidence that the private ownership of firearms among the general population is, per se, an important cause of criminal violence. This is not to conclude that guns are not a cause of crime, but rather that no one has yet persuasively demonstrated this to be the case. The unproved hypothesis is just that: unproved, not necessarily true or false.’

"Since then, Jim’s scholarly works have done a lot to rectify certain misconceptions about popular gun ownership in the United States. While a number of such misconceptions still are prevalent among large segments of the media and the political universe, Jim and people like him deserve a lot of credit for their pursuit of the truth in this matter, for undertaking the intellectual spadework without which it would not be possible to develop certain lines of rational argumentation. He is most deserving of this Award."

Professor Wright received his Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University in 1973, his Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1970, and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. He has published 16 books and 125 journal articles, book chapters and essays on topics ranging from survey research methods, American politics, homelessness and poverty, to gun control. In addition to his continuing research on urban poverty, on alcohol and drug issues, and on firearms and violence, James Wright currently is directing a five-year collaborative effort between Tulane and Xavier Universities, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designed to increase the economic self-sufficiency and improve the overall quality of life for residents of public housing.


At Tulane University, Jim is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He also has been a full professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts as well as the Director of that University’s Social and Demographic Research Institute.

Last October, Professor Wright discussed his TEN ESSENTIAL OBSERVATIONS ON GUNS IN AMERICA during a scholars conference in Washington, D. C. sponsored by the American Firearms Council, Inc.

First published in the March, April, 1995 issue of RESEARCH AND PUBLIC POLICY, Jim lists the following as his 10 observations:

1. Half the households in the country own at least one gun.

2. There are 200 million guns already in circulation in the United States, give or take a few tens of millions.

3. Most of those 200 million guns are owned for socially inocuous sport and recreational purposes.

4. Many guns are also owned for self-defense against crime, and some are indeed used for that purpose; whether they are actually safer or not, many people certainly seem to feel safer when they have a gun.

5. The bad guys do not get their guns through customary retail channels.

6. The bad guys inhabit a violent world; a gun often makes a life-or-death difference to them.

7. Everything the bad guys do with their guns is already against the law.

8. Demand creates its own supply.

9. Guns are neither inherently good not inherently evil; guns, that is, do not possess teleology.

10. Guns are important elements in our history and culture.

Wright makes a number of deductions and draws some interesting conclusions from an analysis of his "10 observations."

He notes, for instance, "it is frequently argued by pro-control advocates that the mere presence of guns causes people to do nutty and violent things that they would otherwise never even consider. In the academic literature on ‘guns as aggression-eliciting stimuli,’ this is called the ‘trigger pulls the finger’ hypothesis. If there were much substance to this viewpoint, the fact that half of all U. S. households possess a gun would seem to imply that there ought to be a lot more nuttiness ‘out there’ than we actually observe. In the face of widespread alarm about the skyrocketing homicide rate, it is important to remember that the rate is still a relatively small number of homicides (10 to 15 or so) per hundred thousand people. If half the households own guns and the mere presence of guns incites acts of violence, then one would expect the bodies to be piled three deep, and yet they are not."

Wright notes that "when one asks gun owners why they own guns, various sport and recreational activities dominate the responses - hunting, target shooting, collecting and the like. Even when the question is restricted to handgun owners, about 40 percent say they own the gun for sport and recreational applications, another 40 percent say they own it for self-protection, and the remaining 20 percent cite their job or occupation as the principal reason for owning a gun.

"Thus for the most part, gun ownership is apparently a topic more appropriate to the sociology of leisure than to the criminology or epidemiology of violence. The vast majority of guns now in circulation will never be used for anything more violent or abusive than killing the furry creatures of the woods and fields."

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February Joyce Lee Malcom

Joyce Lee Malcolm is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for February.

A Professor of History at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts, she is the author of TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, THE ORIGINS OF AN ANGLO-AMERICAN RIGHT, published in 1994 by the Harvard University Press in both Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England.

In nominating Ms. Malcolm for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that "much of the controversy today in the United States over the individual right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms revolves around the meaning of the Second Amendment.

"The gun grabbers claim generally that the Second Amendment mention of the right to keep and bear arms refers only and exclusively to some kind of a collective right, such as the right of the National Guard to be armed.

"Traditionalists like us, on the other hand, maintain that the Second Amendment recognizes constitutionally an individual right to keep and bear arms.

"A lot hinges on the interpretation. If the gun grabbers were correct, it would be difficult to argue from a constitutional perspective against legislative attempts to undermine or simply eliminate the ability of citizens to acquire, own and use firearms.

"What Joyce Lee Malcolm has done with years of painstaking research, meticulous analysis and lucid writing is cut the ground out from under the collectivist argument of the gun grabbers. She has demonstrated that we traditionalists are on solid intellectual ground, that we have a strong footing on which to base our defense, and a firm bulwark from which to launch our attacks on the opposition.

"She has described the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as ‘the safety valve of the Constitution.’

"She truly is most deserving of this Award."

An historian specializing in seventeenth century English constitutional history, Ms. Malcolm holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and a doctoral degree from Brandeis University. She is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Professor Malcolm’s first book, CAESAR’S DUE: LOYALTY AND KING CHARLES, was published by the Royal Historical Society and Humanities Press.

Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Bar Foundation, Harvard Law School, Robinson College of Cambridge University and the Huntington Library.

"The Second Amendment was meant to accomplish two distinct goals," writes Malcolm, "each perceived as crucial to the maintenance of liberty. First, it was meant to guarantee the individual’s right to have arms for self-defence and self-preservation. Such an individual right was a legacy of the English Bill of Rights. This is also plain from American colonial practice, the debates over the Constitution, and state proposals for what was to become the Second Amendment.

"In keeping with colonial precedent, the American article broadened the English protection. English restrictions had limited the right to have arms to Protestants and made the type and quantity of such weapons dependent upon what was deemed ‘suitable’ to a person’s ‘condition.’ The English also included the proviso that the right to have arms was to be ‘as allowed by law,’ Americans swept aside these limitations and forbade any ‘infringement’ upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

"These privately owned arms were meant to serve a larger purpose as well, albeit the American framers of the Second Amendment, like their English predecessors, rejected language linking their right to ‘the common defence.’ When, as Blackstone phrased it, ‘the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression,’ these private weapons would afford the people the means to vindicate their liberties.

