AHSA sez it opposes an AWB (?)


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30 cal slob
March 4, 2009, 01:27 PM
sorry if this is a dupe.

it's in writing. don't know if the letter to the AG has actually been sent. lol.

p.s. I'm not a member, I'm just passing this info on.

http://www.huntersandshooters.com/

February 26, 2009

Mr. Eric Holder
United States Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Holder:

Congratulations on your appointment and confirmation as Attorney General of the United States. I am writing to address your recent comments about the renewal of the federal assault weapons, which I read in The Hill today. This raises grave concerns for me and other law-abiding gun owners. I strongly urge you to reconsider this effort.

For the past four years, I have served as President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). We are a gun rights organization with a commitment to protecting our environment, preserving open spaces and keeping our communities safe. Then-candidate Obama shared many of our views and we endorsed his candidacy last April. I was honored to serve as a surrogate for the campaign. Last fall, I spent a great deal of time talking to gun owners, many of whom were union members, on behalf of the Obama-Biden ticket through over 40 appearances in Ohio, Minnesota, Florida and Colorado. I also did a radio ad, which was broadcast nationally, and was featured in the campaign's direct mail. Barack Obama's election was critically important for the future of our nation and to the million of gun owners, like me, who voted for him.

That is the reason I want to address the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which passed in 1994 in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and expired on September 13, 2004. It is my understanding that the Obama administration continues to state its intention to reinstate that ban. I would strongly encourage you to negate that effort. The assault weapons ban is an issue of great import to America's law-abiding hunters and shooters, who I represent through my role as President of AHSA. But, this issue shouldn't be based on politics, it's about policy.

Most importantly, as studies have shown, the law had no measurable effect on crime reduction and created an easily avoidable template for gun manufacturers to work around. Instead, the law demonized lawful gun owners and became a lightning rod for a decade long public debate over gun crime that merely served to divert time and resources from our already over-burdened law enforcement agencies. Frankly, it has been an unnecessary distraction. Gun owners support efforts to keep our communities safe. We just want those policies directed at the root cause of crime and violence and not just symbolism, which is how the Washington Post accurately described the ban back in 1994.

Since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban's enactment, the studies analyzing its effect showed there was no statistical significant evidence that it reduced gun crimes. In fact, two studies prepared for the United States government confirm that fact: The Department Of Justice-funded study issued in July of 2004 titled "Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003" and the Center for Disease Control's Task Force on Community Preventive Services report "First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws" issued in October of 2003.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban's major thrust, which was based on a political compromise between competing bills in the U.S. Senate, was to ban the manufacture and sale of certain gun models that had two or more of the following features, considered by most to be merely cosmetic: pistol grip, folding/collapsible stock, flash suppressor/muzzle brake, large-capacity detachable magazine, bayonet mounting point, and a grenade launcher mounting point. However, manufacturers just put these features on guns in variable combinations instead of using an "all-in-one" approach, meaning that post-ban guns sold were effectively duplicates of pre-ban guns with a mix and match of the isolated features. The new law became a "charade."

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban also prohibited the production of large capacity ammunition feeding devices (clips) that carried more than 10 rounds. However, large pre-ban clips were always available, albeit with a higher price point, from dealers, on the internet, at gun shows, or from international sources (especially from former Warsaw Pact countries that had large quantities of AK-47 magazines of various capacities that could fit a variety of both pre-ban and post-ban AK-47 variants). Again, the law was meaningless.

In addition, law abiding sport shooters, collectors, self-defense advocates and hunters who bought semi-automatic replicas of military ordinance felt they had become targets of over-reaching law enforcement agencies because of the demonization of their lawfully owned guns or what they thought was a lawful hobby. This caused a chilling of support for law enforcement by an untold number of citizens who would never imagine themselves as law-breakers, which is exactly the opposite response you would hope to get from legislation intended to fight crime.

Finally, since the ban was first enacted back in 1994, there has been a major development in the interpretation of the Second Amendment, which must also be considered. The decision in Heller v. District of Columbia established the principle that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court decision must guide your thinking as you proceed.

