GUN RIGHTS ON THE INTERNET [This is oriented towards California (I distributed at the CA Rally), but has info of general interest.]


Why should gun rights activists get on the Internet?

A: There are tremendous resources on the Internet for defending your firearms rights. NRA, CCRKBA, the Library of Congress, Federal Register, and many other organizations, grassroots groups and individuals have constantly updated archives with current legislation, alerts, action items, research, letters, media and government contact info, and more. All are instantly available at no cost (other than basic access). These information services are available using the World Wide Web, the easiest and best way to use the Internet. You can now cruise the ‘Net just by pointing your mouse. There are also national and regional firearms mailing lists and discussion groups which are a great way to keep current on things. See my Guide for info on mailing lists. Get and give info instantly.

How do I get on the Internet?

A: Get an account with CompuServe (1-800-487-4838), America Online (1-800-229-5588), or Prodigy (1-800-776-3449). All 3 now offer Internet email and World Wide Web access. The big services offer nicely integrated software packages and nationwide service and support, important if you travel.

An even better type of account to get is called PPP or TCP/IP. This kind of service gets you the fastest, most useful, and best quality Internet access and software. In addition these services are often less expensive than the big 3 above. When you’re connected through your modem using PPP, you are literally part of the Internet. (However, no one can read your personal files unless you specifically let them.) Your local Internet Service Provider can usually give you all the software you need for free. Many providers have bundled the software into easily installed packages. The same software is included in Windows and Mac versions of a book called The Internet Starter Kit. (If you have a Mac and are not running System 7.5 you must get the book in order to get an essential program called MacTCP.) Be sure to get the latest versions of Eudora (the best email program ever), Netscape (the best Web browser), and Trumpet Winsock (for Windows), or MacTCP and MacPPP (for Mac). Voice numbers for some California providers: Best Internet (covers SF Bay Area, L.A. soon): (415) 964-2378, Direct Network Access: (510) 649-6110, CRL: (415) 837-5300, CERFnet: (800) 876-2373, Kaiwan (L.A.): (714) 638-2139, ViaNet (Silicon Valley and L.A.): (415) 903-2242, Portal: (408) 973-9111. [There are many others; see my possibly old copies of the pdial, internic, and nixpub lists for more.]

Some important resources:

These are given as Universal Resource Locators (URLs), the standard way to specify for WWW. Simply type these into your WWW browser and you're there.

Thomas (U.S. Congress):
California legislation: gopher:// or
Recent Supreme Court cases, indexed:
California's 1995 Second Amendment Rally Information:
Guide to Internet Firearms Resources:
rec.guns RKBA page
talk.politics.guns newsgroup: news:talk.politics.guns
rec.guns newsgroup: news:rec.guns

Jeff Chan