A story has not been told regarding the history of gun control efforts by the democratic Sheriff of Oklahoma County, John Whetsel. Some clarification is in order, and this is just a small sample of the information available on the subject. Needless to say, most gun-loving citizens of Oklahoma County have no idea their Sheriff is such a liberal gun grabber.
Let us go back to 1993, the first year of the Presidency of William Jefferson Blythe Clinton – or Bill Clinton, if you prefer. One of the major initiatives of his first term was the “Crime Bill”, or more properly the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. You may remember this as the “assault weapons ban” among other things – it was a very large bill. From the NRA Institute for Legislative Action:
President Clinton signed the 1994 federal Crime Bill into law on Sept. 13, 1994, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which made it a federal crime for a private individual to possess or transfer (sell, give, etc.) a "semiautomatic assault weapon" (AW) manufactured after that date. [18 U.S.C. 922(v)]. AWs manufactured on or before that date, and legally within the U.S., are "grandfathered" (not banned). Government agencies and their agents (the military, police departments, etc.) are exempt from the law. The law requires that AWs manufactured after Sept. 13, 1994 be stamped with their date of manufacture. Regulations require that AWs made after that date be stamped "Restricted Law Enforcement/ Government Use Only." These provisions are scheduled to expire on Sept. 13, 2004.
So the Crime Bill is part one. Numerous articles and even books have been written about this horrible piece of legislation. Of significance to this subject was the 10 year ban on “assault weapons”. The term “assault weapons” is of course nebulous at best, but many different firearms were actually listed as part of the Act.
Part two of the Clinton Assault on the 2nd Amendment was the Brady Bill, or the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. This was named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinkley, Jr. on March 30th, 1981. Interestingly, President Reagan – who was also shot that day – did not find it necessary to pass legislation such as this – in either term of office. His successor, President George HW Bush, also did not see fit to attempt the passage of this law.
It took intense lobbying by anti-gun activists 12 years to get Brady passed. Here is the NRA- ILA brief on the issue (one of many by many sources). This is the second major gun control initiative by the Clinton Administration. Indeed, panic among those who believe in gun rights – and not just for hunting, but for defense as well – was never higher than during those horrible 8 years, until the Obama era.
What is very interesting is the difference between two sheriffs. One, Sheriff Richard Mack of Graham County, Arizona, refused to implement the Act and filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court to have Brady ruled unconstitutional. He filed it the day it took effect, and on Friday, June 27th, 1997 HE WON. But what of our own Sheriff of Oklahoma County – what was he doing, and what was his position while all of this was going on?
Here is an article from June 18th, 1991 in the Deseret News. The following excerpt is from the article:
John Whetsel, police chief in Choctaw, Okla., said he is a strong supporter of the Brady bill as well as the right to bear arms. “The Brady bill has nothing to do with the second amendment,” he said. People who purchase guns today fill out federal forms, but the information given is never checked and is often false, he said. “The Brady bill will replace the honor system that doesn’t work with an honest system that will work.”
The above direct quotes are published support for gun control by John Whetsel, going back to at least 1991 – long before he became the Sheriff of Oklahoma County. What could be worse? How about THIS:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Chief Daughtry, Chief Whetsel, ladies and gentlemen of the IACP, I am honored to be here. I love the jacket -- (laughter) -- and I love what it stands for. I thank you more than I can say for your help and support in passing the Brady Bill and the Crime Bill.
The President in question is Bill Clinton. The IACP is the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the most rabid gun controlling police organization in the United States and beyond. John Whetsel was President of the IACP in 1994-1995. His involvement has continued through the years (Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee, 2007 and 2010, for example).
John Whetsel has a clear and lengthy history as a proponent of gun control and opponent of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. He may claim one thing in public, but in private, for more than two decades, he has been actively working to erode our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Voters have the opportunity to make their opinion known on this and other issues on November 6th.