"The second and related objective concerned the militia, and it is the coupling of these two objectives that has caused the most confusion. The customary American militia necessitated an armed public, and Madison’s original version of the amendment, as well as those suggested by the states, described the militia as either ‘composed of’ or ‘including’ the body of the people. A select militia was regarded as little better than a standing army. The argument that today’s National Guardsmen, members of a select militia, would constitute the only people entitled to keep and bear arms has no historical foundation. Indeed, it would seem redundant to specify that members of a militia had the right to be armed. A militia could scarcely function otherwise. But the argument that this constitutional right to have weapons was exclusively for members of a militia falters on another ground. The House committee eliminated the stipulation that the militia be ‘well-armed,’ and the Senate, in what became the final version of the amendment, eliminated the description of the militia as composed of the ‘body of the people.’ These changes left open the possibility of a poorly armed and narrowly based militia that many Americans feared might be the result of federal control. Yet the amendment guaranteed that the right of ‘the people’ to have arms not be infringed. Whatever the future composition of the militia, therefore, however well or ill armed, was not crucial because the people’s right to have weapons was to be sacrosanct. As was the case in the English tradition, the arms in the hands of the people, not the militia, are relied upon ‘to restrain the violence of oppression...’

"The clause concerning the militia was not intended to limit ownership of arms to militia members, or return control of the militia to the states, but rather to express the preference for a militia over a standing army. The army had been written into the Constitution. Despite checks within the Constitution to make it responsive to civil authority, the army was considered a threat to liberty. State constitutions that had a bill of rights had copied the English model and prohibited a standing army in time of peace without the consent of their state legislatures...A strong statement of preference for a militia must have seemed more tactful than an expression of distrust of the army. The Second Amendment, therefore, stated that it was the militia, not the army, that was necessary to the security of a free state. The reference to a ‘well regulated’ militia was meant to encourage the federal government to keep the militia in good order."

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March John Ashcroft

Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for March.

In nominating Ashcroft for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that the U. S. Senator "is an experienced, elected public official who understands that, very often, personnel is policy. That is why it was so important that he took the lead in trying to prevent the confirmation of Dr. David Satcher, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as Surgeon General of the United States.

"Sen. Ashcroft knows that Satcher, a notorious anti-gun medical bureaucrat, could use the joint posts of Surgeon General and Assistant Health Secretary as a perch from which to continue and to amplify his attacks on the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms.

"Even though he was not successful in this instance and Satcher was confirmed last month, we’re glad that Sen. Ashcroft, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, did step out in front in the Satcher matter. His action puts the scandal-ridden Clinton Administration on notice that some Senators at least will be looking at Satcher’s activities with a high-power magnifying glass. Sen. Ashcroft certainly is most deserving of this Award."

Satcher previously characterized so-called "handgun violence" as a "public health menace."

In late January, Sen. Ashcroft announced at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D. C. that the confirmation of Satcher "would weaken seriously the influence and moral authority of the position."

Ashcroft noted that he, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi, and others had placed "holds" on the Satcher nomination. A "hold" means that the Senate cannot proceed to consideration of the nomination without debate. This eliminates the possibility of a merely formal confirmation vote on the nomination, as distinguished from a vote after thorough floor debate.

Ashcroft said that, even if Lott and others did lift their "holds," which they did, he would maintain his. He said that if the nomination were to proceed, which it did, he would familiarize the Senate with all of the facts regarding the nomination before proceeding to a vote.

Last year, after the Clinton Administration submitted the Satcher nomination to the Senate, Alan M. Gottlieb, CCRKBA Chairman, said "we oppose David Satcher. He’s totally anti-gun. This is another slap at gun owners by Bill Clinton, who is the most anti-gun President in history."

Shortly after his National Press Club announcement on January 20, Sen. Ashcroft noted in a statement prepared for POINT BLANK that "James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, decried the Old World governments for ‘being afraid to trust the people with arms.’ He reassured his countrymen that they did not need to fear their government because of ‘the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.’ One cannot help but question whether Mr. Madison would be so optimistic today.

"In a little over two years, the Clinton Administration has established itself as the most anti-gun administration in recent history. Under the guise of fighting crime, federal agencies and cabinet departments have supported policies which threaten the rights of law-abiding gun owners. These efforts include the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) support for research which portrays gun ownership as a hazardous activity, the Department of Education’s promotion of programs biased against firearms ownership, and the Forest Service’s proposal to outlaw firearms on public lands under its control. Unfortunately, administration officials forget a basic rule: CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY LAWS. Restricting firearm ownership may sound good, but it won’t stop crime, and it is an intolerable violation of our Second Amendment rights.

"Like the European despots from whom our Founding Fathers fled, today’s power brokers and policy wonks ‘are afraid to trust the people with arms.’ I don’t share their fears. Instead, I am fearful of a government that doesn’t trust the people who elected them. You have my assurance that I will continue to oppose legislation which infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms."

John Ashcroft, who was elected to the United States Senate in November of 1994, served previously as Governor of Missouri, 1985-93, as Missouri Attorney General, 1976-84, and as Missouri State Auditor, 1973-75.

Born May 9, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, he graduated cum laude in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1967 from the University of Chicago Law School.

Ashcroft was Associate Professor of Law, 1967-71, Coordinator for Judicial Affairs, 1969-73, then Associate Professor, 1971-73, all with Southwest Missouri State University.

A member of the Assembly of God church, he and his wife, Janet Elise Roede, who also received her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1967, are the parents of three children, Martha Patterson, Jay and Andrew.

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April Bruce H. Kobayashi

Bruce H. Kobayashi, Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for April.

In nominating Kobayashi for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that "Bruce is one of the finest intellectual battlers for the individual right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms on the scene today. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of California -- Los Angeles. He has put his fine mind to work in support of traditional American liberties and certainly is most deserving of this Award."

