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Saturday, December 22, 2012
President George H. W. Bush's Resignation Letter to the NRA...
As NRA President Wayne LaPierre's comments about what we should do about the gun violence issue, a letter from former President George H. W. Bush has surfaced from the mid 1990's. This seventeen year old letter is very interesting to review...
Letter of Resignation Sent By Bush to Rifle Association...
May 3, 1995
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.
Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country -- and serve it well he did.
In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer
who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.
John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.'s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question.
Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government's "go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens." (Your words)
I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.'s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.
However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.
You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre's unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.
Sincerely, [ signed ]
George Bush ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This letter was written in response to a fundraising letter sent out by the NRA in the weeks that followed the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19th, 1995. The letter, written by Wayne LaPierre, who was the NRA Executive Vice President. LaPierre writes, "It doesn't matter to them that the semi-auto ban gives jack-booted government thugs more power to take away our constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and even injure or kill us." And continues, "It goes on: "Not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens." At the heart of the NRA's discontent had been the (then) recent signing into law of a ten year ban on assault weapons. Senator Robert Dole commented after LaPierre's letter was released that "the NRA needs a little image repair job."
Which sounds vaguely familiar in current times, eh?