The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 10, 1997 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, October 10, 1997
Page 6
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AB FRIDAY. OCTOBER 10, 1997 WASHINGTON THE SALINA JOURNAL T SAFETY Guns to have child-proof locks Clinton says agreement by major gun makers will affect 8 of 10 handguns sold in U.S. By TERENCE HUNT 1lte Associated Press WASHINGTON — In an alliance forged under pressure, major gun manufacturers stood with President Clinton and announced Thursday that they would provide childproof trigger locks with their handguns. "This will affect eight of 10 handguns made in America, and it will save many young lives," the president said in a Rose Garden ceremony on a summerlike day. Clinton encouraged other gunmakers to follow suit. Each year, about 1,500 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms with accidental gun injuries. Nearly 200 children died from those wounds in 1994. The gunmakers' promise was negotiated after Clinton threatened in January to press for legislation requiring child locks on handguns. The president earlier signed an executive order requiring safety locks on handguns issued to federal law enforcement officers. With the gunmakers' voluntary agreement in hand, the administration dropped its call for legislation. Two groups quickly objected, calling anew for mandatory standards. "The big winners today are America's gun manufacturers, not America's children," said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center. Two manufacturers, Smith & Wesson Corp. and Sturm, Ruger & Co., announced earlier this year that they would provide childproof locks with handguns. Joining them are Clock, Beretta, Taurus Firearms, Heckler & Koch, H&R 1871, SigArms and O.F. Mossberg & Sons. The Associated Press President Clinton stands Thursday amid police officers in the Rose Garden at the White House. In a ceremony meant to honor heroic police officers, Clinton also promised to provide child-proof locks with handguns. ARMY SEX SCANDAL 29-year veteran loses title; as Army's top enlisted man By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — A day after announcing that Sgt. Maj. of the Army Gene McKinney will be court-martialed, the Army said Thursday that it has stripped him of the title signifying the army's top enlisted man. "He no longer is sergeant major of the Army," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Bill Harkey said. McKinney will stay in uniform and continue working on his legal defense. The sergeant major of the Army is responsible for advising the Army, chief of staff on matters relating to the 400,000 enlisted per- sonnel who comprise the bulk of the service. ,-, j On Wednesday, the Ahnjf announced that McKinney ;.tvilj face a court-martial on 20 counts relating to accusations by 'six women of sexual harassment and assault. The decision followed a lengthy hearing to determine if the 'das0 should go to trial. McKinney, 46, a 29-year Army veteran, has denied the charges. In a written statement annqtinc ing his decision Thursday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis Reimer said the Army has begun the process of choosing a replace ment. The area's largest selection Pearl Drum Sets ALWAYS IN STOCK 210 S.Santa Ft, Sallru •6296 1-800-262-1576 TRADE AGREEMENTS Businesses seek trade pacts They want Clinton to have negotiating power for international accords By JIM DRINKARD The Associated Press WASHINGTON —Against tough odds, 500 businesses from computer chip makers to pork producers are pressuring Congress to give President Clinton power to negotiate new international trade agreements, "We're playing beat the clock — that's my concern," said Bruce Josten, a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber o.f Commerce. 1 With just a month left in this year's congressional session — much to be taken up with a 10- day recess and with must-pass spending bills — the business coalition hopes to persuade wary lawmakers and an indifferent public to support increased negotiating authority for Clinton. So far, the political battleground has been dominated by organized labor, which began stirring up opposition last spring. Miss America favors needle distribution By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The new Miss America, Kate Shindle, waded into one of the thornier issues facing Congress by offering support for programs that provide plean needles to drug addicts as an AIDS prevention measure. Shindle spoke Thursday at a news conference outside the Capitol. 1 The 20-year-old Northwestern University senior and former Miss Illinois pleaded with politicians, religious leaders, activists and others to "please accept the facts of this (AIDS) epidemic." * "We need to take a probing, hon- |st and maybe painful look at the jeal behavior and risk factors pf our nation's youth," Shindle eaid. Using plant meetings, mass mailings and up to $2 million worth of radio and television ads, labor has cast the issue as one that would erode the job security of U.S. workers. The message has been reinforced by environmental groups, which say trade deals should carry safeguards against other countries cutting manufacturing costs by damaging the environment. Manufacturers, financial services companies, farm groups and high-tech firms — more than 500 corporations and associations — have formed a alliance to restore the president's so-called fast-track authority, which lapsed in 1994. The group, America Leads on Trade, has deputized industries in each state to get lawmakers' attention. Farm groups are approaching Southerners, for example, while electronics companies .are at work in high-tech states such as California and Massachusetts. TRW, the company that makes auto air bags and other technology products, invited Rep. Glenn Poshard, D-H1., to visit its electronics plant in Marshall, HI., to hear how export growth has led to new jobs. Dozens of similar visits have been arranged by Procter & Gamble, Boeing, Caterpillar and General Motors. CEOs from two dozen firms spread out across Capitol Hill last month to visit lawmakers, along with 150 Procter & Gamble plant managers. Constituents of more than 100 House members have been hearing radio and television spots touting the virtues of free trade, part of a campaign that could cost $3 million or more. And the group has hired inside- the-Beltway help such as Anne Wexler, the lobbyist who helped guide the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress in 1993. "We will be as competitive as we need to be," said Jim Christy, the TRW lobbyist who heads the coalition. "We will not let our message be overwhelmed." Business faces several obstacles that complicate the current trade fight. It is overshadowed by the disappointing results of NAFTA, which business lobbyists now admit was oversold. 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