Bruce developed a concise and incisive analysis of the gun control movement’s legislative objectives, strategies and tactics in his essay on "Gun Control, Strict Liability, and Excise Taxes" for inclusion with a number of authors’ articles on TAXING CHOICE: THE PREDATORY POLITICS OF FISCAL DISCRIMINATION as edited by W. F. Shughart.

"Legislative proposals to limit the private ownership of firearms have proven a popular tool for lawmakers attempting to convince their constituents that they are fighting crime," he noted. "Recent state and federal legislation has proposed to tax or otherwise restrict the private ownership of certain ‘styles’ of firearms, to limit the availability of certain types and calibers of ammunition, to impose liability on manufacturers and retailers of firearms, and to increase the transaction costs of purchasing firearms...

"While the production of piecemeal legislation seems counterproductive from an efficiency standpoint, its political popularity is not surprising. While advocates of gun control would prefer broad-based uniform federal restrictions on the private ownership of firearms, such broad-based bans, which would likely require the confiscation of private property, currently do not have popular support. Such a widespread prohibition on the private ownership of firearms would require costly expenditures on law enforcement, and would likely face constitutional challenges...

"Given the political and legal problems facing those wishing to enact widespread federal restrictions on firearms, proponents instead demand narrowly defined piecemeal legislation, hoping to expand its scope administratively after passage or to argue for more sweeping restrictions when the narrow restrictions fail to produce any observable benefits. Legislators, facing a myopic constituency, routinely dismiss the intangible benefits of general firearm ownership (e.g., the effect widespread firearm ownership has on the general deterrence of crime and tyranny) and then supply gun control legislation in order to avoid being accused of ‘doing nothing’ about the tangible costs of firearm ownership (death and injury caused by firearms)...

"The difficulties of enacting widespread restrictions on the private ownership of firearms through the legislative process have led advocates of gun control to seek alternatives to bald restrictions on private ownership and to use the legislative process to enact indirect restrictions on gun ownership. Specifically, proponents of restrictions on the private ownership of firearms recently have suggested ‘taxing’ rather than banning firearms and ammunition. Further, given the likely difficulties they would face in obtaining direct taxation through legislation, they suggest that a similar result might be achieved through the courts by imposing strict liability on manufacturers and distributors of firearms.

"Economic analysis suggests that the general taxation of firearms, whether directly or through the imposition of strict liability on manufacturers of firearms, is not an efficient means of reducing crime. Relative to an approach that distinguishes between legal use and misuse of firearms and punishes only the latter, generally taxing firearms provides weaker disincentives to misuse firearms and punishes those who do not misuse them. Further, a general tax on firearms may result in the commission of more violent crimes if widespread and legal ownership of firearms serves as a general deterrent to crime.

"Thus, contrary to the claims of its proponents, the case for taxation and strict liability rules for the sale and manufacture of firearms is not based on economic efficiency - rather, it is rooted in a desire to reduce general firearms ownership or to provide a system of social insurance. And as has been noted generally, use of strict liability or direct taxes to provide social insurance for persons injured or killed by firearms invariably distorts economic incentives and is likely a relatively inefficient means of providing such insurance...

"Existing evidence on the effects of gun ownership on the rate of violent crime and the effects of current gun laws on the rate of violent crime suggests that most government regulation of firearms would not pass a cost-benefit test, and certainly would fail the high standards of rationality and tailoring requirements applied to government regulation of other constitutional rights. Further, given that the difference between the imposition of a selective excise tax and an absolute prohibition on the ownership of firearms is largely a matter of degree, a generalized excise tax imposed through the courts can raise the same type of constitutional issues that would be raised by direct prohibition. Further, even in court-imposed liability verdicts that only moderately increase the price of firearms present less general danger to the Second Amendment, such price increases can raise equal-protection issues if their primary effect is to disarm the law-abiding poor - arguably the population that would benefit the most from the generalized private ownership of firearms."

Professor Kobayashi’s writings have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES, the JOURNAL OF LAW, ECONOMICS AND ORGANIZATION, the RAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS, and the INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF LAW AND ECONOMICS.

His recent publications on firearms include "In re 101 California Street: A Legal and Economic Analysis of Strict Liability for the Manufacture and Sale of Assault Weapons," co-authored with Professor Joseph Olson, appearing in the STANFORD LAW AND POLICY REVIEW, Winter 1997 issue.

Bruce and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of two children, Parker, 3, and Olivia, 1.

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May Gov. Mike Huckabee

Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for May.

In Washington, D. C., John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said he decided to nominate Huckabee for the CCRKBA Award when he saw and heard the Governor’s comments on television following the March 24 slaying in Jonesboro, Arkansas of a school teacher and four school children allegedly by two other children, aged 11 and 13.

On March 25, Gov. Huckabee said he was angry at a culture that breeds this kind of act, "whether it’s in the television programs they see, the movies they see, the language they use, the things they are exposed to and the glorification of those things."

Huckabee told the Cable News Network (CNN) that "I’m not sure we could expect a whole lot else in a culture where these children are exposed to tens of thousands of murders on television and movies, and we desensitize human life...

"It should shock us and maybe wake us up to recognize that this isn’t an individual problem of students or one school or even a state. It’s a cultural disease that we’ve got to address."

Snyder said what so impressed him about Huckabee’s remarks was that, despite the expected clamor for more and more gun control following the misuse of firearms in this tragedy by the two alleged child-murderers, Huckabee, the Governor of the State in which the incident occurred, "did not jump on the gun control background, but showed both common sense and measured judgment in his remarks.

"Huckabee, a hunter and outdoorsman himself, did not follow the knee-jerk, politically correct program and point his finger at firearms ownership in general, as did a number of other people in public life, but he looked at the situation in a more statesmanlike manner and reacted in a much more prudent way. This takes conviction, judgment and courage and he certainly is to be congratulated for his response.

"After he made his comments, others made similar comments, and he may have started the ball rolling in a proper direction. Perhaps now more and more people will realize that criminal violence is a serious problem and that the response to it lies not in infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding citizens who are not part of the problem but, rather, in determining what the roots of the problem really are and resolving to do something about them. Let’s hope that turns out to be the case. In any event, Gov. Huckabee is certainly deserving of this Award."

