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News & Editorials

Ashcroft Receives Second Batch of Signatures

by David Codrea

March 25, 2002 — Attorney General John Ashcroft has received the second batch of signatures from Americans supporting the Petition for Enforcement of the Second Amendment. Combined with the first batch sent to him in February, Mr. Ashcroft has now been forwarded over 20,000 signatures demanding that he do his job and enforce "the supreme law of the land," a responsibility he freely admits to having.

"[W]hen I was sworn as Attorney General of the United States, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution," Ashcroft said in his now-famous letter to James Baker of NRA. "That responsibility applies to all parts of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment."

We agree with Mr. Ashcroft, and hope that his words are not mere rhetoric designed to gain political capital with gun owners. But as we have said since we launched the "Ashcroft Petition" project, it is now time for action, not just words, especially since gun owners are in constant danger of having their lives destroyed if they are found to be in "violation" of clearly unconstitutional gun control edicts.

We note to Mr. Ashcroft our disappointment that he has not yet responded to our just expectations — and hope he is not deliberately ignoring the Petition.  If he is, we won't let up — we'll continue to publicly expose the difference between his words and his actions, and are investigating legal options should he fail to do his duty.

If you have not yet done so, what is stopping you? It's not like we're asking you to make a real sacrifice — merely that you take a stand for your own freedom. If you have already signed, please take the extra step of recruiting others. Get Petition copies into gun stores, ranges and clubs — and have them recruit from their customers and members — after all, we support THEM and the success of our effort will clearly benefit them. If you have already done all of these things, please keep it up. Now is the time to maintain and increase the pressure.

One immediate action you can take — send Ashcroft an email demanding that he give us the response we deserve!

Our cover letter to Mr. Ashcroft that accompanied the second batch of signatures follows. We will continue to report on the progress of this effort.


March 13, 2002
United States Attorney General John Ashcroft
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Re: Petition for Enforcement of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

On February 12, 2002 you received a signed original of "A Petition for Enforcement of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States," along with over 16,000 signatures from your fellow Americans. We are disappointed that you have not yet chosen to acknowledge or respond to our plea. We trust that this is not "deliberate indifference" on your part, and that major gun organizations like the NRA are right when they tell us you are a public official who deserves our support.

What did you mean when you declared the Second Amendment to be an individual right? If it is, what is the federal government's obligation when basic Constitutional rights are infringed? It seems the Justice Department couldn't fly a team of lawyers out to California fast enough, to press civil rights charges when a jury acquitted the Los Angeles police officers in the Rodney King incident. You had no similar petition signed by thousands of Americans to precipitate that action — the DoJ did it because they had the desire and the will, the authority and the power.

Enclosed, please note additional signatures gathered since our initial mailing — you now have personal signed pleas from over 20,000 citizens who care deeply about our Constitution, and who expect you to provide relief from abridgements when it is within your power to do so. Especially since we have proven that all other means of redress available to us as peaceable citizens have been exhausted.

Our supporters are not just single-issue activists, but represent a cross section of good Americans, many who most likely supported you and the president. Women and men from all walks of life, with surnames reflecting diverse cultural heritages, contributed to this effort, some sending in their own signatures, others collecting dozens or hundreds. We received support from doctors, lawyers, retired and active military and law enforcement personnel, ministers, educators and students, public servants, executives and entrepreneurs, to list but a few.

Please do not ignore these Americans, Mr. Attorney General. Please assign someone in your office to immediately investigate this matter — and please give these thousands of rightly concerned Americans the answer they deserve.

We will continue our signature gathering effort until such time as this happens. Please do the right thing, and show us that your bold words in defense of the Second Amendment have meaning that translates into positive actions for restoring the free exercise of our unalienable right to keep and bear arms.


David Codrea
Brian Puckett
Angel Shamaya

Enclosure: Petition for Enforcement of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States


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When you sit down to negotiate on what you already have, you lose. —REP. MARIE PARENTE

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