Administration efforts to quell gun violence were primarily directed to the encouragement of local and state governments to tailor reasonable gun licensing and registration requirements to meet their local needs and concerns.
These efforts were upheld by the Supreme Court’s decision last year ruling that the Second Amendment right to bear arms relates only to the power of states to form militias and national guards, and that it is not an unrestrained individual right.
One of President Gore’s pet projects to curb gun violence was funded by Congress early in his administration to provide money to local governments to purchase guns from the public and to pay artists to create public sculptures using the weapons.
Today, all across America sculptures incorporating millions of firearms provide mute testimony to the injuries avoided, the lives saved, and the hearts that have not been broken.
Most remarkable, the U.S. military has not fired a single shot, dropped a bomb or launched a single missile in the eight years of the Gore administration.
One of President Gore’s first orders as Commander in Chief was for every sailor, soldier and marine to be trained as a medical first responder. As a Vietnam vet, he wanted to ensure that American troops injured or wounded in the line of duty will have the greatest chance of survival possible.
The military medical training has proven invaluable at a series of major natural disasters during the Gore administration, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and most recently when Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast. Today, the American military is the most respected fighting and life saving force in the world.
Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of the Gore Administration was the United Nations agreement negotiated by Secretary Powell and UN Secretary Carter in 2005 that eliminated the international weapons trade. Today, a country can waste its treasure on the production of military weapons and small arms if it chooses, but it cannot export those weapons to another country, nor can it purchase them without violating international law.
The 2008 Election
With the impending retirement of President Gore, the Democratic Party’s 2008 primary campaign was hotly contested in the belief that its candidate would be a shoo-in because of public confidence in the Gore administration.
Vice President Lieberman ran on his record of having managed the administration’s legislative agenda in Congress, but it was his attention to the party faithful over the years of attending local campaign fund raisers and funerals on behalf of the President that provided him his small margin of victory.
The runner-up, Illinois junior Senator Barack Obama attracted attention and interest as the first African-American to be a serious contender for a presidential nomination; however, his policy positions require further development if he is to have a chance in 2012.
Once Secretary Powell announced he would not be a candidate, the Republican primary settled on the most moderate candidates who pledged to do the least to change the policies of the Gore administration and the nation’s status quo.
The nomination went to Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War vet, who has been both logical and articulate in establishing positions of conscience over the years. He has sometimes voted with his party and at other times he has supported the administration.
With the emergence of the Green Party and the growing power of independents, the election of Joe Lieberman is far from certain. The strength of the Green Party is demonstrated by the invitation to its candidate, Cynthia McKinney, to participate in the University of Mississippi debate.
Depending upon McKinney’s performance in this and the following debates, she may draw enough votes from Lieberman to allow Senator Hagel to win in the Electoral College, even if he doesn’t receive a majority of the popular vote.