Among those who apparently agreed with Huckabee’s remarks was Robert H. Knight, Director of Cultural Studies for the Family Research Council, who stated "there is a steady drumbeat of violence in television and films that says you can solve your problem with the click of the trigger."

Knight said he believes the breakdown of the family is the primary reason that killings by the young have become so commonplace, but stressed that the "sheer volume of media violence is a major contributing factor."

Ron Slaby, a psychologist at Harvard University who specializes in television’s effect on the developing child, said he is convinced that violence portrayed on film and television contributed to the Jonesboro killings.

Shortly after a 14-year-old boy killed three fellow students at a high school in West Paducah, Kentucky, reported Joyce Howard Price in THE WASHINGTON TIMES, Slaby said he was certain that media violence was a contributing factor in the incident, and he was proven correct. The boy said he was heavily influenced by a film that featured a similar killing.

William S. Abbott, President by the Foundation to Improve Television, pointed out that "close to 3,000 studies" have made the connection between actual violence and violence portrayed in film and on television.

Leonard Eron, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, followed 875 children from age eight to 30 that found a strong correlation between a person’s aggression and the violence of the television shows he watched.

Hopefully, then, Huckabee’s remarks may have sparked a fresh approach to the whole problem of violence, including violence youth. Let’s encourage that.

Mike Huckabee became Governor of Arkansas on July 15, 1996. Huckabee, the State’s Lieutenant Governor, ascended to the office when Gov. Jim Guy Tucker resigned. Huckabee had been Lieutenant Governor since 1993.

Huckabee’s career includes service as President of Cambridge Communications in Texarkana, Arkansas from 1992 through 1996, as a Pastor in Texarkana between 1986 and 1992 and in Pine Bluff, Arkansas from 1980 until 1986, as President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 through 1991, and as President of KBSC, a UHF 24-hour channel in Texarkana from 1987 through 1992.

Born August 24, 1955 in Hope, Arkansas, Huckabee graduated from Hope High School in 1973. He graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1975, completing a four year degree program in just over two years. He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in 1976 and 1977. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from John Brown University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Ouachita Baptist University.

He and his wife, Janet McCain, also of Hope, were married 24 years ago this month, on May 25, 1974 (Happy Anniversary!) and are the parents of three children, John Mark, David and Sarah.

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June  John J. Lott

John R. Lott, Jr. of Chicago, Illinois is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for June.

In nominating Lott for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, stated that Lott "has rendered outstanding service to the cause of freedom, to the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

"Lott most certainly is most deserving of this Award."

Lott is The John M. Olin Law and Economics Fellow at the School of Law of the University of Chicago. He received national recognition a couple of years ago when he and David Mustard, a graduate student in economics at the University of Chicago, gathered and analyzed evidence showing that by adopting laws allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness, states reduced murders by 8.5 percent, rapes by five percent, aggravated assaults by seven percent and robbery by three percent. The full results of that study were published in the January, 1997 issue of the university’s JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES.

Now Professor Lott has produced an even more thorough and complete empirical study of gun laws and crime rates. Entitled MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME and subtitled UNDERSTANDING CRIME AND GUN CONTROL LAWS, it is his first book and it is published by The University of Chicago Press in both Chicago, Illinois and London, England.

In his book, he demonstrates that "allowing citizens without criminal records to carry concealed handguns deters violent crimes and appears to produce an extremely small and statistically insignificant change in accidental deaths. If the rest of the country had adopted right-to-carry concealed-handgun provisions in 1992, about 1,500 murders and 4,000 rapes would have been avoided. On the other hand, consistent with the notion that criminals respond to incentives, county-level data provide some evidence that concealed-handgun laws are associated with increases in property crimes involving stealth and in crimes that involve minimal probability of contact between the criminal and the victim. Even though both the state-level data and the estimates that attempt to explain why the law and the arrest rates change indicate that crime in all the categories declines, the deterrent effect of nondiscretionary handgun laws is largest for violent crimes. Counties with the largest populations, where the deterrence of violent crimes is the lowest, are also the counties where the substitution of property crimes for violent crimes by criminals is the highest. The estimated annual gain in 1992 from allowing concealed handguns was over $5.74 billion.

"Many commonly accepted notions are challenged by these findings. Urban areas tend to have the most restrictive gun control rules and have fought the hardest against nondiscretionary concealed-handgun laws, yet they are the very places that benefit the most from nondiscretionary concealed-handgun laws. Not only do urban areas tend to gain in their fight against crime, but reductions in crime rates are greatest precisely in those urban areas that have the highest crime rates, largest and most dense populations, and greatest concentrations of minorities. To some this might not be too surprising. After all, law-abiding citizens in these areas must depend on themselves to a great extent for protection. Even if self-protection were accepted, concerns would still arise over whether these law-abiding citizens would use guns properly. This study provides a very strong answer: a few people do and will use permitted concealed handguns improperly, but the gains completely overwhelm these concerns.

"Another surprise involves women and blacks. Both tend to be the strongest supporters of gun control, yet both obtain the largest benefits from nondiscretionary concealed-handgun laws in terms of reduced rates of murder and other crimes. Concealed handguns also appear to be the great equalizer among the sexes. Murder rates decline when either more women or more men carry concealed handguns, but the effect is especially pronounced for women. An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about three to four times more than an additional man carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men. Providing a woman with a concealed handgun represents a much larger change in her ability to defend herself than it does for a man.

"The benefits of concealed handguns are not limited to those who use them in self-defense. Because the guns may be concealed, criminals are unable to tell whether potential victims are carrying guns until they attack, thus making it less attractive for criminals to commit crimes that involve direct contact with victims. Citizens who have no intention of ever carrying concealed handguns in a sense get a ‘free ride’ from the crime-fighting efforts of their fellow citizens. However, the ‘halo’ effect created by these laws is apparently not limited to people who share the characteristics of those who carry guns. The most obvious example is the drop in murders of children following the adoption of nondiscretionary laws. Arming older people not only may provide direct protection to these children, but also causes criminals to leave the area...

"Preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns does not end violence; it only makes victims more vulnerable to attack. In the final analysis, one concern unites us all: Will allowing law-abiding citizens to carry handguns save lives? The answer is yes, it will."

