Monday, September 13, 2004


"W" Is For Weapons

Today marks the expiration of the ban on assault weapons. Although an extension of the ban passed a vote in the Senate, Republican leadership blocked any efforts to hold a vote in the House of Representatives thus ending a decade-long ban that has contributed to the declining rate of violent crime over the last ten years. Despite his handlers' claims that George W. Bush supports the ban, the President did nothing to encourage his fellow Republicans in the House to hold a vote for the extension.

While John Kerry offered his own crime prevention plan, he also blasted the President for allowing the ban to expire.

However, if you are familiar with our President's record on guns, today's actions come as no surprise. As I've stated before, I used to live in Houston, Texas. In fact, I lived there during the 1994 gubernatorial race between Bush and the incumbent Ann Richards. One of Bush's major platforms during the campaign was a promise that he would sign into law a bill that would allow individuals to carry concealed weapons. Ann Richards had strongly opposed any such bill. Well, as we all know, Bush won that election and on May 26, 1995, during his first year as Governor, he made good on his promise. Later during his term in 1997, he signed a law that made it illegal to prosecute a person for carrying a gun into a church if the church did not have a sign posted prohibiting firearms. He also refused to support a law that would require background checks at gun shows despite his claims to the contrary, and he was in opposition to legislation that required mandatory safety locks on handguns. In his words, his actions were meant to make people safer. What was the result of all of this? In 1998, there were 1,176 guns used in crimes outside the state of Texas that could be traced to Texas gun dealers. So much for being safer.

George W. Bush could have done something to extend the assault weapons ban, but as John Kerry said, he looked the other way. But this isn't the first time he's done that. When it comes to making people safer, George Bush has made a habit of looking the other way. He likes to tell you how safe we are, and how he is the one that will protect us, but, as I have said many times before, we are not safe. With our military spread throughout the Middle East, our focus over seas, and our money going in support of an unnecessary war, we are actually less safe here at home. Ninety-five percent of all the cargo that enters our country goes unchecked. Our nuclear facilities are being guarded by private security firms that are responsible for their own evaluations. Our water facilities are unguarded and left open to chemical or biological attacks. Our country's borders are as porous as they were prior to September 11, 2001. All we need to do is look at the recent terrorist activities at a school in Russia to see what is possible. Anyone who thinks that something like that couldn't happen in the United States is living in a dream world. An attack of that magnitude could happen in any school, business, or public building here in America on any given day. By sending our entire military elsewhere, George Bush has left the home base unguarded.

That's something this administration won't tell you, because this threat is very real and they know that as long as we are focused elsewhere that there is nothing we can do to prevent it. The Bush administration has indeed left our country left safe by sticking with a reckless foriegn policy. Not only that, but now they are cutting funding to our first responders here at home. In fact, Bush has proposed to cut funding from the Community Oriented Policing Services program, known as COPS, from $482 million to $97 million next year alone. Add this to today's expiration of the assault weapons ban and you get a pretty grim picture for the future of America's safety.

The facts are clear: George W. Bush will not keep you safe. If you value your safety, your only choice is to vote Bush out of office on November 2.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by