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President's Column: Pretenders Dressed as Patriots

Friday, June 27, 2008

As a history buff, I am often intrigued by the similarities between war and politics. With Independence Day approaching and Election Day soon to follow, I’m reminded of how deception has been used as an effective weapon in both war and politics since the American Revolution.

Without a doubt, deception and double-dealing are at work during this election season. That’s why you must be prepared to separate the patriots from the pretenders as we work together to preserve and defend our God-given Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

A perfect example of duplicity and deception at work is the so-called American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), which claims to support your Second Amendment rights--yet attacks your NRA and endorses Barack Obama for president.

If you’re confused, concerned and confounded when a supposedly “pro-gun” group endorses the same Obama who wants to ban all handguns, outlaw all semi-automatic firearms, shut down nearly every gun store in America and abolish “Right-to-Carry” nationwide, you’re not alone.

Telling gun owners to vote for Obama is like telling chickens to vote for Colonel Sanders. Yet in effect, that’s exactly what AHSA is doing, apparently believing that gun owners like you and me are either gullible or stupid, or both. I have a message for them-- “We’re not!”

When you learn who actually runs AHSA, their motives and the method behind their madness become amazingly clear. Indeed, AHSA’s board of directors and executive leadership reads like a “Who’s Who of the Gun-Ban Elites.”

AHSA’s executive director is Bob Ricker. Ricker switched sides after an unsuccessful stint as a gun industry lobbyist, and went to work for anti-gun forces in their efforts to sue the firearm industry out of existence.

AHSA spokesman Ray Schoenke has given thousands of dollars to Handgun Control, Inc. He has also given political contributions to most of the gun-ban luminaries in Washington, D.C., including John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

John Rosenthal, the founder and chairman of Stop Handgun Violence, a Boston anti-gun group, left the board of directors of the American Hunters and Shooters Association only after his ties to gun-ban groups became widely known.

AHSA board member Jody Powell was once press secretary for President

Carter, whose Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) grew so abusive of law-abiding gun owners’ rights that it spurred three major congressional investigations.

The bottom line is that the American Hunters and Shooters Association is nothing more than a front group for extremist politicians seeking to divide gun owners and deceive you into supporting anti-gun candidates.

But AHSA isn’t alone. In our fight to defend your Second Amendment rights, we’ve seen an increasing number of such deceptive operations in recent years.

Remember Americans for Gun Safety? This is the group that sold itself as being “mainstream” on the gun issue--yet its billionaire founder, Andrew McKelvey, was a board member of Handgun Control, Inc., and the primary money man behind the Million Mom March.

Since 2000, when Al Gore used that failed event for his own campaign pep rally--and Hillary Clinton stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Rosie O’Donnell, vowing to push gun owner licensing, gun registration and other anti-gun schemes--gun-ban politicians have become much less open and honest about their true intentions regarding your rights.

So now, when Hillary Clinton visits a state with a large population of hunters and gun owners, she theatrically reminisces about how, when she was growing up, her father allegedly took her duck hunting . . . and puts out amazingly hypocritical mailings attacking Obama as anti-gun!

Meanwhile, AHSA tells us how Barack Obama supposedly “gets it” regarding the Second Amendment because he has pledged to “protect the rights of hunters” to own firearms “for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.”

Since when does the Bill of Rights say anything about hunting or target shooting? And what about keeping and bearing arms to protect yourself and your freedom?

As for self-defense, Obama has been consistent and clear. According to Obama, who touts himself as a former “constitutional law professor,” the Second Amendment doesn’t prevent Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill., from banning self-defense guns in citizens’ homes.

As the most important elections in generations approach, I ask you to spread the word like Paul Revere did two centuries ago, to fellow hunters, shooters and gun owners in every city, village and farm--“Don’t be fooled by pretenders dressed as patriots.”

Do your part now. It is absolutely critical that you help to ensure that the freedoms for which our Founding Fathers fought so hard so long ago won’t be stolen and destroyed by “false-flag” organizations controlled by anti-gun politicians through election-year deception, obfuscation and subterfuge.


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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.