Tags: Interior | Secretary | Norton | Rallies | NRA | Fight | Crime

Interior Secretary Norton Rallies NRA to Fight Crime

Sunday, 20 May 2001 12:00 AM

Norton was joined on the dais Saturday by Florida Secretary Of State Katherine Harris, who received a thunderous ovation upon being introduced.

"Some people say we can’t support the Second Amendment and protect our communities and our people. President Bush is proving them wrong,” Norton declared in her address.

Just as wrong, the secretary declared, as:

On "our watch,” pledged Norton, "those who commit crimes with a gun will do time, period.”

The Bush program aims to enforce the gun laws already on the books, coupled with a plan to hire 113 new attorneys to prosecute gun crimes.

"We are working with people of good will to protect our environment and our neighborhoods," she said.

Ignoring Democrat criticism of the very idea of a Bush Cabinet member speaking to an NRA convention, Secretary Norton pointedly told the crowd, "Instead of pitting one group against each other, we’re finding common ground.”

Drawing the sustained applause of many NRA members who resented the strong-arm tactics of the Clinton administration in land use disputes with rural communities, she said, "Under our watch, we’ll make sure the money is spent as Congress intends.” She said it was possible to "protect habitats” and allow hinting and fishing.

But there are "no easy answers” to energy shortages, high gasoline prices or rolling blackouts, the Cabinet official warned. She reminded her audience that California had not built a power plant in 10 years and that in this country no refinery has been built "in a generation.”

The Interior secretary said the Bush administration viewed NRA members as partners "in making America better, with safer streets and cleaner environment and more freedom.”

Knowing cheers went up as Norton promised big improvements continuing after Bush's re-election in 2004. "With your help, when President Bush leaves office seven and a half years from now, our air will be cleaner, our water will be purer, our environment will be stronger, and out communities will be safer.”

NRA President Charlton Heston drew a standing ovation from the convention, which had just re-elected him as its leader, when he and his wife had to excuse themselves to fly to Los Angeles for a commitment on the West Coast.

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Norton was joined on the dais Saturday by Florida Secretary Of State Katherine Harris, who received a thunderous ovation upon being introduced. Some people say we can't support the Second Amendment and protect our communities and our people. President Bush is proving...
Interior,Secretary,Norton,Rallies,NRA,Fight,Crime
365
2001-00-20
Sunday, 20 May 2001 12:00 AM
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