Why we all need the Democrats to abandon gun control

  • Hal Herring


At this year's annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in September, National Rifle Association President Sandy Froman endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain in the upcoming presidential election. This came as no surprise; the Democrats have long been denounced by the NRA as the anti-Second Amendment party — Nanny-State know-it-alls, Big-Government gun-controllers out of touch with the majority of Americans, yearning to impose their vision on a population that wants none of it.

In this election, however, it's not that simple. The U.S. is facing a host of challenges, most of them brought on by the antics of a Republican administration that governed as a team of mendacious plunderers, with no regard for the future, or even for the beliefs that their own party once espoused. The Constitution — the very document that guarantees the right to keep and bear arms — has been treated with scorn. The economy, manipulated by the kind of "crony capitalism" we once despised in less-enlightened nations, is a shambles, at least for the middle class, and our energy policies are the laughingstock of the developed world. Today's Republicans are not just the party of the Second Amendment; they are also the party of the big energy companies. Is it possible, then, that gun-rights advocates might consider voting for someone who is not a Republican?

It's unlikely, unless the Democrats start acknowledging the gun vote and respecting the views of Second Amendment proponents. Gun owners represent at least 4 million of the nation's most dedicated voters. Election after election, they help change the outcome, sometimes electing politicians who are inept, corrupt or unabashed lackeys of corporate interests — people whose only appeal to gun owners is that they promise to leave the Second Amendment alone.

Now, however, the Second Amendment is more resistant to those politicians who might want to mess with it. The Supreme Court's recent Heller decision just declared Washington, D.C.'s restrictive firearms laws unconstitutional, thus weakening the power of state and local politicians to control guns or limit gun ownership. Given that — and given what is at stake in the U.S. today — it may be time for Democratic and independent voters to simply give up on gun control. We have so many more pressing issues to deal with.

For two decades, many liberals have thrived on despising the NRA and its members. Those who believe in gun control often hold enormous prejudice against those who don't. But there are already reams of laws pertaining to the use, abuse, purchase and sale of firearms. What new regulations would the gun-controllers create, and how would they work to address the problem of gun violence? Do they want to prohibit private ownership of firearms altogether? Many would like to ban handguns, without considering just what this would entail, what inequities of power would result, and what new, potentially dangerous, powers would have to be awarded to government to accomplish it. Like activists who want to ban pit bulls, the gun-control advocates remain relentlessly unspecific about what they hope to achieve. It has become clear, too, that these advocates hold a double standard regarding the U.S. Constitution: The First Amendment is vital to the health of a free nation, as is the Fourth, but the Second is respected only by the un-evolved and the violent. Only the parts of the Constitution that their side respects are valid, in this view.

According to Dave Workman, the senior editor of GunWeek, a publication of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation, "The Clinton-era 'assault weapons ban' was more symbolic than anything else. The reason it was so overwhelmingly supported by the gun control movement was because it represented a federal ban on firearms based on cosmetic circumstances — what they looked like — not on their lethality. It was to condition the public to accept a piecemeal destruction of the Second Amendment."

Workman believes there was much to learn from the Clinton election. "When George H. W. Bush took the gun vote for granted in 1992, most of the gun owners voted for Ross Perot, or else they sat it out," he says. The election of Clinton, though, and what followed, cemented the gun voters' dislike of the Democratic Party. The Brady Law went into effect in 1993, and the "assault weapons ban" passed a year later. That was enough, says Workman, for the gun voters to see "how this was all going. They mobilized and threw out many of the Democrats, costing them control of Congress (in 1994)." The National Rifle Association first endorsed a presidential candidate — Ronald Reagan — in 1980, but gun politics as we know them today were born in 1994.

Since then, the gun vote has gone to the Republicans, and that is not expected to change anytime soon, even with pro-gun Democrats like Montana's Gov. Brian Schweitzer or Sen. Jon Tester gaining prominence. "It is not that the gun vote will not cross party lines," Workman said. "We know that there are a lot of pro-gun Democrats now, and we are not the one-mind, one-thought Neanderthals that many liberals believe us to be. But the Republican party remains the party of the gun owners, because the most entrenched Democrats are the old-left, dust-gathering anti-gun, anti-liberty politicians, and when the Democrats have a majority, it puts those people in charge."

