BELLEVUE, WA – The National Rifle Association’s decision to pull its 2007 annual members’ meeting and convention out of Columbus, Ohio one week after that city passed a ban on so-called “assault weapons” was correct and proper, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today in a joint statement.
The move will likely cost Columbus an estimated $15 to $20 million in lost revenues, and possibly the largest convention that city would ever have hosted.
But SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb said American firearms owners shouldn’t weep a single tear for the city. He called the ban “cheap political grandstanding that will get very expensive for the Columbus business community” and a “slap in the face” to law-abiding Ohio gun owners.
“This is what happens when political correctness replaces good judgment,” Gottlieb stated. “Various studies strongly suggest the federal ban did nothing to reduce crime, yet the Columbus City Council chose to ignore those studies and make a social statement.
“But what kind of statement is it,” Gottlieb wondered, “when it foolishly costs your community tens of millions of dollars in revenue, to say nothing of good will and publicity for a convention facility like they have in Columbus? The city council just couldn’t resist sending a message to the NRA. But the NRA has sent a message of its own right back to the council, and it was the right message to send.
“There is a more important issue at stake,” added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “The city council has accused the NRA of backing out on a commitment. There’s an even greater commitment, to the rights of Columbus gun owners, and the Columbus business community, which the city council turned its back on by passing this ban. It’s a piece of ‘feel good legislation’ that may make the anti-gun extremists on the city council feel good, but it will leave a lot of very bad feeling with Ohio gun owners and the Columbus business community. At some point, probably at the end of the 2007 fiscal year, someone should ask the council if the ban was worth it.”