Born May 8, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan, Professor Lott is married and has four children. He received his BA in 1980, his MA in 1982 and his Ph.D. in 1984 in Economics from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

In addition to teaching courses in economics at UCLA and the University of Chicago, Dr. Lott has taught at the Cornell University Law School, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, Stanford University and Texas A&M University. He was the chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission during 1988 and 1989. He has published over 70 articles in academic journals.

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July Sen. Jeff Sessions

United States Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for July.

In nominating Sen. Sessions for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, stated that as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Youth Violence, "he has taken a leading role in countering the Clinton-Gore Administration’s attempt to blame youth violence on guns. He’s placing the blame where it belongs, on the faulty administration of justice under that same Administration."

A native Alabamian, Sen. Sessions takes pride as a crime fighter who has served as Alabama’s Attorney General, as the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, and as an Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

Just last month, Sen. Sessions, criticizing the Clinton-Gore Administration, wrote that "despite the President’s tough talk about cracking down on guns, the Clinton Administration’s record on gun prosecutions is pathetic. Federal gun prosecutions have dropped drastically under the Clinton Justice Department. How President Clinton can justify calls for more gun control when his Justice Department doesn’t fully prosecute the laws we now have is a mystery to me.

"Take Project Triggerlock prosecutions. Project Triggerlock was formed by the Justice Department in the late 1980s to target the use of guns to commit other crimes. Despite the obvious importance of Project Triggerlock, the Clinton Justice Department has badly neglected these prosecutions. Project Triggerlock prosecutions have declined from 4,353 in 1992 to 2,844 in 1997, a decline of nearly 35 percent. Moreover, the decline in gun prosecutions is not limited to Project Triggerlock: Weapons and firearms cases generally have declined from 3,917 in 1992 to 3,184 in 1997.

"Given President Clinton’s consistent desire for more gun control, how could federal weapons prosecutions decline under his Justice Department? The answer is simple: the entire criminal justice division is in disarray. Unbelievably, the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division has been vacant for nearly 1,000 days due solely to the delay of the Clinton Administration. It took President Clinton 31 months to nominate someone for one of the most important positions in the Justice Department.

"Not surprisingly, this inexcusable delay in filling the criminal division vacancy has severely affected federal criminal prosecutions. Without a leader, the Criminal Division has lost focus, and this lack of leadership has impacted more than just firearms prosecutions. Drug task force prosecutions declined nearly 10 percent from 1992 to 1997. As a whole, there were more total criminal prosecutions by the Justice Department in 1992 than in any year between 1993 and 1996, even though the number of Assistant United States Attorneys steadily increased during this period. In 1997, finally, there were more criminal prosecutions by the Justice Department than in 1992. However, an unusually large percentage of the 1997 prosecutions were immigration cases, which are much simpler to prosecute. Immigration cases artificially inflate overall prosecution statistics because they are easier to process and prosecute. In 1997, immigration cases accounted for three times the percentage of overall cases as they did in 1992. Without such a large number of immigration cases, the 1997 prosecutions would also be below the 1992 level.

"President Clinton finally nominated James Robinson as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division on March 13. Mr. Robinson, a law school dean from Wayne State University in Michigan, has only three and a half years of criminal experience in his lengthy career. To his credit, however, Mr. Robinson seemed to appreciate the current plight of the Criminal Division during his confirmation hearing. Hopefully, he can bring badly needed direction to the Justice Department. One thing is for sure, with the current Justice Department’s record on gun prosecutions and crime generally, President Clinton is in no position to ask for more gun control."

In addition his work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Sessions serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

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August Val. W. Finnell

Val W. Finnell, M.D. of Springfield, Virginia is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for August.

In nominating Finnell for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that "with gun grabbers these days trying to attack the right of individual law-abiding citizens as some kind of a public health menace, it’s important that qualified physicians come forward with the truth to dispel this latest attempt at vicious anti-gun myth-making. Val has done this and is doing this in a big time way. He already has rendered the gun rights movement tremendous service and he intends to continue to do so in the future. He is most deserving of this Award."

As a Virginia activist with Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research, Inc. (DIPR) a national organization dedicated to exposing the lies of the public health propaganda machine on guns and violence, Val paid close attention to what he calls "the biased and incompetent research on guns funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

He decided "to go public with this information through numerous letters to the editor and national television interviews." He also was "able to expose the lies of the CDC before the American Medical Student Association’s summer intern program in Washington, D. C."

When THE WASHINGTON POST MAGAZINE in its March 29, 1998 issue published an anti-gun attack piece, "Trigger Points," by Bob Thompson, purporting to show the public health benefits of restrictive firearms control policies, Val went into action, wrote a letter, and had it published, in the magazine’s May 10 issue.

Val called the Thompson piece "a thinly veiled attempt to discredit those who would challenge the politicized and incompetent ‘research’ of the public health, anti-self-defense gurus.

"Attempts to apply the medical model to a criminological issue are not only incorrect, but dishonest. Not only have these ‘scientists’ mischaracterized firearms, they have made a systematic attempt to selectively ignore the sociological and criminological literature. Many of these scholarly articles refute the various methodologies and conclusions reached by the medical gun prohibitionists. We find, however, no mention of these scholarly works in many of the public health advocates’ published ‘research.’

"Doctors across America should be ashamed of the peer review process that allowed these biased articles to be printed in some of the best medical journals."

Val was born April 11, 1968 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received his BA in Philosophy in 1990 from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and his MD in 1994 from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He currently is a pathology resident in his last year of training.

Val is a United States Army physician. He and his wife, Tracy, who holds a BS in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, were married in 1989 and now have two children, Zachary, 7, and Lucas, 4. The family attends Harvester Presbyterian Church in America in Springfield where Val is personally involved in biblical counseling and in the church’s evangelism ministry. Although stationed initially in Hawaii, Val now works out of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C.

He tells POINT BLANK he "first became involved in Second Amendment issues while living in Hawaii. I can remember taking my gun to the police station for mandatory registration and fingerprinting by the Honolulu Police Department. My first thoughts were, ‘Is this America?’

