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By Larry Pratt

October 17, 2006

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is an example of why politics has a bad name.

As an NRA board member, Dingell voted to ban semi-automatic firearms owned by millions of Americans. Of course, these were guns protected by the Second Amendment as well as the militia clauses of Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. The militia of our Constitution is predicated upon individuals owning their own firearms.

But Dingell joined with the hysteria of the early 1990's and went with the crowd rather than his oath of office to uphold the Constitution. To add insult to injury, the gun that was allegedly bringing death to our streets was used many times less to kill than were (and are) hands and feet.

Dingell got a free ride as a supporter of the Second Amendment for years as a member of the National Rifle Association board of directors. Happily, there was enough of a furor following his vote (that especially pleased Sarah Brady of Handgun Control, Inc.) that he left the NRA Board.

But Dingell is still clinging to his pro-gun disguise with his membership in the Congressional Sportsmen�s Caucus. This organization gives pro-gun cover to some flaming gun banners. In addition to Dingell (who most years earns a D), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are a few of the D and F rated members of Congress as scored by Gun Owners of America. These chameleons try to snow gun owners by their membership in the Caucus. The entire membership of the Caucus and their GOA ratings can be found at [Read]

There are a growing number of votes that reveal Dingell as a firearms chameleon. For example, at a time when Muslim jihadis are trying to destroy airliners, Dingell voted against arming pilots in their cockpits.

Perhaps this vote can be better understood by a recent statement made by Dingell about the Muslim terrorist group, Hezbollah: "I don�t take sides for or against Hezbollah: I don�t take sides for or against Israel." Does Dingell think that in addition to keeping airline pilots disarmed that Israel should be also? Does he believe in any self-defense?

Perhaps he thinks that the UN will bring peace to the world. Is that why he has opposed congressional measures to bring the UN to account for its corruption and toleration of genocide?

Dingell�s view of the moral equivalence between Hezbollah and Israel suggests that the Representative is in a moral tailspin.

Happily, I am not trying to disseminate my opinion about Dingell on radio or TV within sixty days of a federal election. It would be tempting to do so, but alas, Dingell has blocked that exercise of our First Amendment freedom � he voted to gag criticism of federal officials in the run up to Election Day. This was done in the McCain/Feingold Incumbent�s Protection Act of 2001.

Dingell had a chance to remove advocacy groups from the pre-election gag law the next year, but he voted to keep the gag in place. At the same time he voted that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right.

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So, criticism is muted, and meanwhile the Congressman continues to pretend to be a friend of gun owners with his membership in the Congressional Sportsmen�s Caucus.

� 2006 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved

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Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.

The GOA web site is: Pratt's weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at:  

E-Mail: [email protected]

Either Pratt or another GOA spokesman is available for press interviews.










But Dingell joined with the hysteria of the early 1990's and went with the crowd rather than his oath of office to uphold the Constitution.