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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 22, 1996


                      Department of the Treasury
                           Washington, D.C.

Look around this room. You can see a very clear choice between President Clinton's values and the values of the Republicans in Congress. The Congress wants to take these brave men and women off our streets -- and replace them with these weapons.

That's dangerous. That's radical. That's wrong. And it will not stand.

Two years ago . . . after a long, long fight . . . President Clinton -- along with Congressman Chuck Schumer , Senator Dianne Feinstein, and others -- did right by our neighborhoods and families.

They took deadly assault weapons off our streets, and put tens of thousands of police officers on our streets.

And you know what happened? It's working. Violent crime is down. The murder rate is down. Robberies are down.

But now -- with the legislation they're trying to pass this afternoon -- a small band of Congressmen wants to march us in the opposite direction. Their logic is straight out of Alice in Wonderland. If removing assault weapons and adding police officers has made crime decline, then why would anyone possibly want to start adding assault weapons and removing police officers?

I want to know where they got this crazy idea. Who'd they ask?

Did they ask you?

No. Police officers don't agree. Mayors don't agree. Lots of Republicans don't agree. And let me tell you, Steve Sposato -- whose wife's life was taken by an assault weapon, and all the families victimized by crime -- sure don't agree.

So let's tell it like it is: plain and simple, this is an IOU to the NRA.

Speaker Gingrich even said he cut a deal with the Washington gun lobby. So he put a silencer on this bill and thought that would muffle the cries of outrage from our people and our police. Well, he's wrong -- dead wrong.

These guns serve a single purpose: to kill human beings. Hunting deer is a sport. Hunting people is a sin.

Assault weapons have no place in on our streets or in our schoolyards. We will not let them return. President Clinton will veto this bill, and keep these tools of terror off our nation's streets and away from our nation's schoolyards.