Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia gets the CCRKBA nod for the Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for December.
 In nominating the legislator for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director said that, “Rep. Bob Goodlatte throughout his public career has been a consistent supporter of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.  Most recently, he has contributed to the building-up of the public image of people who actually use guns in ways that benefit society.  He has done this by promoting the activities of Hunters for the Hungry.  In this season of the year, when good Americans tend to be interested  in promoting the welfare of the less fortunate members of our society, it seems appropriate to recognize Rep. Bob Goodlatte in this regard.  He is most deserving of this Award.”
 Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives acted on a motion by Rep. Goodlatte.  Under the Goodlatte motion, the House suspended its rules and agreed to a resolution introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia recognizing the establishment of Hunters for the Hungry programs across the United States and the contributions of those programs to decrease hunger and help feed those in need. 
 Goodlatte noted the resolution also recognized the collaborative efforts of hunters, sportsmen’s associations, meat processors, state meat inspectors and hunger relief organizations to establish Hunters for the Hungry programs across the United States.
 Congressman Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, cited the importance of the program to Virginia.  He stated that meat often is not regularly available to agencies serving the needy.  Venison is a low-fat, high-protein meat that can be processed and distributed through the program for an average of 70 cents per pound.  Since its establishment in 1991, the Virginia Hunters for the Hungry program has distributed over 1.9 million pounds of venison.  In the 2003-2004 hunting season alone, Virginia hunters donated 308,274 pounds of venison.
 “Americans are generous people and many individuals work through private organizations to donate food to help needy families,” Chairman Goodlatte said.  “The U.S. government helps through programs like the food stamp program and food distribution programs.  Great strides are being made to provide nutritious, high-protein meat to those experiencing hunger in our communities by individuals in the private sector.  I commend the generosity of Virginia hunters and all who participate in the Hunters for the Hungry program.  Your contributions are a step in the right direction.”
 When a hunter donates a deer, professional meat cutters at inspected facilities process it.  The meat is then packaged, frozen and distributed to food banks, soup kitchens, church food pantries and other nonprofit organizations.
 Since becoming a Member of Congress in 1993, Bob points out, “I have been a staunch supporter of citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.  As a member of the House of Representatives’ Second Amendment Caucus, I strongly believe that our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms must be protected.  These are fundamental rights that Congress cannot infringe.  Rather, we must ensure that the intent of the Founding Fathers and the Constitutional rights of all Americans are respected and preserved.
  Bob’s congressional service began in 1977 when he became District Director for former Congressman Caldwell Butler, also an outspoken champion of the right to keep and bear arms.  He served in this position until 1979.  In that year, he founded his own private law practice in Roanoke, Virginia.  He was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman, working there from 1981 until taking office in Congress.  He now is completing his sixth term in the House of Representatives and was reelected to a seventh term last month.
 Bob is Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and Chairman of the House Republican High Technology Working Group.  He serves on the House Republican Cyber-Security Task Force.
 Rep. Goodlatte serves on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and as Vice Chairman of the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee.
 Bob received his undergraduate degree in government at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and his law degree from Washington and Lee University.  He and Maryellen, his wife of 30 years, live in Roanoke with their two children, Jenny, age 21, and Bobby, age 18.