Wednesday, September 29, 2004


"Senator John Kerry has recently attacked President Bush for allowing a ban on military styled firearms to expire thereby confirming the Democrat candidate's true beliefs regarding the right to keep and bear arms.... Throughout his campaign, Kerry has sought to project an image of himself (just like the home movies of his Vietnam exploits) as an outdoorsman and sportsman. Hence we have all been treated to photos of him waving guns around and dressed in hunters garb. Contrary to NRA recommended safety practices, Kerry often appears not wearing the necessary ear and eye protection even while firing or ejecting spent cartridges. Experienced hunters were no doubt amused when Kerry was asked what kind of game he preferred. He responded, "I'd have to say deer. I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach." Seems like more Vietnam fantasizing to me. Apparently, Kerry's knowledge of shooting and hunting is as limited as his understanding of this ban, which is dangerous in both cases. Was he too busy downhill skiing or windsurfing or biking to study the history of this legislation to know of its profound influence in elections over the last decade?

John Kerry charges that President Bush "misled" the country on the war in Iraqi, but it is indisputable that Kerry is misleading the people on the question of assault rifles. Kerry exclaimed, "And so for the first time in ten years, when a killer walks into a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, when they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they are going to hear one word: Sure." This is patently false. True assault weapons that have full automatic fire such as the AK-47 and the Israeli Uzi were banned from importation in 1989. Machine guns of any type have been illegal since 1934 and gun stores do background checks.

Kerry said allowing the ban to expire would only increase the threat from terrorists. He said such laws were "not just to fight ordinary crime but to take on terrorists." Such "thinking" ignores the obvious fact that terrorist are not likely to obey such laws. Why would a terrorist use an inferior weapon when they have access to fully automated true assault weapons? Kerry also said, "George Bush chose to make the job of terrorists easier, and the job of police officers harder." Not true. Banning such firearms only removes another tool from law-abiding citizens with which they can defend their homes. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America refers to this type of gun as the "homeland security rifle."

In September in St. Louis, Kerry claimed, "I support the Second Amendment. I have been a hunter all my life." Earlier he has said, "I believe that the Constitution, our laws and our customs protect law-abiding American citizen's right to own firearms." So he says. But his voting record and endorsements clearly state just the opposite. During his time in the senate, he has cast 59 votes on 2nd Amendment matters nearly all of which were against the fundamental right of individuals to own firearms. He has received an "F" rating from the NRA and 0% rating from the Gun Owners of America. Conversely, the Brady Campaign (formally Handgun Control, Inc.) has given him a 100 percent rating as did the American Bar Association's Special Committee on Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He has even gotten 100 percent approval from the Humane Society of the United States and Fund for Animals.

In addition, Kerry has co-sponsored S.1431 that would empower a U.S. Attorney General to prohibit any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun based on military or federal law enforcement agency design. Kerry was given a Remington 11-87 shotgun by the United Mine Workers in Racine, W. Virginia that could very well be restricted by the new law. Kerry has also mentioned that he has in his possession a Chinese AK-47 assault rifle that he brought home as a "reminder of his service" in Vietnam. Would it be impolite to ask the elitist John Kerry why he should have his own arsenal of assault weapons but will not allow others to do the same? This is just one more example of why you can't believe anything the Senator says.

Targeting President Bush for not pushing for renewal of the weapons ban will likely backfire on John Kerry.... Why would Senator Kerry risk political fallout by flogging this dead horse of useless mostly symbolic legislation? Is he so dim to see there is no political capital to be gained out of this? How does he expect to make points in the huge hunting states of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania when such laws could be extended to include the ever-popular semi-automatic shotgun? Some 47 percent of households and 54 percent of union households own guns. Contrary to appearances, Kerry does possess a set of convictions. He just can't share them openly. If Kerry has ever been consistent on anything it has been his opposition to the right of Americans to defend themselves. When asked to explain Kerry's commitment to the ban despite the political risks, advisor Joe Lockhart said, "'s a matter of principle."

John Kerry claims to be a champion of the Constitution, yet he has shown nothing but distain for the 2nd Amendment. His remark was, "I have never ever thought about going hunting with an AK-47 or an Uzi or anything else." This statement alone is sufficient to display Kerry's complete ignorance of the purpose for the Amendment. The Founding Fathers did not institute the right "to bear arms" to protect hunting, but to protect all the other freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights. Justice Joseph Story regarded the amendment as "the palladium of the liberties of the Republic'. It's a shame that a Senator from Massachusetts, home of the Revolutionary Minutemen, would be so opposed to the very right that gave birth to freedom on this continent".

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"The so-called assault weapon (SAW) controversy is one that lends itself to plain reasoning. Just off the cuff, how many instances of gun crime nationwide and especially locally can you think of that involved sustained Hollywood-style gunfights between police and criminals? The typical exchange of gunfire is usually just a few rounds. One New York City study showed an average of 3.8 rounds fired by the police per incident. So much for the hazard of police being "outgunned."

As gun researcher Gary Kleck points out, nearly all studies of firearm-caused police fatalities put those killed by SAWs anywhere from zero to five percent of the total. In other words, officers killed by SAW-wielding criminals are an extreme rarity.

Do the high-capacity magazine weapons pose a greater danger to police than other firearms? Common sense indicates that a criminal with a 10-round firearm is virtually as dangerous as one with, say, a 20-round magazine. FBI data bear this out: 85 percent of all victim officers killed by firearms never fire a single shot, let alone get outgunned by a criminal with more ammunition.

Small wonder that Tom Diaz of the anti-gun "Violence Policy Center" said: "If the existing assault-weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another in terms of our objective, which is reducing death and injury and getting a particularly lethal class of firearms off the streets. " Because, he explains, Washington, D.C. is surrounded by localities with softer gun laws. He seems to have forgotten that the assault weapons ban was nationwide while acknowledging it didn't help public safety.

Kleck points out that SAWs are not the choice of gangs or drug dealers. Looking at studies from 1989 to 1994 that dealt with firearms that President George H.W. Bush outlawed from importation, Kleck discovered that the banned weapons made up only 1® to 3 percent of the firearms confiscated from gangs and drug dealers. "Thus, assault weapons are virtually never used by drug dealers or juvenile gang members, just as is true of criminals in general." Too bad. The assault weapon boogeyman is yet another beautiful liberal theory mugged by a gang of facts.

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