- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2000

Times misfires with headline about the NRA

We were flabbergasted to read a headline in The Washington Times that suggested the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) supports "global gun control" ("Group seeks global gun control," World, Feb. 29). Nothing could be further from the truth.

For the past 4* years, the NRA, as a recognized nongovernmental organization at the United Nations, has been engaged in a battle to preserve U.S. sovereignty and protect the rights of law-abiding Americans.

In the international context, NRA supports narrow, well-focused efforts that will assist international law enforcement with preventing drug traffickers and other criminals from obtaining arms if such efforts meet three basic criteria:

First, they must be aimed at illegal conduct and not interfere with the lawful needs of the global sport-shooting community, including those who travel with their guns to hunt and engage in sport shooting competitions.

Second, they must not place unreasonable, wasteful or costly burdens on nations, manufacturers, importers and other lawful agents in the firearms industry.

Finally, these efforts must respect the sovereignty interests of every nation.

We will vigorously oppose any international agreements that require a change in our domestic laws and result in restrictions on law-abiding American gun owners.

We also will strongly oppose international agreements that are intended to eliminate or discourage private lawful firearms ownership. Our message internationally is the same as it is here at home: Focus law enforcement efforts on the criminal, not on the law-abiding hunter, target shooter or collector.


Executive director

NRA Institute for Legislative Action


Marines will cover the tab for 'Bubba'

I want to thank John McCaslin for mentioning Marine Barracks, Washington, and our presidential guests in his Inside the Beltway column ("Beers on Bubba," March 1).

I need to point out, however, a discrepancy in the column. The Center House Mess at "the Oldest Post of the Corps" is a closed mess. Only those officers currently assigned to the post are allowed regular membership in the mess and are able to open a bill for refreshments or food. Although he is an honorary member by virtue of his office, we do not charge the president of the United States any more than you would charge a guest entertained in your home.

The bar chit, accompanied by a photo of the president socializing with Marine Barracks officers, is memorabilia and not a bill.

We always have been and ever will remain proud to host the commander in chief and welcome the opportunity to have him as a guest of honor.

If this fortunate occasion arises again, he will again be our guest in every sense of the word. Semper fidelis.


Marine Corps


Responses to Gary Bauer's endorsement of John McCain

I eagerly read Gary Bauer's Feb. 28 Op-Ed column, "McCain is the best hope." When he endorsed Sen. John McCain, I was quite perplexed. I thought his column would give an explanation. It did not. The first and last sentences sum up the only possible reason for Mr. Bauer's endorsement: Mr. McCain has, in Mr. Bauer's view, the best hope of ending the Clinton-Gore era. When such a premise is both the lead and conclusion of a column, the author should use the body of the piece to support the premise. Mr. Bauer skimmed over down those areas in which his views and Mr. McCain's are polar opposites.

He said nothing about why Mr. McCain has the best chance of winning the presidency (other than pointing out that Ronald Reagan was a card-carrying union member), nor did he suggest why Texas Gov. George W. Bush's chances are smaller. I can only reach one conclusion: quid pro quo. Mr. Bauer must have been promised something to endorse the only Republican candidate whose positions are so contrary to the values on which he based his campaign.

Mr. Bauer said that because Mr. McCain has an 86 percent pro-life rating, he must be pro-life, even when Mr. McCain said it would be a family decision whether his 15-year old daughter should get an abortion if she got pregnant. Eighty-six percent? Abortion was Mr. Bauer's primary platform issue. Mr. Bauer strongly advocated using most favored nation (MFN) status for China as a bargaining chip for gaining concessions on religious persecution and other human rights issues. He suggested that Mr. McCain's vision of granting MFN to China aligns with his policy. What? He suggested that conservatives should not fear Mr. McCain's campaign finance reform initiative because it will keep the Chinese from influencing (read, making political contributions to) our elections and policies. Foreigners cannot legally contribute to political campaigns now, so why do we need Mr. McCain's reform?

I am not persuaded by Mr. Bauer's lame endorsement of Sen. McCain.


Centreville, Va.


Much has been made by enlightened television pundits and the news media in general of Sen. John McCain's claim to the Reagan political mantle. The Arizonan claims to personify the former president in his efforts to attract blue-collar Democrats and others who do not usually vote Republican in crossover primaries.

The pundits, many of whom were in elementary school when Ronald Reagan successfully ran for the Republican Party's nomination in 1980, take the McCain effort on face value and report that he is like Mr. Reagan and that Texas Gov. George W. Bush is unelectable because he is seeking Republican support, thereby marginalizing his chances in the fall. Gary Bauer echoes this sentiment in a column in The Washington Times, "McCain is the best hope."

Unlike many of the pundits, Mr. Bauer participated in the primary elections of 1980 and knows better. Having worked in the George Bush primary campaign of 1980, I think a refresher course is in order. Twenty years ago, Ronald Reagan also was criticized as being unelectable. Like the current Bush running for the White House, Mr. Reagan had his strongest support among the Republican base. Many predicted that as a result, Mr. Reagan, once nominated, would not survive a matchup against perceived centralist Jimmy Carter. Mr. Bush, as Mr. Reagan's opponent, appealed to the more moderate elements of the party and to independents.

Using a McCain-like strategy, Mr. Bush won the 1980 Michigan primary as well as primaries in the more moderate states of Pennsylvania and Connecticut. So the legacy Mr. Reagan established in the 1980 primaries is not what Mr. McCain and his media friends would have you believe. George W. Bush, in fact, is replicating Mr. Reagan's strategy. The Texas governor's efforts to gain the support of Republicans in the primaries will follow naturally with Reagan Democrats and like-minded independents in the fall, just like Mr. Reagan's strategy did in 1980. It's a darn shame for some when history gets in the way of good story.




I have admired Gary Bauer for years at the Family Research Council, but now it seems that he needs to get his facts straight about Sen. John McCain.

I was reasonably positive about Mr. McCain early on but have since learned enough about him to realize he is not a conservative after all. The biggest clincher for me was the cover story in the Feb. 19 issue of World magazine. After reading that article, I am convinced that Mr. McCain is not really the conservative he pretends to be. Unfortunately, Mr. Bauer can't seem to see that.

I suggest that Mr. Bauer read the article and get his facts straight about Mr. McCain. Then he should apologize for his misunderstandings and get behind Gov. George W. Bush for president.


Harvest, Ala.

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