One of the biggest victories for gun owners in Tuesday`s elections was the defeat of anti-gun Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). It is virtually unheard of for a high-profile Senate leader to lose a re-election bid, but thanks to the efforts of NRA members, gun owners, and hunters in South Dakota, that`s exactly what happened on November 2, for the first time in 52 years!
Daschle, as you will recall, was the architect of the defeat of S. 1805--NRA-backed legislation to end politically-motivated, reckless lawsuits against the firearm industry. Through parliamentary chicanery, Daschle secured enough anti-gun (and unrelated) amendments to the underlying measure to ensure it was voted down by an overwhelming majority. Daschle also led the campaign of obstruction to preclude many of President Bush`s judicial nominees from ever getting a vote in the full Senate.
Aping the deceptive political strategy unsuccessfully utilized by the top of his party`s ticket, Daschle campaigned back home in South Dakota as being pro-gun, trying to distance himself from his long anti-gun voting record in Washington. The strategy failed, just as it did for John Kerry. NRA`s Political Victory Fund ran ads and distributed hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature in South Dakota demonstrating that Daschle`s phony pro-gun campaign rhetoric was not matched by his votes in the Senate. And as happened to Senator Kerry, voters rightly judged that actions speak louder than words!
Replacing Senator Daschle is former U.S. Representative John Thune (R), who amassed a solid pro-gun voting record while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Senator-elect Thune proudly campaigned as the true champion of our gun rights that he is, and will continue to be in the U.S. Senate.
Thanks to the efforts of South Dakota`s Second Amendment supporters, Daschle`s strings, that for too long were pulled by the likes of Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), have now been finally cut!