Tom Gresham, host of the radio show Gun Talk, recognizes that there are dire problems with the Republican Party. Still, he refuses to vote for a Democrat. "I am proud to be a single-issue voter, and I will not cast a vote to strengthen the party of Nancy Pelosi. Let's look at what it means when any politician says that it is okay to take away any of the gun rights of a law-abiding citizen. It means that they truly believe that we are too childlike to be trusted with those rights, and it means that their attitude of government is that it will protect us from any and every peril. Tangentially, it also means that they want all the power."

Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 04:57 PM
Well said! As someone who is a "liberal Democrat" on most issues and an Abe Lincoln "conservative" on others (being "conservative means sticking with the tried and true")I have fully believed it has been a profound mistake for the Democrats to throw away the gun owner's vote as they have for years. I grew up in Ohio plinking with my dad's .22. I'm a gun owner with a collector's license for curios and relics and a life member of the NRA. I disagree with them about most political issues and find them extreme. When I ran for Congress in 2006, I got a questionaire from them that that would likely have failed me in their eyes, had I sent it in. I still do not believe in free and unfettered access to .50 caliber rifles with a range of over a mile! This is a weapon that IMHO, should be allowed but controlled (licensed?), with restrictions on subsequent transfer. In reading the various "States" versions of the second amendment prior to the ratification of the Constitution in 1787, it is clear that "the right to keep and bear arms" is an individual, not a collective right. It is the one area that I disagree with other members of the ACLU, the group that sticks up for all of our other Constitutional rights, with the sole exception of the 2nd Amendment. They unfortunately, and wrongly, look upon the 2nd Amendment as the ONLY collective right, among all the individual rights, in the Bill of Rights.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 05:03 PM
The writer is indeed correct that many gun owners are voting McCain due to this single issue even though we are not in love with the ticket. But, how in the world can I as a gun owner even consider voting Obama/Biden when the VP candidate on the Democratic ticket wrote the Clinton assault weapons ban? Obama & Biden have not ever seen a piece of anti-Second Amendment legislation they did not like. It will take far more than a pro-Second Amendment plank in the Democratic Party's platform to garner gun owners' votes. It will take years of pro-firearm legislation supported by Democrats. Until we see that, do not expect to see a flood of gun owners flocking to the Democratic ticket.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 05:23 PM
Its nice to hear from someone who gets it. Hunting connects man with nature in a natural, primitive, spiritual way. And I would bet that there is some of that deep connection hiding in a lot of card-carrying Democrats, unbeknownst to their frontal lobes. If only they could get outside and hunt, they might find awakened in themselves an atavistic, but deeply human, thrill. They might find their understanding of the environment profoundly deepened. For their part, most hunters will tell you that even when they don't see a single animal, they would not trade back a single one of the beautiful (or sometimes miserable) days outside in the wild. One does not have to have killed to have hunted, is an often heard quote. Hunters forums regularly feature posted pics of beautiful places -- no animals, just the beauty of snow-capped hills and verdant green valleys. Which is to say, enviros and sportsmen have a lot more in common than we think. The Dems should be mining this vein.

