The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jeff Martinek Letter 9/09/04

To The Editor:

The 10-year ban on assault rifles is due to expire on Monday. Polls show that two-thirds of Americans favor the extension of the ban on these military-style weapons.

Public health groups have called for the ban’s extension and police chiefs from large U.S. cities rallied last Wednesday at a Washington D.C. memorial for fallen police officers to ask the President to take action.

They should have reason for optimism: President Bush promised to extend the ban during his 2000 campaign, and just this week, through a White House spokesman, he contended that he “supports the reauthorization of the current ban.”

So why has a Congress controlled by the president’s party done nothing to bring a bill reauthorizing the ban to the President’s desk?

The answer is simple and cynical: The National Rifle Association.

The NRA, which has strategically withheld its support and vast soft-money resources from the president until the ban expires, is determined to hold him hostage in its outrageous campaign to put assault weapons back on the street. If the President can make it to Monday without an extension bill reaching his desk, he stands to receive a massive wave of NRA support, including hour-long infomercial ad-buys in swing states dedicated to attacking John Kerry.

Will the president go back on another campaign promise, pretend that he’s powerless to prod a Republican Congress, and allow the NRA to dictate national gun policy in the midst of a war on terror?

We’ll know in a matter of days. And we’ll take that knowledge to the polls on November 2nd.

Jeff Martinek
Joplin, MO

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