We share your commitment to reducing crime and gun violence. We believe, as law-abiding gun owners, the way to do that is not by banning guns, but by making sure that criminals, terrorists and people who can harm themselves and others do not get guns. Law-abiding gun-owners will overwhelmingly support your efforts along those lines. Again, I applaud your long-standing service to our country and defense of the Constitution. I do however ask you work to ensure that any law enforcement legislation the administration proposes aimed at reducing gun crime in our communities will actually lower gun crime. Policy considerations should dictate this decision.

Sincerely,

Ray Schoenke, President
American Hunters and Shooters Association

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Jim K
March 4, 2009, 01:37 PM
AHSA is a hand puppet for the Democratic party; if they say that, it only means the administration is trying to build AHSA's credibility.

The fact is that the Obama administration is in power now, and plans to stay in power; they don't give a tinker's dam what anyone thinks or says. (Obama's expression of admiration for Hugo Chavez should tell us something about his own plans.)

Jim

leadcounsel
March 4, 2009, 01:42 PM
Well I applaud Mr. Schoenke for taking the time to write Mr. Holder, but I'd like to tell Mr. Schoenke he's a ******** for inviting the Wolves into the henhouse - full well knowing their intention and history of eating hens - and then pleading with them to not eat the hens.

Mark my works, the MOMENT the Dems have a viable chance at an AWB they will enact it. Why wouldn't they? It's in their blood. They hate guns. They want them all banned, and this is the logical easy sell on the American public, and it's a logical incremental step.

So, Mr. Schoenke, I guess we have your organization among others to thank for the impending AWB. Good job! Way to unite gun owners on a common goal of protecting the 2A. :banghead::fire:

rbernie
March 4, 2009, 01:52 PM
Ray is not stupid - they know that the last AWB did not achieve the social re-engineering goals that they wanted and that the Heller decision made weapon bans much more legally problematic.

To properly effect long-term reduction in the availability of firearms, they (AHSA and others) are focusing their efforts on supporting the complete regulation of the point of sale rather than trying to ban specific classes of weapons. If they can control the point of sale via mandatory .gov background checks for all purchases (which effectively place the .gov in the position to approve/disapprove any firearm transfer) then they can better achieve their desired end goal (reduction in active firearms ownership) than they would have had they supported a ban on specific classes of weapons. This is why the ASHA does not publicly support an AWB but does strongly support 'closing the gun show loophole', as they term private face-to-face gun sales.

They also know that 'the gun show loophole' is a softer target than an AWB. After all, we should all support 'keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people', shouldn't we? :rolleyes: Never mind the fact that the .gov gets to define who is the 'right' type...

Remember - by the DoJ's own statistics, the majority of conviced felons who used a gun in the commission of their crime obtained that firearm legally, by today's standards of what is legal. The only place for the gun banners to go to reduce the number of guns, when addressing this from a crime reduction angle, is to either ban the objects themselves or redefine 'legal' in an increasingly restrictive manner.

We believe, as law-abiding gun owners, the way to do that is not by banning guns, but by making sure that criminals, terrorists and people who can harm themselves and others do not get guns. This is classic gun-banner logic, and the signature by which we should recognize those that stand against the RKBA.

"If we only regulate the object more fully, then social ills will be reduced."

"Criminals, terrorists and people who can harm themselves and others" will always get guns or whatever alternate means they need to effect their agenda. You cannot stop this. Working to stop this is a fools errand - it would probably be far more effective to work towards mitigating the impact of their actions rather than trying to PREVENT them.

TimRB
March 4, 2009, 03:48 PM
I blundered onto the Democratic Underground site today, searching for info on AHSA. Schoenke is actually being discussed there, and even *they* have come to a semi-consensus that gun control, or at least "assault weapons", as a political issue, is a loser for the Democrats, citing the Dem bloodbath that followed the Clinton AWB.

Rbernie's theory seems quite plausible to me, so we should not lose sight of the fact that AHSA is, and always has been, an anti-gun organization.

Tim

Zoogster
March 4, 2009, 05:21 PM
They are not stupid, they want guns restricted and banned, fewer guns in fewer hands but they will do it incrementaly.

They saw the unified backlash from just publicity about a potential new AWB, and realize as a group pretending to be pro gun they need to seem more attractive to appear a credible voice speaking on behalf of gun owners.

They operate by claiming a position they feel is mainstream enough to seem credible. They then work to slowly convince everyone more controls is better from there.
Since the AWB is not even an acceptable tactic right now they are backing off from that.

