Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Redemption? ; Ultraconservative Regret

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Redemption? ; Ultraconservative Regret

Article excerpt

BACK in the 1990s, Jay Dickey was an extreme right-wing Republican congressman from Arkansas. He wrote the Dickey Amendment which banned federal funding of stem cell research, on the absurd contention that fertilized eggs are people, so leftover frozen eggs mustnt be destroyed to obtain their stem cells.

As a darling of the gun lobby, Dickey also wrote an amendment forbidding the Centers for Disease Control to study ways to reduce America's horrible pistol murder rate.

Finally, he was voted out of Congress and became a Washington lobbyist. But a strange thing happened: As America suffered more and more gun massacres, Dickey publicly reversed his position and apologized for halting gun violence research. He expressed regret that he had been "the NRA's point person in Congress."

In a National Public Radio interview, Dickey said he never actually intended to block gun safety research, but meant only to halt studies that could be used in "advocacy for gun control. …

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