As a native Arizonan and a hunter, I have found the biggest threat to wildlife is detruction and development of their habitat on public lands. McCain (who is not from around these parts) sponsored two bills to swap Arizona public lands to big time developer Don Diamond. And he supports nuclear energy, but has been mum about the thousands of uranium claims around the Grand Canyon (including Unit 12A -- home to a renowned, beloved, studied, and hunted trophy mule deer herd). I voted early today for the candidate most likely to amend the Mining Act of 1872, and most likely to preserve places to hunt -- even though that candidate raised my hackles with his idiotic and elitist "guns and God" comment. Anyhow -- your article is right on target.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 05:32 PM
I believe in the strict interpretation of the constitution according to original intent of the founding fathers. When the 2nd amendment was passed, arms meant muskets, flintlocks, and cannon, not repeaters, revolvers, and machine guns. I'm in favor of letting criminals carry black-powder devices as the original framers intended. By the time they reload an average person on foot would be able to stop them. WE could even go back to the honorable process of dualing to encourage the elimination of these paleolithic throwbacks. Hunters can use spears, longbows and arrows, as well as the muskets and flintlocks, but all other devices should be banned. They were not the devices originally intended in the Bill of Rights. That's the real conservative view, even Judge Scalia should love this textualist and originalist interpretation.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 08:58 PM
Brett, Brett, Brett... Think for a moment. If we freeze the Second Amendment in time as you suggest, shall we also insist he Constitution protect only those religions that existed in 1789? Careful there, or you'll anger a lot of Mormons and Christian Scientists.

Shall we restrict freedom of the press to simple written documents and single-sheet presses and deny it to radio, television, offset presses, and the Internet?

Shall we insist that freedom of speech apply only to the unamplified spoken word and deny it to anyone with a bullhorn or microphone?

The Constitution deals in principles. It allows for the unforeseen.

Tne principle behind the Second Amendment is that the right to self defense implies the means to self defense. The Second Amendment recognizes (recognizes only; it does not create) the right to defend one's self, one's family, one's community (that's were 'militia' begins to come in), and country (militia again). Ultimately, it recognizes the right of free citizens to overthrow tyrannical government and start over. As Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patrots and tyrants."

I'm a gun nut to you, an NRA Life Member, Life Member of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, member of The Second Amendment Foundation, and a registered Democrat.

I voted for Obama because, when the forest is on fire, we have to be concerned with more than just one tree.

Obama will have too many truly important thinngs to deal with to waste political capital on trying to whip the dead horse of gun control back to life.

The Republicans had their chance to govern and they blew it badly.

Country First.

Vote Dem.

Eric Rush
Wilmington, Ohio
Anonymous says:
Nov 02, 2008 11:56 AM
I so glad to hear there are some Democrats out there who can see a little light (even when a speck of it comes around the corner!) Just like the recent Gottlieb synopsis*..., the Democrat majority in congress will continue to have "story telling problems" when it comes to confessing the blame for our economic meltdown! The real truth "... in lending" parallels the thought that "Liberalism (throughout history)is actually a [political] mental disorder of suicide! Repeatedly! Forever!
  It is also sad that the ability for rational discussion on political discourse is escaping the irrational "gut mentality" in our culture. A good enema would so much healthier than to have to live with the constipated thinking of our mad liberals! However, when our "city culture" actually rules over the American Culture..., our price of freedom will take on a renewed and escalted cost that will make us long for "the good old days" when there was a choice!
Anonymous says:
Oct 30, 2008 06:36 AM
Amend the constitution if you think it needs to be changed then. But for now it says that we have the right to bear arms and that this right shall not be infringed. The democrats consistently support infringing upon this unalienable right that we have.
Anonymous says:
Oct 30, 2008 10:12 AM
Just because we have an individual right, doesn't mean there can be no restrictions that are in the interest of the public good.

Just like you can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater (1st Amendment), you have to realize that a huge part of gun ownership is respect for the power of the firearm.

I support gun rights, we have the Second Amendment for a reason, and that hasn't changed. That doesn't mean that we should let felons own handguns. In my opinion, there are plenty of common-sense regulations that responsible gun owners can agree to...and most of them are already on the books.

I understand that some guns are designed to take down a 12 point, and some are designed to protect your home...but I don't need armor-piercing rounds to kill a deer to feed my family (though they do come in handy for the thug who wants to be a cop-killer).

There is common ground we can find, so long as we all respect the rights our founding fathers recognized.
Anonymous says:
Oct 30, 2008 03:35 PM
Any hunting rifle legal for killing deer is capable of penetrating soft body armor. Simple physics.

Regarding your larger point: what if, as has happened in many countries, the cops become the thugs?

The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting, and it's not simply about home defense. It's about defense from oppression.

