Archive for August, 2008

A number of polls have picked up that not all of Hillary Clinton’s supporters plan to vote for Obama.  One such individual, Debra Bartoshevich, was elected a delegate to the Democratic Convention.  She was kicked off the floor of the convention this week and she promptly filmed a commercial for McCain.

A lot of buzz has popped up in the last day or so about the chances that Texas U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson may be McCain’s VP pick and that she may help McCain pick up more of the disgruntled Hillary supporters. Althought she in not pro-life, Hutchinson is a solid conservative on other issues and even on the life issue she is not an in-your-face pro-abortion rights legislator. She also supports Supreme Court Justices like Alito and Roberts. Is Hutchinson a last minute smokescreen or does she have a real shot at being on the ticket. We will know tomorrow.

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National Review Online has a good piece this morning from Campaign Spot blogger Jim Geraghty asking exactly why a guy (Mark Warner) who is running as someone who can work with Republicans, was asked to deliver the Keynote Address at the Democratic Convention – an address that usually defines what the party stands for and serves up some red meat in the process about the opposition.

Geraghty also does a good job bursting the bubble Warner and the media have created regarding his record as Governor. He writes that “in 2001 (Warner) called himself a ‘fiscal conservative’ and pledged not to raise the income or sales taxes, promising, as National Journal put it, ‘an end to old-style politics, regional divisions, partisan bickering and personal attacks.'”

Warner of course lied about raising taxes, raising them to the tune of $1.5 billion, with the help of the RINOs in the State Senate and three handfuls of squishy Republicans in the House. As Geraghty points out, because of Virginia’s “odd” one-election-and-you’re-out term limit rule, Warner never had to face the voters for breaking his word.  It’s likely he would have paid no penalty however as Jim Gilmore’s attacks on the subject today have gotten little traction.

As Geraghty notes, Warner is nothing if not an astute politician though as he rarely forgot that he headed a commonwealth that had recently been solidly Republican and he chose his battles carefully. He never crossed the NRA, thus allowing him to now tout on his “Sportsmen for Warner” web site the five very good pieces of legislation that he signed as Governor – bills that included the first parital roll back of Virginia’s handgun rationing law; full pre-emption (making the General Assembly the only law making body in Virginia that can pass gun control laws and ending a patchwork of confusing gun laws); and, signing Delegate Bill Janis’ bill introduced at the request of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) that gave greater protections to gun ranges.

But, gun owners need to ask and get in writing the answers on two key questions.  Gun owners need to ask Warner whether he has changed the position he took in 1996 and 2001 where he supported the Clinton Gun Ban (known as the misnamed “assault weapons” ban) and whether he will support Supreme Court nominees like Alito and Roberts who ruled the D.C. Gun Ban unconstitutional or, if like Obama, he would oppose Alito and Roberts type of justices and instead support justices like Ginsburg, and Breyer who voted to throw the 2nd Amendment on the ash heap of history.

Geraghty also noted that Warner rarely touched any controversial social issues, writing that Warner bragged of eliminating “more than 50 agencies, boards, and commissions — and thousands of positions in state government.” Until 2004, Warner spent a lot of time on unglamorous, noncontroversial good-government initiatives, criticizing state agencies for using “outdated business practices.”

Does anyone really believe that if Warner is elected to the U.S. Senate where he may have as many as 59 like minded colleagues (if you believe Chucky Schumer’s latest bragging about their election prospects), unfettered by having to deal with a majority controlled by the other party, that he will be the “radical centrist” that he says he wants to be.

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This blog is focused more on pro Second Amendment issues and between now and election day much will be written about what an Obama administration and a congress with larger Democratic majorities will mean to the rights of gun  owners.   Having said that, there are other reasons to do all we can to defeat Barack Obama.  What do we really know about this man that speaks in platatudes and mosiacs about what he wants to do if he is elected.

Enter the American Issues Project, a conservative 527 organization with a new ad that will hopefully get Americans thinking about where Obama really wants to lead this nation.  Take a look.

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Virginia residents continue to file into circuit courts throughout the state at a record pace this year, according to statistics from more than 50 jurisdictions analyzed by the Daily News-Record.  According to the News-Record, in 2007, the number of concealed-weapon permits issued jumped roughly 60 percent from the previous year in Virginia.  Numbers for the first six months of 2008, show that most jurisdictions are on pace to surpass those numbers.

My home county of Chesterfield, as well as Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties are all on pace to break records, according to local statistics. In Fairfax County, a locality that has some very anti-gun elected officials (Ken Cuccinelli being the exception), 1,501 have been issued in the first six months of 2008; last year, 2,201 were issued; and, in 2006, 1,449.

