As good as their word

Posted: May 18, 2006 12:05 AM
The line in the sand has been drawn. Either you stand with the 2nd amendment or against it. And this time, there’ll be penalties for infringing on the rights of law abiding Americans.

The National Rifle Association is issuing a challenge to our nation’s mayors and police chiefs: sign a pledge that you will never take the guns from those you serve. The impetus for this is obviously the confiscation of firearms from residents of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But there is a growing concern that mayors across the country are becoming the frontline soldiers in the latest fight for more gun control laws.

Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice-President of the NRA, says “When the Second Amendment is only as good as your mayor or your police chief says it is, the NRA must take action.” You can expect that big city mayors like New York’s Michael Bloomberg and Boston’s Thomas Menino will scoff at the NRA’s challenge.

What does it mean if they refuse to sign? Quite frankly, it means you know where they stand: against your 2nd amendment rights. But there will be other mayors who might find it politically expedient to put their name on the pledge, knowing full well they will disregard their promise if and when the time comes.

For those mayors, the NRA has a message: break your word and go to jail. The NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, says the group will introduce legislation that makes it a criminal act to seize firearms from law abiding citizens. “If you’re in a position of public authority and you use it to forcibly disarm law-abiding citizens, you’re not going to get your hand slapped or pay a fine or get a good scolding from some judge in a few months down the line. You’re going to be arrested on the spot and you’re going to jail.”

This week, in cities across the country, many mayors are holding anti-gun events organized by the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun groups. The language has changed, the message has become couched in phrases like “illegal guns”. But at its heart, the goal is still the same: bans on firearms, restrictions on gun owners, and a full makeover of the 2nd amendment so it protects the “right to hunt”.

As you listen to your mayor talk about the need to get illegal guns off the street, ask yourself if the mayor truly stands with the Constitution. Better yet, use your voice and ask the mayor yourself. After all, he can now put it in writing.

One quick note. You can hear the NRA leaders speak on this issue Saturday morning by logging on to at 10 a.m. Eastern.