They go through stages. They pretend to be mainstream between elections. The pretend to represent gun owners and try to actualy get gun owners believing they speak for them.
Then when it comes time for actual legislation they can claim to speak for gun owners, steer gun owners towards directions of failure, and otherwise be a tool to reduce the effectiveness of gun owners.

It is not an accident most of the sponsors and founders of the AHSA were anti-gun, like previous members of the Brady bunch.. That is not even subtle, and sneaky. You would have at least thought they could hire some random people not previously associated with anti gun efforts.

They act as a trojan horse, behind enemy lines, and they wait until the time is right to steer people that think they are credible into disaster. Encourage people to compromise on legislation they think has a chance.

Right now is a recruiting cycle. They will try to be attractive and "mainstream" for now.
It is a strategic game, and thier prize is reduction of firearms held by US citizens. There is many branches of gun control some well connected like the VPC/Bradys and the AHSA. The branch pretending to be the voice of gun owners will always be a little softer in rhetoric than thier other branches. Until the legislation is on the table, there is a chance of it passing, and they need to reduce gun owner opposition. Then the fake pro-gun branch will briefly favor "compromise", destroy united opposition, and then pretend once more to be pro-gun and against other legislation until the next time legislation or elections matter.
Strategic multi-layered warfare against the 2nd Amendment, by only a small total number of people speaking through many different groups.

Thier ideal scenario would be if the media asked the opinion of the AHSA (instead of the NRA) and the Brady bunch as if they were two opposing sides of the story or any legislation on the table. Even just citing them as an equal "pro-gun" voice along with the NRA would be a dream come true for the antis.
The AHSA could then pretend to reluctantly agree the type of legislation might help or be good, while the Brady side would be a much stronger rhetoric.
The end result if the public bought it of course would be rapid reduction of 2nd Amendment rights.
Fortunately the pro-gun public has not been so foolish.

john1911
March 4, 2009, 06:32 PM
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban's major thrust, which was based on a political compromise between competing bills in the U.S. Senate, was to ban the manufacture and sale of certain gun models that had two or more of the following features, considered by most to be merely cosmetic: pistol grip, folding/collapsible stock, flash suppressor/muzzle brake, large-capacity detachable magazine, bayonet mounting point, and a grenade launcher mounting point. However, manufacturers just put these features on guns in variable combinations instead of using an "all-in-one" approach, meaning that post-ban guns sold were effectively duplicates of pre-ban guns with a mix and match of the isolated features. The new law became a "charade."

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban also prohibited the production of large capacity ammunition feeding devices (clips) that carried more than 10 rounds. However, large pre-ban clips were always available, albeit with a higher price point, from dealers, on the internet, at gun shows, or from international sources (especially from former Warsaw Pact countries that had large quantities of AK-47 magazines of various capacities that could fit a variety of both pre-ban and post-ban AK-47 variants). Again, the law was meaningless.


Scary as h#ll to me. Sounds like they want the new ban to be much more restrictive. Want to make sure there's no way around any new ban.

AHSA is not our friend nor do they support the 2A.

dbarile
March 4, 2009, 06:39 PM
AHSA

A leopard does not change it's spots. If the local meth dealer started giving out ice cream I wouldn't want any. Until PROVEN otherwise they are not the friend of gun owners.

Wonder what he is really up to?

yokel
March 4, 2009, 06:49 PM
Alas, laws “imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” are expressly supported in the Heller decision.

This will prove to be the Achilles' heel in the struggle to preserve the right of the people to keep and bear arms in an uninfringed manner.

Heller affords our adversaries far too much wiggle room to maintain and expand all their Mickey Mouse regulations and restrictions that smell of contempt for the Second Amendment, and are enacted with a view to deter, dissuade, and inhibit ownership of anything deemed objectionable.

Zoogster
March 4, 2009, 06:49 PM
John1911 you are able to see they even word thier language in an anti-gun way for those intelligent antis reading without being blatant.

They are saying:
The previous ban was meaningless, not because we don't agree with the intent or the reduction in freedom, but because it was only cosmetic and did not restrict already owned "pre-ban" items.

Without saying so they are saying they do agree with legislation such as HR1022 which reduced the features to 1. Having a detachable magazine and other other feature automaticly made it a restricted "assault weapon".