Texas and other states have seen similar increases.  While no one can say with certainly what is driving the increase, it is very possible that people have finally figured out that the job of the police is not to protect individuals, that the job of self defense is the responsibility of the individual.  High profile mass killings probably have also played a role in the increase.  Finally, politics may also be playing a role in the uptick in applications.  Vigilant gun owners know that the Supreme Court decision in D.C. vs Heller was razor thin.  The next president may appoint as many as three new justices so it is critical that a pro-rights candidate win this year.  That’s why gun owners must do all they can to insure that Barrack Obama does not march into the White House on January 20, 2009.

The Obama campaign spokesman in Virginia is disputing that politics has anything to do with the increase in permit applications.  Kevin Griffis, the Virginia communications director for the Obama campaign, told the News Record that there is no correlation between the increase in concealed-weapons permits and the presidential election, saying it’s “a Republican talking point.”

Griffs continued by calling the claim that Obama is anti-gun a “systematic smear effort by the NRA.”   He went on to call the NRA “an arm of the Republican Party.” Citing the fact that 2007 was not a presidential election year, he said the NRA saying that Obama is anti-gun is “just as absurd as the e-mails going around suggesting Barack is not Christian” and called the NRA claims in the advertisement false.

You can hear me discuss the increase in permit applications on NRANews’ Daily News with Ginny Simone at 5:00PM today.  The interview will likely replay on Cam and Company tonight around 9:40PM.


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This year’s Democratic ticket is likely the most anti-gun pair that has ever run- besting even Clinton/Gore and Kerry/Edwards.  Obama’s record is well documented at www.nraila.org/obama – including his votes to ban most all rifle ammunition commonly used by hunters and sportsmen and supporting a proposal that would close almost all gun shops in the country.  Biden is just as bad.

Senator Biden has a long anti-gun record. Beginning in the late 1980s, he voted against the NRA position on most issues. He received an “F” rating from the NRA in 2002.

Sen. Biden was the lead sponsor of the Senate crime bill in the 103rd Congress (S. 1607), to which the Clinton Gun Ban amendment was attached. (The crime bill that eventually passed was the House version, but it still included the gun ban.)

Biden voted for the ban on a stand-alone vote in 1993 ( Feinstein amendment, vote no. 375, 11/17/93) and voted to extend the ban in 2004 as an amendment to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (vote no. 24, 3/2/2004), and included a renewal of the ban in his crime bill last year along with gun show restrictions (S. 2237, title VI).

In the 101st Congress, 1990, Biden introduced two crime bills, S. 1970 and S. 1972. S. 1970 proposed banning the AR-15 and similar semi-automatic firearms, and provided that the Treasury Secretary and Attorney General could recommend to Congress any other firearms (regardless of type) to be designated as “additional assault weapons.”S. 1972 proposed banning the purchase of the same guns unless the seller and buyer fill out and maintain copies of a 4473 or equivalent document, essentially just requiring private sellers to maintain records.

Biden reiterated his support for the ban (in fact, took credit for authoring it) in response to a question at the the CNN/YouTube debate this year (referenced in Saturday’s post). He also campaigned on the issue, and used the other side’s usual talking points in his campaign ads and letters to constituents in the ’90s. Even before the Feinstein amendment, Biden introduced crime bills that contained semi-auto bans (see bottom).

Hat tip to my friends over at the Yahoo Gun Issues group.

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After a great vacation with the family it’s back to blogging and getting the word out about Obama and helping elect Jim Gilmore to the U.S. Senate.  With that in mind, if you are planning to be in Salem, Virginia for the Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen’s Classic, stop buy on Sunday at 1:30 and say hello to Jim Gilmore.  Former Governor Gilmore is a current member of the NRA Board of Directors. He opposes background checks on private sales at gun shows and will support Supreme Court nominees like Chief Justice Roberts and Alito who sided with the majority in the Heller case striking down the D.C. Gun Ban.

For more on the show, check out below.

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My friend Cam Edwards (host of Cam and Company on NRANews.com) sits in for talk show host Mike Church on Sirius Satellite Patriot 144 from time to time.  The last time Cam sat in on Church’s show, he followed Church’s tradition of doing a “Parody Song.”  After playing on his NRANews.com program, one of the listeners decided to make a video out of it.  I embed the video below for your entertainment.

