Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Decision Time for Bob Barr

As the rumors of his candidacy first surfaced, I sent an email to the exploratory committee asking for the same kind of unequivocal support for the Second Amendment expressed here by Ron Paul:

...More importantly, however, the debate about certain types of weapons ignores the fundamental purpose of the Second amendment. The Second amendment is not about hunting deer or keeping a pistol in your nightstand. It is not about protecting oneself against common criminals. It is about preventing tyranny. The Founders knew that unarmed citizens would never be able to overthrow a tyrannical government as they did. They envisioned government as a servant, not a master, of the American people. The muskets they used against the British Army were the assault rifles of the time. It is practical, rather than alarmist, to understand that unarmed citizens cannot be secure in their freedoms. It’s convenient for gun banners to dismiss this argument by saying “That could never happen here, this is America”- but history shows that only vigilant people can keep government under control. By banning certain weapons today, we may plant the seeds for tyranny to flourish ten, thirty, or fifty years from now...

In response, I received nothing - not even the courtesy of a "we'll get back to you".

After the campaign officially launched, I sent a $100 donation, and noted again the importance of an unequivocal (some would say "absolutist") statement re the Second.

They gladly took the money, but the requested statement?

No response - neither to me directly, nor, much more importantly, on the campaign website.

Then David Codrea posted this challenge to the Barr campaign:

An Open Challenge to Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr

Mr. Barr,

As WarOnGuns visitors were recently reminded, based on reporting by Gun Owners of America:

On September 28, 1996, you issued a memo on Congressional letterhead advocating:

The Lautenberg amendment with the Barr language is strong protection for women and children.

On October 12, 1996, you sent a letter to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, claiming you "improved" the Lautenberg language so it could not be struck down by the courts, stating:

Under the Lautenberg language -- which was cleared up through my amendatory language that was adopted -- there was no consistent definition of "crime of domestic violence," and therefore the entire provision would have been declared unconstitutional. My language corrected this deficiency by setting forth the common elements of the crime that would apply to everyone.

On Mar. 6, 1997, your editorial, "Don't Wink at Violence," was published in USA Today. In it, you wrote:

[Lautenberg] is important and worthwhile legislation, and we cannot allow its effectiveness to be reduced.

Despite the fact you then voted for Lautenberg as part of an omnibus spending bill, there are those who would like to hear your reasoning. I'm among those.

But I think you need to go one step further. With the exception of your USA Today piece, which can be purchased individually (but not disseminated in total without violating copyright), the other referenced documents aren't accessible to scrutiny.

This issue will not go away, Mr. Barr--you will either address it directly, and explain yourself--or ignore it.

I challenge you to release and post the full text of your memo, your AJC letter, and your USA Today opinion piece, and let gun owners read your words for themselves. And I challenge the Libertarian Party to demand it of you as well.

Response from the Barr campaign?

Nothing - despite several gentle reminders from David.

Today, after stewing for several days, I jumped on board with this note to the campaign:


Received your email below today re the YouTube efforts.

As head of Congressman Barr’s eCampaign, you must realize the importance of building and sustaining momentum on the ‘Net if the candidate is to stand a chance.

That is why the Congressman’s failure to answer the questions posed by David Codrea here is so inexplicable.

David’s blog is widely read and extremely influential with one of the key demographics in your campaign.

The failure to address David’s questions might possibly be explained by lack of notice, but there are a LOT of people drawing other, derogatory conclusions from the silence.

I am one of those people, as not only have David's questions gone unanswered, but so too my prior emails to the campaign requesting an unequivocal statement of direct support for the Second Amendment from Congressman Barr.

My initial $100 donation to the campaign was an ante, as has been my support for the Congressman on our blog:

Plug 1

Plug 2

Plug 3

I am an attorney located in Atlanta, and am ready, willing, and able to support Congressman Barr to the full extent of Federal election law. However, you and the campaign should know that I will not be making further contributions, in kind or in cash, until this matter is addressed satisfactorily.

Please fix this omission quickly. I look forward to your reply by close of business, Atlanta time, June 25, 2008.

We'll see what, if any, response comes from the Barr camp.

But if the sanctity of private weapons as a bulwark against government tyranny were a strongly-held belief, that principle would already be featured on the Barr campaign website.

I wonder if the citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum felt this way in the days before their little encounter with history?

Tempus fugit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

CB: Nice of you to keep plugging away in an attempt to find a decent politician. Since Barr is an obvious choice for many of us, it's even better that you are trying to find his true colors.

Sigh. It could have been him. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse have not done well recently, perhaps it's time to switch to Bart Simpson.

June 24, 2008 at 2:03 AM  
Blogger James said...

As a U.S. Attorney, Barr zealously prosecuted Americans who exercised their RKBA in violation of NFA-34 and GCA-68. As a member of Congress, Barr voted for the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment to expand GCA-68 and voted for the misnamed PATRIOT Act to gut the Fourth Amendment. In spite of these facts, you sent the scoundrel $100? Incredible, simply incredible.

Charles Schumer claims to support the Second Amendment. Will you be sending him $100 next?

June 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Oldsmoblogger said...

I am not a lawyer, but beyond the infringement of the Second Amendment, Lautenberg looks an awful lot like an ex post facto law.

Either my amateur jurisprudence is off base, or they don't even seriously pretend to respect the Constitution any more. Ready or not, here it comes, I reckon....

June 24, 2008 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger mercurysys said...

Try to catch him on the Radio Factor today at 12, if they are taking calls while he is on. Don't let him get off the hook by avoiding the questions.

June 24, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Concerned American said...


I got it re his US Attorney job.

I used to be a drug prosecutor. I have since repudiated most of the tenets and laws I formerly enforced with zeal.

If Saul of Tarses could be accepted after the road to Damascus, I am willing to grant others the same chance.

What I won't accept is the apparent refusal to address the issue squarely.

June 24, 2008 at 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Barr has had his chance. Neglecting to take a position on something as important as 2A says A LOT. Oops, wrongO, he already did take a position with Lautenberg and his US Attorney activities.

And that's not the only issue he's left swinging in the breeze.

At this point, BobBARR is just a vote splitter among conservatives and libertarians. Thus, adding to Hussein Obama's vote totals by default. We can't afford to allow Hussein Obama to win, period.

Das Katze

June 25, 2008 at 1:44 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Concerned American,

I'm familiar with federal and state prosecutors, but I've never heard of a "drug prosecutor." The prosecutors I know who handle drug cases also eagerly prosecute Americans who peaceably possess firearms in violation of unconstitutional anti-gun statutes.

Barr has had 18 years to repudiate his prosecution of American gun owners and 12 years to apologize for his ardent support of the Lautenberg Amendment. He hasn't done so and there's nothing other than wishful thinking to believe he ever will.

For someone who won't accept Barr's "apparent refusal to address the issue squarely," you were awful quick to contribute $100 to his campaign. For the LP to nominate Barr eviscerates their "Party of Principle" slogan.

I wonder if the Americans you imprisoned on drug charges (which excludes our current and former presidents who avoided apprehension for their drug use) — thereby revoking their "privilege" to possess firearms thanks to GCA-68 and similar state laws — are sufficiently enlightened to forgive your past misdeeds.

June 25, 2008 at 5:52 AM  
Blogger mike's spot said...

its a shame. I sat next to the guy at an NRA S.A.F.E. convention on long island this past september and he really did seem like a good man. Sad to see he won't stand up for whats right.

June 25, 2008 at 8:08 PM  

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