D) A semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine, and that has--

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

(ii) a threaded barrel;

(iii) a pistol grip;

(iv) a forward grip; or

(v) a barrel shroud.

They also aimed to ban conversion kits to make firearms comply with legislation, making the kits themselves assault weapons. You could not even make a gun comply with the law by removing the unlawful features:

(30) The term `semiautomatic assault weapon' means any of the following:


(K) A conversion kit.


Additionaly even firearms without any of those features were automaticly assault weapons if ever adopted for use by the US government, or any federal LEO agency or the military or were similar or based on designs that were. That includes most reliable firearm designs. It also mean to ban a gun all they had to do was start issuing it in small amounts in any federal agency (like the ATF!):

(L) A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, and a firearm shall not be determined to be particularly suitable for sporting purposes solely because the firearm is suitable for use in a sporting event.'.

Have to appreciate the last part too. Essentialy saying even if it is "sporting" it still is not automaticly "sporting" because "sporting" to us is just a term to ban guns! Notice it also would have given the Attorney General, Eric Holder the ability to ban most guns at will.


I think the AHSA would have been quite happy with HR1022 at the last moment if it had a chance of passing. At the last moment a "common sense compromise" would have been urged.
Wolves in sheep's clothing.

leadcounsel
March 4, 2009, 07:06 PM
First it was short barreled shotguns and class III stuff. Next it'll be scary 'assault weapons' (mislabeled of course). After that, they'll come for the hunting rifles and shotguns.

Justin
March 4, 2009, 07:43 PM
The Democrats realize that an attempt to renew the AWB is most likely untenable. My guess is that while they are currently backpedaling away from it that they're going to come up with a "compromise." Probably a federal regulation requiring all firearm transfers to go through an FFL/NICS check.

JWarren
March 4, 2009, 08:27 PM
Doesn't AHSA only have like 200 members nationwide?

Seems that the best thing we could do is just write them off as the irrelevent group that they are and not give them any more free publicity.

Eventually, they will just go away...


-- John

CoRoMo
March 4, 2009, 08:38 PM
I think this is BS. +1 on the Chicago boys probably requested this letter so that the publicity would legitimize the AHSA and set up the next "compromise".

The Dems are currently backpedaling because many of them know and have heard from their constituents that talking about guns gets them voted out. Madame Pelosi heard from enough of them that she herself spoke publicly about no interest in gun legislation. They can't retain power by getting voted out, see. For some of these Dems, the retaining of their elected office is insured by the fact that guns stay out of the discussion. They'll definitely take their shot but only they know when it will happen.

JWarren
March 4, 2009, 09:00 PM
They'll definitely take their shot but only they know when it will happen.


Nah... They will take their shot only when they know it will happen AND they can still keep their jobs.


In 1994, it did happen-- but a lot lost their jobs over it. Pelosi LOVES being SOTH. She loses that if her party loses the majority.

If I understand politics and motive as well as I think I do, an AWB won't be called up for a vote if Pelosi thinks it may cost her the SOTH position in 2010.

Post Mid-terms, I'll get REAL worried. Remember... she ALSO doesn't want to piss off her constituents either..




-- John

hso
March 4, 2009, 09:15 PM
You could have knocked me over with a feather, until I read the whole "letter".

I hope everyone who sees it, the antis and closet antis, will see "AHSA opposes AWB" and not the backhanded message hidden in the body.

Hk91-762mm
March 4, 2009, 09:36 PM
ITS a scam---If he really sent that letter -You can bet it was followed up by a phone call telling him to toss it in the trash when he gets it and carry on as usual.
Now about that 50cal ban Ray !!!

TX1911fan
March 5, 2009, 01:02 AM
He basically outlines the flaws in the law, rather than in the logic underlying the law. In essence, he told Obama that he opposes a crappy AWB like the last one. He didn't say they wouldn't support a better AWB should it come along. Guy is still a snake.

CoRoMo
March 5, 2009, 10:31 AM
JWarren...

Thank you. Your correction is most accurate.
They will not pass up the chance to seize another sizable amount of freedom from us that is for sure. I'm certain that the party as a whole would even consider losing a midterm election, due to a number of politicians that were necessary to sacrifice, just to accomplish this one power grab.

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