Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hold on Holder Nomination

If you have not yet contacted your Senators to ask that they work to place a Hold on the Holder nomination, you should definitely do that. If your Senators are not friendly to the gun rights issue, David Codrea has a list of other issues you can bring up.

Update 1: The NRA Weighs in on Holder Nomination.

1 comment:

jonathan said...

Please print out and mail ASAP. We have to stop this guy from being the next AG.

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman
The Honorable Arlen Specter, Ranking member
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Wadshington, D.C. 20510

January 19, 2008

Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter:

Greetings to you both, and Happy New Year to you. I am writing to express my serious concern regarding the nomination of Eric Holder as Attorney general of the Unites States. Mr. Holder, although a fine gentleman in many respects, has long opposed the Nation’s Second Amendment, which guarantees a United States citizen the individual right to keep and bear arms. Mr. Holder has been a supporter of extremely restrictive laws that curtail gun owners’ rights, and in one particularly outrageous case, Mr. Holder was involved in prosecuting a gun owner under circumstances where any prosecution would have been considered by a reasonable person to be excessive.
While he served as Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Holder spoke on ABC’s “This Week” program, stating that the Second Amendment “talks about bearing guns in a well regulated militia. And I don’t think anywhere it talks about an individual.” He added that he was not “at all certain that any court ever said” otherwise, demonstrating ignorance of numerous past cases in which the United States Supreme Court, as well as lower Federal and State courts, had either stated or clearly implied that the Second Amendment does indeed protect an individual United States citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.
After returning to private practice, Mr. Holder joined a number of other former Justice Department officials in a brief in the case of Dictrict of Columbia vs. Heller, in which he argued that the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns and self-defense in the home was constitutional because the Second Amendment “does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia.” However, the United States Supreme Court utterly

rejected that view. I firmly believe that Mr. Holder’s strong and clear personal views on this issue will make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to faithfully protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans as Attorney General.
Consistent with his belief that Americans have no individual right to own a firearm, Mr. Holder has supported extremely restrictive gun control legislation. This included support for a Clinton administration gun control package in 1999, which was introduced by Congressman John Conyers as H.R. 1768 and included the following provision among other, more reasonable provisions:
• A requirement for firearms dealers to make monthly reports to BATFE of all firearms they receive from non-licensees, which I believe lays the groundwork for a National Federal Registration of all firearms purchases
Mr. Holder continued this advocacy after leaving the Department. In October 2001, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, in which he proposed that BATFE should receive “a record of every fireaem sale,” despite the fact that building a Government database of gun owners would be in stark violation of Federal law and would be the equivalent of a national gun registration system. I am concerned that such a registry would be a precursor to an eventual Governmental seizure of the firearms of law-abiding citizens. This has happened in other countries, already. Gentlemen, the three of us know very well that if this were to occur, criminals would still have access to firearms.
Mr. Holder’s opposition to the rights of gun owners has not been limited to legislative advocacy; it includes at least one especially abusice prosecution, as follows.
When Mr. Holder was the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, he was involved in the prosecution of Robert Bieder, an law-abiding individual who was arrested for carrying a handgun without a D.C. license. Mr. Bieder was a New York City resident, and as a small businessman, he had previously been the victim of several burglaries and armed robberies. As a

result, he received a N.Y. City permit to carry a handgun, a permit granted only rarely in N.Y. City.
After visiting Virginia with his family, Mr. Bieder decided to stop in Washington, D.C. to show his young daughter the Capitol. In a sincere attempt to comply with the law, Mr. Bieder was arrested when he tried to leave his gun with the Capitol Police for safekeeping. Mr. Bieder did this, because N.Y. authorities warn permit holders not to leave firearms in unattended vehicles. After a five-year process that involved two trials and two appeals, Mr. Bieder’s conviction was upheld, and he was punished with a $150 fine, not to mention legal expenses and emotional stress.
Eric Holder was on the briefs for both of those appeals. Pursuing this trivial case to such lengths imposed substantial costs to taxpayers and did not directly impact or benefit public safety. A reasonable prosecutor might well have exercised discretion by sending Mr. Bieder home with a simple warning about D.C.’s strict gun laws. The fact that Mr. Holder chose to do otherwise raises questions in my mind about his judgment in such cases.
In contrast to that case, Mr. Holder was among those in the Clinton Administration who strongly resisted a national expansion of Project Exile, which was a very successful anti-crime program in Richmond, Virginia that used a true, “zero-tolerance” Federal prosecution of convicted felons, drug dealers and armed robbers to achieve a remarkable reduction in that city’s violent crime and murder rates. Despite the program’s success in Richmond, Philadelphia and other cities in which it was implemented, Mr. Holder dismissed congressional and National Rifle Association (NRA) efforts to implement it nationwide as a “cookie-cutter approach.”
In light of his past positions and actions, I frimly believe that Mr. Holder’s overall record raises substantial concerns about his ability to perform the duties of Attorney General of the United States in a manner that respects the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens who are gun owners. I hope and respectfully request that you will consider my concerns carefully as you review Eric Holder’s nomination.

Please feel free to contact me personally.

Sincerely and Respectfully Yours,