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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dudley Brown Shows His True Colors in Colorado

There is an individual who runs two groups, one state and one national, who fashions himself as the true champion of our rights.  In reality, he is a huckster who has never done anything constructive for the movement legislatively or electorally but takes self-promotion to new heights all in the name of raising money.  The individual's name is Dudley Brown and his groups are the Colorado group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the national group is National Association for Gun Rights.  You probably have seen his emails or fundraising efforts disguised as gun giveaways.

To show you just how dishonest this individual is, in 2013, at the height of the battle to defeat President Obama's gun control proposals, Brown came into Virginia attacking NRA "A" rated U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  Brown sent our an email announcing a press conference to roll out a television ad against Cantor that claimed he was supporting Obama's gun control.  The email also invited pro-gun supporters to the event.  Unfortunately for Brown, no press showed up although a handful of gun rights supporters did attend.  Brown spoke briefly, showed the attack ad, introduced his staff (which out numbered those in attendance) and ended the event.  That afternoon, he sent a follow-up email complete with a photo that made it appear media representatives were asking questions.  In reality it was a staged photo using the staff that was taken after the event had ended and everyone else left.  Brown later claimed credit for the defeat of Cantor in the 2014 primary, though his little seen ad played absolutely no role in the race.

Now, Brown has turned his attention on someone who has impeccable pro-rights credentials, Dave Kopel.  Earlier this month, the Colorado legislature was trying to repeal the 15 round limit on ammunition magazines that was passed in 2013.  Last week, the battle came to a head.  This from the Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board:
Many leading Democrats, since passing the laws, have conceded they went too far.
"A lot of people, if they'd known how much commotion was going to come out of the high-capacity magazines would've, probably would've looked for something different, looked for a different approach," Hickenlooper told Colorado sheriffs in 2014.

More recently, Rep. Joe Salazar extended an olive branch to Second Amendment defenders. The most controversial of the gun laws forbids magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. As vice chairman of the powerful House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee — where the majority party typically kills minority bills — Salazar has committed to supporting a bill that would increase the limit to 30 rounds. It signifies a potential big victory for Republicans and gun rights in a House controlled by Democrats. It represents the kind of bipartisanship Colorado has seldom witnessed in the past decade.

The compromise would resolve 99 percent of concerns about the magazine ban.

Salazar's cooperative attitude has received applause from Colorado's most tireless and successful Second Amendment defenders. Among them is attorney David Kopel, who helped win D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago in the U.S. Supreme Court — the most important gun-rights victories of the 21st century. Kopel represented Colorado sheriffs in a lawsuit that challenged Colorado's new gun laws. But in the view of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Kopel is a problem. The group is distributing an ad that features Kopel's photo and the words: "Oppose the Kopel Kompromise."
Moving the limit from 15 to 30 rounds would be considered a victory by most people as many rifle models come standard with magazines over 15 but less than or equal to 30.  But not Brown.  With people like him, it's all or nothing because that's how he can continue to raise money.

The Independence Institute, with which Kopel is affiliated, fired back.
In Virginia, we would not have passed the repeal of the restaurant ban if we had not compromised.  In the early days of the repeal effort, there were groups that wanted a straight repeal with no prohibition on consuming alcohol.  Those bills went nowhere.  They finally understood the only way to get the repeal was to include a prohibition on consuming alcohol.  The repeal finally passed, and was vetoed by Tim Kaine, but was finally signed by Bob McDonnell a couple years later.

People like Brown do more harm than they do good for our cause.  Thankfully, he has no influence in Virginia.

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