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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

State Democratic Party Hits Cuccinelli on Gun Rights

I was chastised a while back by a reader who identified himself as a Democrat for using the term "Democrat" instead of Democratic in a prior post. He went on to detail how the way I phrased the use of the term was similar to what had been done in some "Republican talking points" several years ago. The reader said that some gun owning Democrats are turned off by the NRA because it is perceived to be an extension of the Republican Party and that my post may cause the same feelings to be directed toward VSSA by Virginia gun owning Democrats. I explained that no slight was intended, that VSSA is a non-partisan group, and has endorsed and worked closely with pro-gun Democratic legislators in the General Assembly.

However, there is a reason why gun groups tend to lean toward one party over the other when it comes to supporting candidates. Whether it is the recent Gallup Poll that shows Democrats favor more gun control laws than do Independents and Republicans (albeit at lower levels now than in 2000 - more on that in a later post) or stunts like the one the Democratic Party of Virginia just pulled in trying to unseat Senator Ken Cuccinelli.

Several of VSSA's Board members and a good number of VSSA members live in Senator Cuccinelli's district. Senator Cuccinelli has been an unapologetic supporter of the Second Amendment and he is a member of the Arlington -Fairfax IWLA range. So you can imagine their reaction to a mailer that recently hit mailboxes in the district that was paid for by the Virginia Democratic Party.

The mailer in question has a photo of a window pane with what appears to be damage caused by a bullet hole. The mailer reads, "Criminals who can buy guns at gun shows have a message for Ken Cuccinelli." Then, below and to the right of the hole in the glass, there is the statement, "Thanks Ken."

On the reverse side is a photo background of what can be described as a less than mint condition automatic handgun, with Senator Cuccinelli's photo situated like it is attached to the gun, and in large type reads, "Ken Cuccinelli voted to allow criminals to buy guns at gun shows and is against nearly all common-sense gun laws."

The mailer then states that Senator Cuccinelli voted against "closing the gun show loophole" to "make it easier for criminals to buy guns."

The mailer does not mention the fact that six of his Democratic colleagues (Deeds, Edwards, Houck, Lucas, Puckett, Reynolds) voted with Senator Cuccinelli to defeat the bill.

And that's not all. The mailer goes on to distort other votes he cast in favor of the rights of gun owners without mentioning he was joined by two of his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Courts of Justice committee when those bills were killed in committee. It also does not mention that every pro-gun bill that passed in the last six years received the votes of at least five of the Democrat legislators mentioned above (Lucas being the exception as she usually votes anti-gun but had a brief moment of commonsense in the case of the gun show bill) and was signed into law by Democratic Governors.

I understand that political mailings often give distorted information or take many things out of context. But it seems to me a strange way to show your support for the right to keep and bear arms as stated in the state party platform.

VSSA continues to support our friends on the Democratic side of both the House and the Senate and we thank you for standing up for the rights of gun owners, despite what those sitting in Democratic Party HQ in Richmond may think of you.

For gun owners who would like to help Senator Cuccinelli in these final critical weeks of the campaign, you can call (703) 293-9001 or sign-up on his web site to be a volunteer.

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