U. S. Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Awardee for November.
 In nominating the Hoosier Congressman for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “Congressman Souder, throughout his public career, has been a consistent defender and promoter of the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms.  He demonstrated this most particularly in mid-September when he took the lead in the House of Representatives in proposing and introducing the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act.  If enacted, this measure, H.R. 3193, with five dozen original cosponsors, would restore to citizens of the District of Columbia the right to own and possess firearms in their homes and businesses.  Rep. Souder certainly is most deserving of the Award.”
 In seeking support for H.R. 3193, which has been referred to the House Committee on Government Reform, Souder noted that, “the District of Columbia has the most strict gun control laws in the country.  Even though law-abiding citizens are prohibited from possessing firearms, the District of Columbia continues to suffer from sky-rocketing violent crime rates.  Just this year, our Nation’s Capital regained its unfortunate status as the ‘Murder Capital of the United States.’  Not only are these ill-advised gun control laws an affront to the Second Amendment of the Constitution, they are completely ineffective.  My legislation will go a long way toward rectifying this deplorable state of affairs.”
 Souder’s bill is identical to S. 1414, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a CCRKBA Congressional Advisor and CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Awardee. 
 Souder said the legislation would:  (1) permit law-abiding Washington, D. C. citizens to possess handguns and rifles in their homes and businesses; (2) repeal the registration requirements for firearms and ammunition; and (3) eliminate criminal penalties for possession and carrying of firearms in homes and businesses.
 Congressman Souder was first elected to Congress in 1994 after working for U.S. Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana for 10 years during Coats’ tenure in the House and Senate.
 Souder serves on the House Government Reform Committee, the Resources Committee, and the Homeland Security Committee.  Since 2001, he has served as Chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources.  This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the domestic and international anti-drug efforts throughout the federal government, and is the authorizing subcommittee for the Office of Drug Control Policy.
 Born July 18, 1950 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Souder graduated from Leo High School in 1968 and from Indiana University at Fort Wayne in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.  He received an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1974.
 Mark’s family founded Souder’s of Grabill in 1907.  He currently is managing partner of Historic Souder’s of Grabill, which owns the land and buildings of Souder’s General Store, the County Shops of Grabill and is the home of Elias Ruff Restaurant.
 Mark married the former Diane Zimmer of South Bend, Indiana in 1974.  They have two grown children – Brooke and Nathan – and one teenage son, Zachary.  The Souders reside in Fort Wayne where they attend Emmanuel Community Church.
 “I do not believe that guns are responsible for violent crime problems or that more gun control would reduce violence and criminal activity,” Souder told Point Blank.  “Most of the weapons used in criminal activities are purchased illegally on the street.  Furthermore, the folly of gun control is shown time and again in cities that have strict gun control laws.  For example, Washington, D. C. has the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, yet it is known foremost for its violent criminal activity.  I am a strong supporter of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  Many Americans choose to own firearms for sport, hunting, collecting, and protection.  In my opinion, all of these reasons justify the ownership of firearms.
 “I believe that we can take significant steps toward ensuring the security of our citizens without trampling the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  I do appreciate the concern surrounding the rate of gun-related crimes.  However, I would ask those in favor of more gun control to consider that those who commit crimes with firearms tend to have little respect for human life, and even less for the law.”