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Archive for Sunday, May 12, 1991

TO THE EDITOR

May 12, 1991

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To the Editor:

I am surprised and disappointed that our representative, Jim Slattery, voted against the Brady gun control bill which chiefly requires a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases. Fortunately, the House passed the bill by a margin of 53 votes (239 to 186), including the votes of Jan Meyers, Republican, and Dan Glickman, Democrat, both of Kansas.

Not even Jim Brady, a victim of an assassin's bullet, claims that the bill is perfect, but it is certainly better than nothing; and if it is "ineffectual" as critics state, why is the National Rifle Assn., so fervently against it? The NRA's substitute measure would take five years or more to put into effect, according to the Justice Department itself. A big majority of the House had the good sense to reject this substitute bill (the Staggers Amendment), Jim Slattery and other NRA supporters notwithstanding.

Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan have supported gun control legislation, Reagan stating, "It is just plain common sense that there be a waiting period to allow law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on those who wish to buy a handgun." And this from a lifetime member of the NRA! Moreover, every law enforcement group in the nation supports the Brady bill, which still has to pass the Senate and be signed by the president. Poll after poll show a majority of upwards of 90 percent of the people supporting gun control legislation, including those who have firearms. Who then, is against the bill except the NRA leadership as well as our own Jim Slattery?

Of course, the NRA has a powerful lobby and is spending millions to defeat the Brady bill, and in the past they have apparently frightened congressmen running for re-election to vote "their way." It amazes me how the vast majority of the will of the people has, in the past at least, been thwarted by such a powerful lobby, but now there may be hope with the House passage of the Brady bill. As Jim Brady himself stated, "Truth has won a victory."

Harold Piehler,

610 W. 29th Pl.

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