"I soon found myself in the Northern Virginia area. I was one of the many people who stood in line the first day concealed carry permits were made available to Fairfax County residents. Standing in front of the Public Safety Building, I met a man handing out flyers from the Northern Virginia Citizens Defense League (NCVDL). The flyer said that Fairfax County was breaking the law by charging excessive fees and conducting interrogations of CCW applicants. Having come recently from Hawaii, I was determined not to see the same sort of tyranny develop in another state. I joined NCVDL and got involved.

"During this first year in Virginia, I also got involved with DIPR...The majority of my activities, however, have revolved around NVCDL. My first major activity with NVCDL was to serve as the organization’s webmaster. It was through countless hours of maintaining the web site that I was able to educate myself on Virginia Second Amendment issues. I read everything I could about the history of the Constitution and the meaning of the Bill of Rights and became progressively involved in the legislative process in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Since I first joined in 1995, NVCDL grew from just a few dozen members to a statewide organization with nearly 400 members and supporters. NCVDL could no longer justify its regional focus and in May of this year incorporated as the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). Currently, I am serving as VCDL’s first President. We look forward to an exciting start as Virginia’s most aggressive pro-firearms and liberty organization."

Over the last three years, Val has maintained a statewide e-mail alert list known as VA-ALERT; been active in Virginia legislative sessions in Richmond, the state capital; helped engineer in 1996 a change in Fairfax County’s "hunting laws" to exempt persons lawfully carrying firearms for personal safety from county hunting restrictions; organized grassroots support last year for defeating mandatory FBI fingerprinting of CCW applicants in Fairfax and Prince William Counties; organized grassroots support last year for a successful lawsuit against an illegal Fairfax County gun ban regulation; and attempted, along with others in VCDL, to repeal the "restaurant ban" from Virginia’s CCW law in the 1997 and 1998 legislative sessions.

Val’s current projects include a pending lawsuit of the Alexandria City facility gun ban as well as a challenge to Arlington County Police Chief Edward A. Flynn’s "Home Site Inspection" policy for Class III Weapons applicants.

Finnell said that if the home inspection policy is not rescinded, VCDL will take the case to federal court.

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September  Tom Gresham

Tom Gresham of Natchitoches, Louisiana is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for September.

In nominating Gresham for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that "Tom truly is a unique figure in the pro-gun movement. He is a most accomplished genuine pro-gun media personality. As the host of Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, a nationally-syndicated live call-in radio program, he is one of the leaders in revolutionizing and modernizing communications of the pro-gun movement. He certainly is most deserving of this Award."

Born November 11, 1951 in Phoenix, Arizona, Tom’s family moved early on in his life to Louisiana and he spent most of his growing-up years in the state. After attending Northwestern Louisiana State University, Tom moved over to the study of photo journalism at the University of Missouri.

Tom started up the Gun Talk radio program three years ago and, for the last three years, he has been listed as one of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America by TALKERS MAGAZINE, a radio industry publication. Since there are about 3,400 radio talk show hosts in the United States, this places Tom way up in the top percentile.

His guests on the program have included Charlton Heston, President of the National Rifle Association, Alan M. Gottlieb, Chairman of CCRKBA, Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of NRA, Tanya K. Metaksa, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, Richard Feldman, Executive Director of the American Shooting Sports Council, and Tommy Noonan, President of Remington Arms.

The program runs from two to five on Sunday afternoons(EST) on a number of radio stations throughout the country and also may be heard world wide live on the internet, at or Talk America also lists time and additional stations.

A certified firearms instructor, licensed private pilot and certified Scuba diver, Tom is:

- Co-host of the Chevy Trucks Shooting Sports America television series on ESPN;

- Arms and Ammo Editor of SPORTS AFIELD magazine. With a circulation of 600,000, this is the oldest sporting magazine in the U.S. Tom’s father is the Shooting Editor;

- Columnist for SHOT Business magazine, writing regular departments on ammunition and optics. SHOT Business is a trade magazine going to 15,000 gun store owners in the United States;

- Contributor to RURAL SPORTSMAN magazine, a new publication with a national circulation of 640,000;

- Co-author of WEATHERBY: THE MAN, THE GUN, THE LEGEND, a best-selling biography of firearms industry pioneer Roy E. Weatherby;

- Author of CLOSE CALLS, published by the NRA, accounts of difficult situations experienced by people while hunting in the great outdoors;

- A consultant on firearms issues; and An award winning photographer and writer.

