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October 1994 Issue [Readings]

The G.O.P. Pulls Out the Big Guns

From a “Resolution of Condemnation” sent by David A. Norcross, general counsel to the Republican National Committee, to thirty-eight Republican members of Congress on August 10, the day before a critical House vote on President Clinton’s crime bill. The thirty-eight Republicans had crossed party lines in May to vote in favor of a federal ban on assault weapons; the Clinton bill would have enacted that ban. After receiving the resolution, which was never officially approved by the RNC, twenty-nine of the thirty-eight Republicans voted against the bill; the final vote to block the bill was 225 to 210.

WHEREAS the Platform of the Republican Party supports the right of the individual American citizen to keep and bear arms; and

WHEREAS a betrayal of the most basic foundation of the Republican Party is a denial and rejection of one’s own Republicanism; and

WHEREAS that basic foundation was put to a test on May 5,1994, when the U.S. House of Representatives voted on HR 4296, a bill banning certain vaguely defined types of firearms, and that bill passed by a vote of 216 to 214, with thirty-eight Republicans voting for that bill; and

WHEREAS the Republican Party is a “big tent” that encompasses all races, ages, handicaps, and differing perspectives on many issues but not on the fundamental issue of the rights of the individual;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican National Committee condemns those thirty-eight Congressmen for voting in derogation of the individual American citizen’s right to keep and bear arms; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Republican National Committee shall, hereafter, deny all Republican Party funding to any and all of those thirty-eight Congressmen should they seek reelection; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Republican National Committee shall seek alternative, real Republican candidates for the seats of those Congressmen.

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October 1994

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