I don't know if you've been keeping up lately with the ACLU's activities, but something they're concerned with right now is the recent deployment of a combat brigade returned from Iraq on American soil, to deal with "civil unrest and crowd control."

Those troops answer to George Bush. If, hypothetically, he were to decide not to leave office after all, wouldn't it be nice to be able to do something about it? (And don't tell me the Army is invincible, Iraq is proving otherwise. A lot of our casualties come from snipers with rifles.)

This point, right here, is why a lot of gun owners get prickly about this stuff. I thought the article made this point pretty well.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 05:47 PM
Cleanly written piece. Both sides well represented and thought out. I would only add that politicos find "issues" like abortion, gun control and gay marriage useful because the electorate becomes emotional, frightened, and angry, and forgets to watch which shell holds the pea. Oops, where did all that money go? Keep 'em busy, keep 'em happy, and keep 'em stupid. Again, well done.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 08:07 PM
An 8-year-old boy died October 26, 2008, after he accidentally shot himself with an Uzi at a Massachusetts gun expo. His father said, "This accident was truly a mystery to me. This is a horrible event, a horrible travesty, and I really don’t know why it happened."
Anyone learning of this horrifying accident in the safety of their home, would be impressed by the confusion expressed by the dead boy's father. Several questions come immediately to mind: why was a boy of eight anywhere near an assault weapon? How was the plan to introduce an elementary-school child to the attractions of heavy weaponry approved? I'm sure many people can view this horror with something approaching calm, and rest assured that their individual right to own heavy weaponry is secure. Right now, the taste of bile is still in my mouth as I wipe the last vomit from my chin. This story doesn't pass the puke test. What if it were your son, your nephew, or grandson, whose short life had ended in this grotesque manner? I won't apologize for concluding that anyone who supports the free and unfettered possession of deadly weapons is sick in their head. Why in God's name should the Democratic party, or any organization dedicated to improving the lives and future of Americans, give up on the idea of gun control? Has mental illness spread so far in our country that the concept of curbing violent death by gun is no longer viable?

Here's my take: all gun owners should immediately submit themselves for psychiatric examination, to determine the extent of their illness and begin treatment before they do harm to someone.

Rifled, single-shot hunting weapons aside, this country should immediately consider laws making the possession of any handgun or assault weapon evidence of serious and dangerous mental illness, and anyone having such a weapon on their possession should be subject to immediate immobilization, hospitalization and confinement for treatment. The sale of -- or display with intent to sell -- any handgun or assault weapon to a private citizen should result in that person's inventory being seized and immediately destroyed, and the seller hospitalized immediately for treatment. Any factory producing handguns or assault weapons caught selling their product to private citizens should be closed, their corporate officers hospitalized, and the inventory destroyed.

I'll be looking for organizations who are serious about gun control, and writing puke-spattered checks to them to help curb this insanity.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 09:59 PM
You are either faceitious or nuts.
Anonymous says:
Oct 30, 2008 06:45 AM
There are plenty of activities not well suited for 8 year old children. If this parent had allowed their child to use a chainsaw and it caused the child's death, would you call for the banning of all chainsaws? Should we use hand saws for cutting down all trees simply because chainsaws are more dangerous than hand saws? Your logic is incorrect in many ways. Not to mention the assumptions you make about 'assault weapons'. The firearm that the child was using was a class III NFA firearm. To own one of these you need to apply directly to the BATF, pass a stringent background check, and pay a $200 tax. These are not weapons that you can go buy at your local pawn shop. I'm sure that this comment is wasted on you based on your ignorant and ill-informed views, but I felt the need to post it anyway. I know, sometimes it is inconvenient to respect the entire constitution, instead of just the parts that please you.
Anonymous says:
Nov 06, 2008 03:47 PM
In addition to what some others have posted here, fully automatic weapons (i.e. machine guns, "assault weapons", etc.) are already illegal and have been for 70 years. They were made illegal by the National Firearms Act of 1938. The reason the Clinton gun ban had no effect on crime is because it banned guns that are used in only a tiny fraction of crimes. The only place you see criminals spraying bullets from a fully automatic weapon is on TV or in the movies. Further, banning certain weapons only stops those who wish to purchase and own the weapons legally. The gun ban did nothing to stop the black market weapons trade so criminals still had their sources intact.

