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SITTING IN A DRAFT

Rep. Charles B. Rangel is fine with the Defense Department decision to allow female soldiers in direct combat. It also draws attention to his pet cause.

“A more equal military? Bring back the draft,” the New York Democrat says in a CNN commentary. “Taking this critical step forward to include women in combat strengthens our military by reducing the burden of the disproportionate number of soldiers who are making sacrifices. I sincerely hope that this will spark a national debate about who is fighting our wars and whether all of America can say that we’re sharing the sacrifice.

“Since January 2003, at the height of the debate on the possible unilateral strike against Iraq, I have advocated for a reinstatement of the military draft to ensure a more equitable representation of people making sacrifices in wars in which the United States is engaged,” Mr. Rangel notes.

“Since we replaced the compulsory military draft with an all-volunteer force in 1973, our nation has been making decisions about wars without worry over who fights them. I sincerely believe that reinstating the draft would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation. That is why I wrote the Universal National Service Act, known as the ‘draft’ bill, which requires all men and women between ages 18 and 25 to give two years of service in any capacity that promotes our national defense.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 93 percent of National Rifle Association members oppose a law requiring gun owners to register with the federal government.

• 92 percent oppose gun confiscation via mandatory buy-back laws; 92 percent oppose a federal law banning the sale of firearms between private citizens.

• 91 percent support laws keeping firearms away from the mentally ill.

• 89 percent oppose banning semi-automatic firearms, often “mistakenly called assault rifles.”

• 82 percent approve of the idea of “qualified armed security professionals in every school.”

• 79 percent agree that President Obama’s “balanced approach” to guns means regulations that “will take away our Second Amendment rights.”

• 72 percent say that Mr. Obama’s “ultimate goal is the confiscation of many firearms that are currently legal.”

Source: A National Rifle Association poll of 1,000 of its members conducted Jan. 13 and 14 and released Friday.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.