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Anti-gun Advocates In Senate Seek Rules Changes

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Make no mistake about it: Procedure is power.

The reason we are not stuck with bans on semi-autos, gun shows and ammunition is because the U.S. Senate is structured so that whatever party is in the minority still retains procedural power to protect the rights of the citizenry against the "tyranny of the majority."

But on January 5, 2011, at the beginning of the new Congress, Senate Democrats are hatching a plan to decimate long-standing Senate rules in order to remove those protections.

The linchpin of the plan would be a ruling by Senate President Joe Biden that the Senate is not a "continuing body" and therefore has NO rules -- other than whatever 53 Democrats and Independents might unilaterally adopt.

At the core of their efforts will be an attempt to abolish the "hold letter" -- at least as it currently exists. Pro-gun senators have used "hold letters" in the past to kill proposed gun show bans, semi-auto bans, ammunition bans, gun licensing requirements, registration lists -- any number of anti-freedom initiatives.

Basically, a hold letter allows a single Senator to slow down movement on unconstitutional legislation, so that it can't be rammed through before the American people can voice their concerns.

Gun banners may also try to reduce the number of senators required to shut off filibusters of anti-gun measures. And they will do this in the expectation that the Second Amendment community has been preoccupied during the holidays and, thus, won't mobilize in time to stop the plan.

Again, procedure is power. The rules that currently exist in the Senate have been designed to slow down unconstitutional legislation -- and this is in keeping with our concept of checks and balances. Thus, not all rules changes are automatically bad, since anything that slows down the galloping herd of gun control is a good thing and should be supported.

To this end, Senator Jim DeMint may offer an amendment to the rules that would prohibit anti-gun legislation from being passed in the Senate, unless two-thirds of all senators vote to consider it. Now that's the kind of rules change that we can support!

Article by Gun Owners of America