POINT BLANK readers wishing to tune in Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk may try one of the following stations: WSMQ-AM1450 (Birmingham); Anchorage AK KBYR-AM 700; Fort Smith AR KWHN-AM 1320; Rogers AR KAMO-AM 1320; Phoenix AZ KHEP-AM 1280; KYET-AM 1180 (Flagstaff); KDAC-AM 1230 (San Francisco); Fresno CA KFRE-AM 940; KVLI-AM 1140 (Bakersville); KSPY-FM 100.3 (Sacramento); KUKI-AM 1400 (Oakland); Yreka CA KSYC-AM 1490; Mount Shasta CA KMJC-AM 620; Greeley CO KSIR-AM 1010; Brush CO KSIR-FM 107.1; WNTF-AM 1580 (Orlando); Mims FL WPGS-AM 840; Marco Island FL WODX-AM 1480; Panama City FL WYOO-FM 101.3; St. Augustine FL WFOY-AM 1240; St. Augustine Beach FL WKLN-AM 1170; Tallahassee FL WTAL-FM 105.7; WGIG-AM 1440 (Jacksonville FL); Valdosta GA WFVR-AM 910; KBLI-AM 1620 (Idaho Falls); KIOV-AM 1450 (Boise); WBGZ-AM 1570 (St. Louis MO); Kewanee IL WKEI-AM 1450; Olney IL WVLN-AM 740; Taylorville IL WTIM-AM 1410; Kendallville IN WAWK-AM 1140; Linton IN WBTO-AM 1600; Terre Haute IN WBOW-AM 640; Salina KS KFRM-AM 550; Elizabethtown KY WIEL-AM 1400; Hopkinsville KY WHOP-AM 1230; Alexandria LA KTLD-AM 1110; Baton Rouge LA WJBO-AM 1150; WASO-AM 730 (New Orleans); Delhi LA KGGM-FM 93.5; Shreveport LA KEEL-AM 710; KAIN-AM 1040 (Natchez MS); Lewiston ME KTME-AM 1240; South Paris ME WKTQ-AM 1450; WSER-AM 1550 (Baltimore); Boston MA WRPT-AM 650; Concord MA WADN-AM 1120; Fall River MA WSAR-AM 1480; Taunton MA WPEP-AM 1570; Orange MA WCAT-AM 700; Charlevoix MI WMKT-AM 1270; Grand Rapids MI WTKG-AM 1230; Marine City MI WIFN-AM 1590; Eveleth MN KRBT-AM 1340; Meridian MS WMOX-AM 1010; WJNT-AM 1180 (Jackson); KSWM-AM 940 (Springfield MO); KCXL-AM 1450 (Kansas City); Poplar Bluff MO KLID-AM 1340; KDGR-AM 1400 (Butte); Hastings NE KICS-AM 1550; Reno NV KPTT-AM 1450; Newport NH WNTK-AM 1020; New London NH WNTK-FM 99.7; Atlantic City NJ WFPG-AM 1450; Clovis NM KICA-AM 980; Deming NM KOTS-AM 1230; Roswell NM KCKN-AM 1020; Glens Falls NY WBZA-AM 1230; Aberdeen NC WQNX-AM 1350; WHKY-AM 1290 (Charlotte); WEWO-AM 1460 (Fayetteville); Valdese NC WSVM-AM 1490; Wilson NC WVOT-AM 1420; New Boston OH WIOI-AM 1010; Enid OK KCRC-AM 1390; KNOR-AM 1400 (Oklahoma City); Coos Bay OR KTBR-FM 94.1; Portland OR KBNP-AM 1410; Roseburg OR KTBR-AM 950; WMBA-AM 1460 (Pittsburgh); Charleston SC WQNT-AM 1450; Vermillion SD KOSZ-AM 1570; Chattanooga TN WGOW-AM 1150; Jackson TN WNSW-FM 101.5; Morristown TN WMTN-AM 1300; WZNG-AM 1580 (Nashville); Abeline TX KHXS-AM 106.3; Amarillo TX KTNZ-AM 1010; Crockett TX KIVY-AM 1250; Longview TX KEES-AM 1430; Lubbock TX KFYO-AM 790; Tyler TX KYZX-AM 1490; KZEE-AM 1220 (Ft. Worth); Salt Lake City UT KALL-AM 910; Blackstone VA WKLV-AM 1440; WREL-AM 1450 (Roanoke); Tazewell VA WTZE-AM 1470; Aberdeen WA KBKW-AM 1450; Everett WA KRKO-AM 1380; Spokane WA KSBN-AM 1230; Medford WI WIGM-AM 1490; Beckley WV WWNR-AM 620; Bluefield WV WHIS-AM 1440; Clarksburg WV WHAR-AM 1340; Martinsburg WV WRNR-AM 740; New Martinsville WV WETZ-AM 1330; Parkersburg WV WLTP-AM 1450; Cheyenne WY KGAB-AM 650.

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October  Howard Phillips

Howard Phillips of Vienna, Virginia is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for October.

In nominating Phillips for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that "in this day and age, when so many people involved with public affairs obviously lead such unprincipled public lives, it is well to recognize and honor those in the public arena whose lives evidence sincere and firm commitment to principle, and especially those whose principled commitment includes firm dedication to the Second Amendment individual right to keep and bear arms. Such a man is Howard Phillips, whom I have known for over a quarter of a century. Howie is most deserving of this Award."

Howard Phillips was chosen by an overwhelming majority of delegates at the National Convention of the U. S. Taxpayers Party in San Diego, California on August 17, 1996 to serve as its presidential candidate. Included in Howie’s and the U.S. Taxpayers Party Platform was the declaration that "the right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self-defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny conferred on the individual and the community by the Creator to safeguard life, liberty and property and that of his family, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.

"The right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be abridged or denied. The U. S. Taxpayers Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit the ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.

"We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen’s protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized."

Howie and his wife, Peggy, have six children ranging in age from 11 to 32, and 10 grandchildren.

One of the children, Brad, currently is running as an Independent for the U. S. House of Representatives against 16-year incumbent Herb Bateman who he says "has undermined our Second Amendment rights by voting for the Brady Bill and opposing the repeal of the ban on assault weapons."

Howard Phillips left the Republican Party in 1974 after some two decades of service to the GOP as precinct worker, election warden, campaign manager, congressional aide, Boston Republican Chairman, and assistant to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

During the Nixon Administration, Phillips headed two federal agencies, ending his Executive Branch career as Director of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity in the Executive Office of the President, a position from which he resigned when he says President Nixon reneged on his commitment to veto further funding for "Great Society" programs.

Since 1974, Phillips has been Chairman of The Conservative Caucus, a non-partisan, nationwide grass-roots public policy advocacy group which has been in the thick of battles, in opposition to the Panama Canal and Carter-Brezhnev SALT II treaties in the 1970, in support of the Strategic Defense Initiative and major tax reductions during the 1980s, and in the vanguard of efforts to terminate federal subsidies to ideological activist groups under the banner of "defunding the Left."

Other Conservative Caucus campaigns have involved opposition to NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, support for a national version of California’s Proposition 187 to end mandated subsidies for illegal aliens, and establishment and promotion of The Coalition for a Congressional Impeachment Inquiry of President Bill Clinton the most anti-gun President in American history.

A 1962 graduate of Harvard /college, where he twice was elected President of the Student Council, Phillips is President of Policy Analysis, Inc., a public policy research organization which published the bimonthly ISSUES AND STRATEGY BULLETIN.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Phillips coordinated efforts to build private sector support for anti-Communist freedom fighters in Central America and southern Africa. He played an instrumental role in the leadership of the so-called New Right, as well as in the founding of the so-called religious right in 1977. Phillips has led fact-finding missions to Eastern Europe, and the Far East.


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November  Rep. Jack Metcalf

Congressman Jack Metcalf of Washington State is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for November.

