Brakes, Gloves Are Off: Its NRA vs. Kerry
by Dave Workman
John Kerrys America isnt the land of the free, but a land free of your guns!
Setting the tone for what certainly was the official kick-off for the National Rifle Associations (NRA) effort to keep Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry from winning the presidency this November, NRA President Kayne B. Robinson delivered that observation to a roaring crowd during the annual members meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, Apr. 17.
It was a record turnout for the three-day meetings and convention, drawing more than 60,000 members and supporters, according to NRA estimates. Thousands listened as Robinson, First Vice President Sandra Froman, Second Vice President John Sigler and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took turns bashing the anti-gun junior Bay State senator. Even Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action took a verbal swing at Kerry, whose only votes in the Senate this year were in support of renewing the so-called assault weapons ban and closing the alleged gun show loophole, and against a bill that would have protected firearms makers from harassment anti-gun lawsuits.
Their speeches set the tone for a subsequent keynote address to energized NRA members by Vice President Dick Cheney just before the annual members banquet in a very security-conscious hall.
While Cheney avoided mentioning the assault weapons banwhich President George Bush earlier said he supported, a fact that has chagrined many gun rights activistshe took careful aim at Kerrys anti-gun record.
Gunowners and manufacturers know where the president stands, Cheney told an audience of about 4,000 NRA members, and the Presidents opponent shows where he stands, as well.
John Kerrys approach to the Second Amendment, Cheney added, has been to regulate, regulate and regulate some more.
Blasting Kerrys support of gun control measures during his Senate career, Cheney told his audience, The most effective way to deal with criminals is to go after criminals, themselves, not the law-abiding firearms owners of America.
Hours before Cheneys remarks fired up the banquet crowd, Robinson led NRA officers in painting Kerry as an elitist at the members meeting.
In Kerrys America, Robinson stated, guns and hunting are like polo and yachtingfor the elite.
Froman warned the audience that if Kerry is elected in November, we might see a Supreme Court with the likes of anti-gun Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed to the high court for life. Of that court, she added, It only takes five (justices) to pass eternal judgment on what the Second Amendment means.
We now have John Kerry, voted F by the NRA, posing as a hunter, she added. John Kerry is the only man in America who uses blaze orange as camouflage.
She also reminded NRA members that the anti-gun Brady Campaign has given Kerry a 100% rating.
Froman called the Second Amendment a doomsday provision in the Constitution, the right that enables citizens to act if the other Constitutional provisions fail to prevent the destruction of liberty.
There is no more deadly combination (to Constitutional freedom), she suggested, than John Kerry and the Supreme Court he would nominate.
Siglers remarks likened todays gun rights activists to the Minutemen of the Revolution, and he reminded NRA members about the confrontations at Lexington and Concord that ignited the war for independence.
Back in 1775, he said, some people werent really sure freedom was worth fighting for. Up in Boston, the rich merchants were in no hurry to rock the boat. . . . When the King sent General Gage to seize the colonists arms, these same fat-cat Tories tipped him off and told him exactly where they were, in a town called Lexington. . . . The Tories were all too willing to betray their fellow colonists.
Eventually, he continued, American history would leave the Tories in its wake, but that doesnt mean that their brethren dont exist today in Boston and elsewhere, and you certainly dont have to look far to find them. Just look at John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and their cohorts.
If Kerry and Kennedy had been around in 1775, he said, Americas minutemen would have been forced to fight the redcoats with rocks and sticks and pitchforks.
LaPierre also leveled his sights on Kerry, noting, You look at John Kerry and see nothing but Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton with bigger hair.
He issued a blanket warning to all anti-gun politicians: Let every anti-gun US senator and candidate hear my voice: Never go to bed unafraid of what this body can do to your career! Because we know who you are, we never forget, and were not going away!
LaPierre shared some statistics with the audience during the members meeting, gleaned from Zogby polling data. According to Zogby, two out of three Americans want better enforcement of existing gun laws, not more gun control. Nearly 75% of Americans believe the firearms industry should be protected from junk lawsuits. Sixty-four percent believe that the First Amendment was infringed by the Supreme Court ruling that upheld campaign finance reform legislation. More than 80% support hunting as a traditional and essential wildlife management tool.
He also said that polling data suggests that between 23 and 27 million Americans claim to be members of, or are affiliated with, the NRA.
Cox, with a blow-up of a photograph of Kerry, with Schumer, Dianne Feinstein and Kennedy that appeared in several publications after the March Senate gun bill vote in the background, told the crowd, I really like Kerry. No, not John Kerry, the right to carry. He said the photo is the Whos Who of the Gun Haters Hall of shame.
Cox said there are many candidates running for election this fall who claim to support gun rights, but always have some qualification to throw in.
I call them Freedom, Buts, he said. Dont be fooled. Theyre posers and fakes and they want your gun, and John Kerry is the worst of them all.
Cox called Kerry an anti-gun imposter, asserting that the Massachusetts liberal wants you to think hes one of us.
Recalling that Kerry said in a speech last year that he did not want to be the candidate of the NRA, Cox offered this assurance: John Kerry, you will never be the candidate of the NRA.
More complete coverage of the NRA meeting will appear in the next issue.
Return to Archive Index