Let's say for a moment that the anti-gunners' wet dream came true and they managed to get rid of all guns from America. What then? How would a 100lb woman living alone defend herself against a 220lb male knife-wielding intruder? Think she'd have time to call 911? Even if she did, how many times do you think this man could stab her before the cops actually showed up? I live in Detroit where it can take law enforcement 45 minutes or more to respond to an emergency. I think every household should have a firearm for protection.

What happened with that 8 year old boy was, indeed, a tragedy. Clearly, someone wasn't thinking correctly when they let him fire a fully automatic weapon without assistance...or at all. Semi-auto weapons bear no responsibility for this tragedy however. Nor do fully automatic weapons. It was an error in judgement...negligence, possibly criminal, but not the fault of an inanimate object.
Anonymous says:
Nov 11, 2008 06:34 PM
It is a tragedy that this boy was killed, and the father bears the blame.

But you, sir, are a typical left wing loon advocating the type of action that would be welcomed by any number of petty tyrants and dictators around the world. No due process, no civil rights of the so-called "mental patients". Just the kind of treatment meted out to dissidents in the old Soviet Union.

You, sir, are why the 2nd Amendment exists.
Anonymous says:
Nov 12, 2008 01:18 AM
Here's a thought:
If you ban all guns because of accidents that can and could happen with them... why not ban all cars? Privately owned cars are far more dangerous. In 2007 traffic accidents in the EU, the majority involving privately owned cars, cost the lives of more than 50,000 people. Compare that to the number of people who died because of gun related accidents in the EU and the US counted together and you'll see that cars are far more dangerous than guns. I vote for banning all privately owned cars, because you never know what kind of mental diseases all those crazy drivers have. Just take all those speeders. Everyone who is cought speeding must immediately submit themselves for psychiatric examination, to determine the extent of their illness and begin treatment before they do harm to someone.

It's that simple, isn't it. Oh, in case people didn't get it: this was sarcastic.

What do you achieve by banning guns? You copy Europe. In Europe the governments have been disarming the law abiding citizens for years. The result? No matter where you look, UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Norway, etc, everywhere the crime rates are going through the roof. Violence on the streets is rising. The perfect example is the German capital, Berlin, where the murder rate is higher than in New York these days.

