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Outrage Of The Week -- For American Hunters and Shooters Association, the Truth Hurts

Friday, February 29, 2008

For American Hunters and Shooters Association, the Truth Hurts:  The shills for anti-gun politicians that make up the leadership of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) are up to their old tricks again. Once again, they are trying to raise money from hunters and sportsmen, whom they hope to fool into believing they share their interests.  But when NRA-ILA puts the word out that AHSA is an anti-gun front group, these "sportsmen" get a little sensitive, calling ILA staff "right-wing attack dogs" and calling gun owners who support the right to own firearms to defend themselves "self-defense whackos." (To see the comments Ricker made on a popular pro-gun blog, please click here.)  But the truth is, AHSA and its anti-gun leadership have supported anti-gun lawsuits and gun bans, and its leaders have given money to the Brady Campaign and to anti-gun politicians like John Kerry, Al Gore, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, and Ted Kennedy.  

Sometimes the truth hurts.  And from their reaction, this time it hurts a lot. 

After suffering big losses at the polls for a decade, anti-gun politicians and their supporters like AHSA President Ray Schoenke and Bob Ricker (who has been a paid "expert" witness against gun manufacturers in a number of reckless lawsuits), are doing their best to hide their anti-gun agendas from the voters.  In the case of AHSA, they hide behind the image of a "sportsman" to try to sway voters into voting for anti-gun politicians. But a group and its leadership that supports gun bans, reckless lawsuits, and anti-gun politicians is no friend of sportsmen, even if they do occasionally hunt. Remember, even Hillary Clinton professes to have hunted once. 

In addition to its ongoing efforts to raise funds by misleading gun owners, AHSA has also attempted to use the District of Columbia v. Heller case as an opportunity to create false pro-gun credentials.  But its effort reveals the group's real agenda.   

In its friend of the court brief—ostensibly in support of the challenge to D.C.'s gun ban—AHSA claims to support the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, but a complete reading shows a different story.  The AHSA brief actually makes the case that the D.C. gun ban is mainly improper because D.C. is not a state, and the gun ban has not been authorized by Congress, saying "as a federal district, D.C. enjoys none of the indicia of statehood absent congressional legislation to the contrary and, therefore, basic notions of federalism cannot logically or semantically apply to the District." 

If AHSA's position were adopted, it would strengthen the ability of states to pass more restrictive gun laws and lessen the impact of a pro-Second Amendment ruling in any of the 50 states. Unsurprisingly, in its conclusion, the brief states: 

"The argument advanced by [AHSA] would in no way prevent the D.C. Council from enacting reasonable regulations relating to possession, safety, and registration of firearms in the District. Indeed, it has a responsibility to the public to do so. [AHSA believes] that the District's Gun Law was a laudable effort."  (Emphasis added.) 

"Reasonable regulations," "a responsibility to the public to do so," a "laudable effort"? 

No organization that claims the D.C. gun ban is a "laudable effort" or claims the gun regulations supported by the D.C. Council are "reasonable" can be described as pro-Second Amendment by any stretch of the imagination. And the claim that the gun ban's primary flaw is that it was not enacted by a state eliminates any doubt that AHSA opposes a true individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms. If AHSA's view were adopted, states would largely not be subject to the ruling—and to the extent they were, would not be prevented from enacting a broad range of gun control laws as "reasonable regulations."  In fact, they would say, it would be their "responsibility to the public to do so." 

AHSA would be more correctly called the "American Association for the Protection of Anti-Gun Politicians."  No gun owner or sportsman should fall prey to its carefully crafted lies and deceptions. 

For additional information on AHSA, please click here.

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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.