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Gun Battle in Minnesota

Monday, October 7, 2002

If you live in Minnesota or have family, friends, co-workers or acquaintances in that state, here is what`s at stake in this November`s elections. With control of the Senate up for grabs, this race could determine the future of your firearm freedoms.

by Marshall Lewin

Norman Coleman

Mayor, St. Paul, Minnesota

With a proven record of reducing crime while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman is getting widespread support from Minnesota gun owners in his run for the U.S. Senate.

For more information:
Coleman For U.S. Senate
1410 Energy Park Drive #11
Energy Park Plaza
Saint Paul, MN 55108

Coleman For Senate

Paul D. Wellstone

U.S. Senator, Minnesota

Senator Wellstone has cast 37 anti-gun votes in the U.S. Senate, including votes to:

Impose a waiting period on lawful handgun purchasers and reject development of the NICS Instant Check system;

Eliminate funding for the Civilian Marksmanship Program;

Pass the Clinton-Gore gun bans;

Pass legislation that would have effectively ended gun shows in America.

Among candidates running for U.S. Senate in the 2002 elections, you`d be hard-pressed to find an anti-freedom incumbent who has had more negative influence on national affairs than Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

Wellstone--whom the leftist magazine Mother Jones called "the first 1960s radical elected to the U.S. Senate"--fathered the amendment to so-called "campaign reform" legislation that bars groups like the NRA from even mentioning him or his record within 60 days of a general election. In fact, he even lambasted NRA by name during the floor debate on the amendment!

In this key race, as in many of the elections to be decided Nov. 5, the difference between the incumbent`s rhetoric and his record is all but unbridgeable.

If you listen to his rhetoric, Wellstone would have you believe that he supports your right to keep and bear arms and America`s hunting heritage. But if you analyze his record instead of simply accepting his rhetoric--if you base your judgment not on his words but on his deeds--you`ll see that nothing is further from the truth.

Wellstone`s Gun Bans

Minnesota`s U.S. Senate matchup pits Paul Wellstone, one of the most radical anti-gunners on Capitol Hill, against St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, who switched to the Republican Party in 1996 because, as he put it, "my old party left me."

Sen. Wellstone has extremist beliefs when it comes to national defense. Even after Iraq invaded Kuwait and Saddam Hussein threatened to seize control of much of the world`s oil supply, Wellstone opposed U.S. action in the Persian gulf. In 1999, Wellstone was one of only three U.S. senators to vote against developing a national missile defense system. And of course, Wellstone voted to block senate confirmation of John Ashcroft as attorney general.

Today, Wellstone promises to support the outdoors traditions of Minnesota`s outdoorsmen and women--he won`t go so far as to mention the Second Amendment.

But the record shows that his promises mean nothing. Over and again, throughout his campaigns in 1990 and 1996, Wellstone promised never to seek more than one re-election as a U.S. Senator. Since then he`s abandoned those promises, and if elected again this year, he`ll go on to serve his third term, for a total of 18 years in the U.S. Senate.

This could prove disastrous for gun owners nationwide. Because on the issue of firearm freedom, Wellstone has been every bit as extreme. He voted to pass the Clinton gun ban. He voted to impose waiting periods on firearm purchasers, and yet he opposed legislation to establish a reliable "Instant Check" system.

Wellstone joined Rosie O`Donnell in demonstrations to demand more anti-gun laws at the Million Mom March. He voted for a bill to close vast areas of the Mojave Desert to hunting. And, after voting to pass legislation that could effectively regulate gun shows out of business in America, Wellstone said, "It`s going to be much more difficult for the NRA to dominate the Congress any longer. And that`s good."

But where Wellstone attacks gun owners and NRA members, his opponent in the U.S. Senate race respects the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

After serving 17 years in the Minnesota attorney general`s office, when Norm Coleman became mayor of St. Paul, he made crime control a top priority. He hired scores of additional police officers.

"If you want to stop violence, go after the violent offenders,"
Coleman said. "We`ve put a lot of them away ..."

Wellstone joined Rosie O`Donnell in demonstrations to demand
more anti-gun laws at the Million Mom March.

He fought to reduce the age at which violent, dangerous juveniles can be tried as adults. He sought increased mandatory penalties for gang felonies. And he made St. Paul a safer city.

"If you want to stop violence, go after the violent offenders," Coleman said. "We`ve put a lot of them away, and we`ve seen the results over the past decade.

"It`s not about marching and demonstrating, it`s about addressing the real problem. If you want to solve the problem of gun violence, then deal with the people who are causing that problem."

Coleman understands Minnesota residents` stance on firearms freedom, something Well

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.