In nominating U. S. Rep. Metcalf for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Relations Director, said, "Jack truly is a unique individual. He combines both rugged outdoors and true intellectual backgrounds with success as a grass roots politician who throughout his public life has been a stalwart and forthright defender of the traditional, individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. He certainly is most deserving of this Award."

During the 105th Congress, Rep. Metcalf has supported a number of pro-gun initiatives, including H. R. 2721, the proposed Second Amendment Protection Act.

He states he supports the measure because it would repeal outright, with no questions asked, both "the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act and restores and revives any provisions they amended as if the repealed Acts had not been enacted. Further, the legislation will amend Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to machine guns, destructive devices, and certain other firearms and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to revise the definition of ‘destructive device’ and make other changes."

Congressman Metcalf notes "Thomas Jefferson once argued that, ‘laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such things make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’ Similarly, Thomas Paine exclaimed, ‘…arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived of the use of them.’ And, John Adams reasoned, ‘arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion … in private self-defense.’

"These eloquent words from three of our Founding Fathers, conclusively state that one of the purposes of the Second Amendment is to ensure that the government does not take away an individual’s ability to defend himself or his property. The purpose is as relevant today as it was when the United States Constitution was drafted.

"The Brady Law violates these important principles enumerated by the Founding Fathers, state’s rights and local law enforcement prerogatives. I will continue to work hard in Congress to defend the rights guaranteed to every law-abiding American by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."

Congressman Jack Metcalf, who now lives in Langley, Washington, was born in 1927 in Marysville, Washington.

Jack and his wife, Norma Grant, have four daughters and nine grandchildren. They own The Log Castle Bed and Breakfast in Langley, where Jack is, as he says, an "avid outdoor sportsman."

Jack graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education in 1951. He did graduate work in Economics and History and received his Master of Arts in 1966 from the University of Washington.

Rep. Metcalf served in the United States Army in 1946 and 1947. He served in the Washington State House from 1960 until 1964. He served in the Washington State Senate from 1966 until 1974 and again from 1980 until 1992, when he first was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives.

While Jack was in the Washington State Senate, he was Chairman of the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, from 1988 until 1992. In 1987, he was Washington State Senate Assistant Republican Whip.

Jack was a high school teacher in the Everett, Washington School District for 30 years. He taught Algebra from 1951 through 1964 and History from 1965 through 1981.

In 1947 and 1948, Jack worked in Alaska as a United States Fish and Wildlife Service Patrol Boat Skipper with the U. S. Marshal Authority.

Jack is a member of United We Stand America, the Concord Coalition, the South Whidbey, Washington Kiwanis Club, the Wildcat Steelhead Club, the Skagit County Chapter of the Back Country Sportsmen, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the National Association of State Legislators, the Deer Lagoon Grange, the Farm Bureau, the South Whidbey, Washington Planning Council, and the Whidbey Island Transportation Association.

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December  Sen. Jim Bunning

Congressman Jim Bunning of Kentucky, who was elected last month to the United States Senate in a close, hard-fought election, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for December.

In nominating Bunning for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said "it gives me great pleasure at this time, when so many people are thinking that Second Amendment supporters took it squarely on the chin in the November elections, to recommend a statesman like Jim Bunning for this distinction.

"Bunning is one public official who has a sterling pro-gun record of public service who rode on that record to success last month in the elections and, as a result, will be taking office in the Senate next month. There, he will be joining other pro-gun Senators in combatting the anti-gun onslaught in that body one can expect from the far out extremists like the Schumers and Boxers.

"I’m glad that Jim Bunning has had the courage to stand up for the right to keep and bear arms and glad also that he has had electoral success in doing so. He deserves the support and encouragement of millions of law-abiding American firearms owners, and he certainly deserves presentation of this Award."

Just last month, Senator-elect Bunning wrote POINT BLANK that "I have always strongly supported the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers wisely knew that the best way to protect democracy against an all-powerful government was to enshrine in the Constitution a right for citizens to bear arms and to defend themselves. That is a principle that has not changed over the past two hundred years. You can be sure that I will continue to fight and do whatever it takes to protect the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment."

Bunning has backed up his talk with action. During the 105th Congress, he co-sponsored H. R. 339, by Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, to provide that a citizen of any state who has a permit to carry a concealed firearm issued by any state may carry that firearm in any state.

He has shown his mettle in previous Congresses as well. On November 10, 1993, for instance, he not only voted against enactment of the Brady Bill, he voted also the pro-gun way on a number of amendments offered to that measure. He voted for a successful amendment requiring the police to notify anyone denied permission to purchase a handgun of the reason for the denial within 20 days. He voted for a successful amendment to sunset the mandatory national handgun purchase waiting period within five years even if the "instant check" second phase provision had not been in place. He voted for an unfortunately unsuccessful amendment which would have pre-empted all state waiting periods when the instant check system goes on line.

On August 11, 1994, Bunning voted for a successful move to block consideration of the Clinton Crime Bill which included the ban on certain semiautomatic firearms. On August 21, 1994, just 10 days later, after the measure had been politically resurrected, Bunning voted against its passage. Unfortunately, of course, it did pass.

Bunning was first elected to the U. S. Congress from Kentucky on November 4, 1986. Prior to that, he had served four years in the Kentucky State Senate and two years on the Fort Thomas, Kentucky City Council after a very successful career as a professional baseball player.

In fact, Bunning was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. He had been a professional baseball player for over 20 years, from 1950 to 1971.

He was an investment banker and agent with McCloy-Watterston-Cowen from 1960 to 1985, and provided representation for professional athletes via the Jim Bunning Agency, Inc. from 1976 through 1988.

In the U. S. House of Representatives, Bunning served at various times on a number of committees, such as the Committee on Ways and Means, including chairmanship of its Subcommittee on Social Security, the Committee on the Budget, the Ethics Committee, the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and the Executive Committee on Committees.

A resident of Southgate, Kentucky, Sen.-elect Bunning was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, was an honor graduate of St. Xavier High School in 1949, received a B.S. in Economy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1953, and married the former Mary Catherine Theis in 1952. The couple has nine children, Barbara, Jim and Joan (twins), Cathy, Bill, Bridget, Mark, and David and Amy (twins), and 32 grandchildren.

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