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The Politico reported yesterday that Barrack Obama is trailing John McCain among sportsmen but a surprising number say they’ll vote for him – far more than backed Al Gore or goose hunting John Kerry. According to a Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) poll to be released today, McCain leads Obama by a 45 to 31 percent.   That’s only about half the 27-point edge respondents say they gave George W. Bush over Kerry four years ago and far short of the 65-to-15 percent margin gun owners gave to Bush over Gore in 2000.  CSF polled 1,009 hunters and fishermen, between July 10 and July 24.  The results could be a reflection of McCain’s up-and-down relationship with gun advocates and also suggests the he has not yet persuaded a core Republican constituency. 
CSF Communication’s Director Melinda Gable said, “I don’t think John McCain has really made his case to hunters and anglers.   Things were very different in 2004. Everybody knew that George W. Bush was from Texas, he was a rancher and that he went hunting. We haven’t seen that from McCain yet—there’s the unknown—he really needs to come out as a sportsman. Neither candidate has talked a lot about the issues that are important to us.”
McCain has a mostly pro-gun record in the Senate, opposing the Clinton Gun ban on certain semi-automatic firearms (misnamed assault weapons) and he supported the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.  However, he’s not an avid hunter (but that should be a little concern because only the media and the gun ban lobby believe the Second Amendment is not about hunting) and has battled the National Rifle Association over his support for background checks on private sale of firearms at gun shows and his crusade for campaign finance reform. 
McCain has tried to soothe the bad feelings at each of his appearances before NRA members in the past year (at the Annual Meeting in Louisville in May of this year and at the Celebration of American Values in September of ’07) by portraying the Democrats as a common enemy.  In May, he told those attending the Annual Meeting, “They claim to support hunters and gun owners.  If… Senator Obama is elected president, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk.” 
The survey showed that hunters have no great affection for Obama.  Obama’s long history of favoring more restrictive gun control laws as a state legislator is likely to blame. The poll showed that about half of those polled say they like McCain and would love to go on a hunt with him – compared to 29 percent who feel the same way about Obama.   National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) President Steve Sanetti told the Politico that “Sportsmen view John McCain as good company in the great outdoors.  They’re just not sure how much fun Barack Obama would be in a duck blind.”Fishermen are a little more Obama friendly, but favor the Arizona senator by a 44-to-31 margin.
For those not familiar with CSF, the group advocates gun rights and expanded access to federal land for hunters in congress and is bipartisan.  A number of congressmen and senator’s are members of the foundation,s Congressional Sportmen’s Caucus (including Virginia’s Sen. John Warner, Rep. Rick Boucher, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Thelma Drake, Rep. Virgil Goode, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Rob Wittman, and Rep. Frank Wolf).

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Former Virginia Governor and current NRA Board Member Jim Gilmore is running a hard fought campaign for U.S. Senate to replace Senator John Warner who is retiring.  Gilmore is being out fundraised and out spent by his opponent but he remains undaunted.  Gilmore is a friend to gun owners.  A longtime NRA Life Member, Gilmore came out forcefully earlier this year against current Governor Tim Kaine’s attempt to end private sale of firearms at gun shows.  I’m supporting Jim Gilmore because he will oppose renewal of the Clinton Gun Ban, oppose attempts to end the private sale of firearms at gun shows, and will stand up for the rights of individual gun owners.

Gilmore Ad for NRA

Gilmore’s opponent is former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.  Warner signed every pro-gun bill that reached his desk.  However, he has said on more than one occassion that he supported the Clinton Gun Ban on certain semi-automatic rifles and would have signed a bill forbidding carrying in a public recreation center if it had reached his desk.  Warner is following the “middle road” strategy that was laid out by the moderate Democratic Leadership Council.  He has also said he wants to go to Washington to be a “Radical Centrist.”  If he gets to the Senate however, can he be counted on to vote against all restrictions on our gun rights?  Would he support Supreme Court Justices like Alito and Roberts who voted to uphold our individual right to keep and bear arms and against justices like Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Stevens who voted to abolish an individual right?  Gun owners need to ask Warner these questions and get him to give a direct answer.

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There was a lot of buzz earlier this week about the possibility of pro-gun 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor being vetted by the McCain campaign as a possible VP.  I have known the congressman for a long time and I could not be more excited about the possibility of such a solid pro-gun conservative on the ticket.  I don’t think it will happen in the end but if it does, Cantor will add to McCain’s pro-rights credentials.  McCain’s record is not perfect on our issue but it is head and shoulders above Obama’s.  Talk of an Obama-Kaine (as in Virginia Governor Tim Kaine) could not be a more stark contrast in supporting the rights of law abiding gun owners.

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