On the Assault Weapon Ban

You may remember from the media spectacle following the 1999 Columbine High School shooting tragedy Tom Mauser, father of Daniel Mauser, one of the victims of the shooting. Mr. Mauser became an outspoken gun control activist, helping pass a ballot initiative in Colorado that closed the "gun show loophole" since four of the guns used in the Columbine shooting were purchased without background checks at gun shows. The assault weapons ban which was passed in 1994 is set to expire September 13 unless congress acts to renew the legislation.

In response, Tom Mauser has launched something called "Tom's Petition," to collect signatures to support renewing the ban: "Congress must renew this ban or military-style assault weapons will be back on the street and available for sale in our neighborhoods. We cannot let this happen"

Interesting, Bush has said on the record he would support extending the ban, but gun control activists are pessimistic:

WASHINGTON -- As a presidential candidate in 1999, George W. Bush was outraged when a man used an assault weapon to wound three people at a California community center. "It makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society," Bush said at the time, vowing to uphold a national ban on such weapons, which had been instituted five years earlier.

But now Bush's words are being put to a test in a way that could become a major campaign issue this fall. [...]

"The Bush administration has said one thing and it is doing the exact opposite," said Michael Barnes, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "The president indicated this is something he supports, but he is clearly allowing it to go away. And it is tragic. Lives will be lost."

A White House spokeswoman, Claire Buchan, asked what Bush has done to promote the renewal of the ban, responded that the president's position "has not changed" and that he would sign the legislation if it came to his desk.

> Boston Globe: "Assault weapon issue moves to fore"


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