And keep in mind: criminals will always have guns, because criminals don't care about laws in the first place. No criminal will ever go and register his gun.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 09:30 PM
When I look at the world, it seems that freedom is not generally won by rebels battling entrenched or ursurping autocrats. The world is rife with armed, endless conflicts. More often freedoms are won by unarmed warriors who galvanize enough of the population to make a difference. Besides, if we genuinely need our guns to protect our freedoms, the protectors or our freedom seemed to have missed the boat. Our freedoms have been steadily eroded for the last 8 years without a shot fired in protest. Apparently, the 4 million zealots would rather negotiate the rest of the constitution rather than their right to bear arms.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 11:14 PM
Great article, with a "fair and balanced" approach.I fear that Obama's progressive speeches will give way to a shill for the far left wing of the Democratic Party that always seems to rear it's head when they feel they have a "mandate" from the people. We will all be left with a government that feels it knows what is best for the people, as opposed to the current regime that feels the people have no idea what is best for them so they can do as they please. Not sure which is worse. What is wrong with a fiscally conservative, small government, stay out of my bedroom, states right governance?
As far as gun control, how about a time in say thirty years, when we refuse to honor the debt we sold to China, what might happen? I'd say they would think twice about a forcible occupation of a well armed populace. And as we have learned in Iraq and not so much in Afghanistan, they only way to control a population is with actual troops on the ground. If we ever lose our status as most powerful nation on earth we would at least be able to keep the tag of having never endured a foreign occupation. A well armed populace is not only governed (not subjected) by those in power it is also a deterrent in the face of foreign intervention.
Anonymous says:
Oct 27, 2008 11:22 PM
Good point. By the same token we all need the Republican Party needs to lose their anti-environment attitudes. I'm a member of REP America and we are working to make this happen and in fact we are making progress but we have a ways to go. I encourage you Republicans who care about the environment to check us out.
Gun bans will only remove guns from law abiding citizens. They will not disarm the gangs, in fact they make the rest of us more vulnerable to the gangs. The police can't be everywhere. We either need to disarm everyone or nobody. Since it isn't feasible to disarm the criminal elements, gun bans will do nothing to make the world safer. Hopefully someday the Democrat party will recognize this. The Republicans do at least pay some lip service to saving the Second Amendment.
It is unfortunate that some people who choose to have guns don't accept the responsiblilty to teach their children about gun safety.
Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2008 05:38 AM
Thanks for a fine article, Hal. Fact is, lots of Dems have been avid hunters and gun owners for decades. Many of us left the NRA when they chose to enter politics and endorsed Reagan. What is worthy of note is how easily duped the NRA crowd has been by the cynical pro-gun stance of the Republicans who have been consistently anti-hunter in their politics and policies. One issue voters give me the willies. If you want to continue to hunt, you might want to examine the Democrat vs. Republican positions on public lands and privatization of them. And it would be nice if the Democrats would be a little more vocal in denying gun control advocacy.
Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2008 07:21 AM
As someone who has both enjoyed the beauty, peacefulness and thrill of hunting in the woods I grew up in and dreaded hearing shots outside my inner city apartment, I wonder if there is a middle ground. Parts of this article share the same extremities - all gun control proponents are bad - that it criticizes in the folks who think all gun users are bad. There is polarization on this topic, as there are on many in this country. Should one side have to "give in?" That's what you're proposing here, and I would imagine that kind of thinking is only going to entrench the various sides further.

Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2008 08:17 AM
I'm frankly flabbergasted that, in an era so defined by crises of the environment, energy, and economy, that folks are still voting on useless wedge issues like guns and abortion - and voting for folks that are hopelessly deficient on the first three but who pander on the last two. These issues that were made issues by Republicans for the express purpose of creating single-issue voters who will cheerfully forget any other issue that affects their quality of life simply to vote for an issue of very little real importance that they have been browbeaten and cajoled into caring deeply about. In that sense, I agree with the writer; it makes sense for the Democrats to de-emphasize these non-issues to pull the fangs of the Republicans who depend on them utterly.

All of that said, Obama and Biden are not going to be taking anybody's guns away. I guarantee it. Regardless of their personal positions on the matter, they're going to be too busy attending to stuff that actually matters - the economy, energy crises - to bother themselves with an issue that's only raised in times of relative prosperity and peace. Don't gamble on our ability to face those real crises because of your carefully-stoked fears about your "single issue" - a single issue that is so low on the priority list that the next president will never touch it.
Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2008 09:22 AM
As a long time hunter and gun owner I am very concerned about the Obama/Biden ticket. Biden has a long history of gun control legislation and Obama as well. Neither have hunted a day in their entire life.We who live in the west and value our public lands,public wildlife and access and hunting opportunities must not vote the Obama/Biden ticket. I have voted democrat before but not now.The Obama/Biden ticket will make gun purchase more difficult,raise the price of firearms and ammunition and make hunting what is left for the elite.We have already lost much hunting opportunity from Clintons intrduction of the large Canadian wolf into YNP and now in Montana,Wyoming and Idaho which is devastating elk,deer and moose populations.Obama/biden will push for more wilderness less public hunting and public access to the wildlife resource.It all appears to be a anti-hunting agenda to me and gun control is part of it.We need to pass on a legacy of gun ownership and hunting to the young generation.Be careful who you vote for. Thanks...Jack 72 & vet,wildlife biologist 35 years (retired).
Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2008 03:43 PM
"Obama/biden will push for more wilderness less public hunting and public access to the wildlife resource"

You call yourself a wildlife biologist? You sound utterly ignorant of ecological reality. As an ecologist, your statement is almost incomprehensible to me. Wildlife isn't a resource to be exploited. You want to go out and join the ecosystem, be my guest, but wildlife don't exist for recreational activities. The introduction of the wolf has been ecologically positive, by the way, your blinkered hunter's viewpoint aside.

