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The Non-Sense of the Senate

The Non-Sense of the Senate
by Harry Browne

"Senate gun-control resolutions are wrong," says Harry Browne.

Blame the Drug War -- not guns -- for child killings

Arlington, Virginia - On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate, pressured by the Million Mom March and the overwhelming desire to act as though the Senators knew what to do, passed a pair of non-binding "Sense of the Senate" resolutions. "The Democrats stated their strong support for further restricting Americans' Second Amendment rights and the Republicans countered with their continued support for 20,000 bad gun laws," declared Harry Browne, Libertarian candidate for President in 2000.

Even though the resolutions were non-binding, the debate was characterized as procedural hardball. And it yielded a surprising admission by Senator Larry Craig of Idaho (quoting from a Reuters report) that young people who die of gun-related causes each year are not little children but older teens, many of whom "are caught in the cross-fire of a drug war in the streets of America." The solution to that, he said, lies in ending the War on Drugs, not in starting a War on Guns.

"I have never met anyone who believes we're winning the insane War on Drugs. But politicians love to pretend that we are," said Harry Browne, the Libertarians' 1996 nominee for President. "Perhaps Senator Craig is finally realizing what millions of Americans already know - that the Drug War is a cruel and brutal failure."

Browne noted that "The National Rifle Association (NRA) and Republican politicians have recently urged that today's 20,000 gun-control laws be enforced -- no matter how bad those laws. Libertarians know that those laws are, at best, useless -- and, at worst, highly dangerous." Senator Craig is on the Board of Directors of the NRA, and is one of 69 Republicans who voted for the resolution calling for stricter enforcement of gun-control laws.

"Instead," urged Browne, "we need to recognize that those 20,000 laws are a principal cause of the current violence in society. They have made people much less safe -- by disarming innocent citizens and thereby encouraging armed criminals to take advantage of us."

Browne pointed out that many of those armed criminals are drug dealers. "Only Libertarians want to end the nightmare of Prohibition - with its criminal gangs and drive-by shootings."

"Besides," argued Browne, "the Drug War has led to the trampling of the Bill of Rights. And that's the central issue with both guns and drugs: the U.S. Senate has no business violating your constitutional rights, no matter how noble the cause."

Browne concluded, "On my first day in office, I will pardon all federal, non-violent drug and gun offenders. And during my term, I will lead the fight to end the insane War on Drugs, and to remove federal gun-control laws from the books."

Harry Browne is running for President of the United States as a Libertarian candidate in 2000.  More of his articles can be found at