Like I said above, get your head on straight. Guns and hunting are not what a rational, politically aware person bases their votes on. Your chosen candidate may pay lip service to politically convenient wedge issues you're simple enough to buy into, but that doesn't mean he's a worthwhile leader or decision maker.
Anonymous says:
Oct 29, 2008 11:08 AM
This issue should be biparisan but the records speak for themselves. Please look at www.isra.org on Obamas gun record in Illinios.Can we agree here that it has been the hunters/gun owners dollars responsible for funding for wildlife restoration efforts in the west under the Pittman-Robertson Act of Sept.2,1937? These tax funds are passed onto states for wildlife restoration efforts and support most of state fish and game agency 'game management'(matching 75% federal to 25% states). In more than 50 years this has been more than 2 billion dollars federal tax dollars matched by 500 million state dollars in every state.The PR Act was subject to violations in 1999 and money was used for slush accounts,bonuses,parties, alcohol,foreign travel,and even wolf reintroduction....all illegal. A congressional investigation led to H.R. 3671 passed on Feb. 16,2000 so that the abuses uncovered then could not be repeated.Jamie clark served no jail time unfortunately.Most all of wildlife restoration in the USA has been funded through hunters dollars from rifles and ammunition purchases. In the early 1970's the PR Act was amended to include archery equipment and handguns.We enjoy the wildlife we have today and the habitat purchased such as elk winter range and waterfowl habitat like Freezeout Lake with those dollars due to hunters dollars. When habitat is purchased more than game species benefit as well.In answer Mr.Lawton,yes I have been a wildlife biologist all of my 35 years and after and fought nearly every major battle in Montana for wildlife including stopping sagebrush spraying by federal agencies in northcentral Montana,waterfowl enhancement projects and public land access to our valuable wildlife resource and still do Mr. Lawton.I have the records to prove it. Your name doesn't sound familiar on any battle in Montana I am aware of.
Anonymous says:
Nov 02, 2008 07:18 AM
OK keyboard cowboy--the introduction of the wolf has been so "ecologically positive", that the wolves have moved out of Yellowstone and are now chasing and eating livestock, which is some people's means of making a living. It's been so "ecologically positive", that a wolf hunting season is now effective in surrounding states to control the wolf population.

I suppose, in your "blinkered ecologist" veiwpoint, the answer is simple--reintroduce a larger predator! OK...what's larger than wolves?
Anonymous says:
Nov 02, 2008 07:08 AM
As a registered Democrat, a member of the NRA, and a hunter, I often find myself at odds with opposite groups. I yearn for the days when our Democratic president was a liberal and an NRA member. I keep hope, however, as I scan my issue of American Hunter and see As and Bs next to Democrat's names (and even a few A+s!). Maybe it's just my home state of Pennsylvania, but there are Democrats that keep gun rights in mind and in their record.
Anonymous says:
Nov 16, 2008 10:09 AM
I agree. Democrats won the election but there are still large areas of the country that vote Republican simply because of the gun issue. If Democrats dropped gun control, the party would dominate American politics at least a generation.
Anonymous says:
Nov 11, 2008 03:21 PM
Even today, there are garage sized DIY Fablabs that can manufacture firearms like the AK-47, the Tokarev semiauto pistol and of course, the Sten submachine gun. In ten to thirty years, there would be desktop fabricators. Want a gun? Click "Print".

If people actually accepted evolution's implications (humans are predatory animals), then they throw fake pacifism down the trash. They would realize that self defense is a natural right, whether it is against a thug or a tyrant.

Why do I say "FAKE Pacifism"? Because your pacifism is phony if you support the use of government violence to seize guns from gun owners who never harmed the innocent.