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Minnesota: A Kennedy Could Save Your Gun Rights

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Kennedy Could Save Your Gun Rights

If you're like most gun owners, when you hear the name "U.S. Sen. Kennedy," you instinctively reach for your Bill of Rights to protect it from the gun-ban zealotry of Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts.

This November, however, Minnesota gun owners have a chance to protect their Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms by electing their own U.S. Senator Kennedy--by electing Mark Kennedy to the U.S. Senate.

"For the past six years in the House of Representatives, Congressman Mark Kennedy has consistently stood firm to protect the rights of lawful gun owners and hunters," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.

Indeed, since 2001, Kennedy has cast no fewer than 16 pro-gun votes in Congress, earning him the grade of "A+" from the NRA Political Victory Fund.

On behalf of Minnesota gun owners and hunters, Mark Kennedy has voted to:

» pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and safeguard America's firearms industry from baseless, predatory lawsuits;

» end the Washington, D.C., gun ban;

» stop your taxes from being used to enforce the D.C. gun ban;

» allow airline pilots to have firearms to protect the cockpits from terrorist hijackers;

» block the McCain-Feingold campaign "reform" law that denies free political speech to groups like the NRA in the months leading up to elections.

"With the retirement of U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, Minnesota voters have the rare opportunity to replace an anti-gun senator with a proven pro-gun leader," Cox said. "On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Minnesota voters can do just that--and protect their rights for years to come--by electing Mark Kennedy to the U.S. Senate."

A fourth-generation Minnesotan whose great-grandfather served as a Swift County commissioner in the 1890s, and whose grandfather served as mayor of Murdock, Mark Kennedy was born in Benson and raised with his six siblings in Murdock and Pequot Lakes, Minn.

The first in his family to attend college, Kennedy earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's in business administration before embarking on a successful, 20-year business career.

Since being elected to Congress six years ago, Kennedy has used his fiscal expertise to benefit Minnesotans where they work and live.

If you visit Kennedy's campaign website, you'll see him holding a walleye, Minnesota's official state fish. In fact, he's a sportsman to this day.

A member of Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Kennedy says, "As an avid outdoors-man, I understand that sportsmen have a profound respect and concern for the environment as they spend a great deal of time in the forests, fields and on our lakes. I believe we have an obligation to pass the environment on to our children increased, not impaired, in value, and using Minnesota common sense, we can achieve just that ..."

Kennedy's opponent in the race for Minnesota's open U.S. Senate seat is likely to be Amy Klobuchar, who has been the Hennepin County attorney since 1999.

While Klobuchar and her handlers have clearly tried to position her as an independent populist, it's also clear that the national Democrat leadership is backing, and banking on, her victory this November.

Indeed, Klobuchar has campaigned and appeared at campaign fundraisers with gun-ban heavyweights such as Hillary Clinton, Tom Harkin, Mark Dayton and Barack Obama.

Gun-ban extremist U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer--who now heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee--weighed in on behalf of Klobuchar before the primary election had even been conducted.

Hillary Clinton's own political action committee, hillpac, has given the Klobuchar campaign at least $10,000 so far. The Association of Trial Lawyers of America has ponied up another $10,000.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Fredrikson & Byron, a Minneapolis law firm that represented plaintiffs challenging Minnesota's Right-to-Carry law, is responsible for at least $17,000 in contributions to the Klobuchar campaign to date.

All these facts bring up some interesting points. Much like Bill Clinton, Al Gore or John Kerry before her, Amy Klobuchar repeatedly claims to support our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. As a lawyer, she should understand what our laws and Constitution really mean. Yet her words and deeds don't align.

For example, after anti-gun members of the U.S. Senate and House tried to radically expand the Clinton gun ban by adding bans on ammunition, gun show restrictions and even a ban on every semi-automatic shotgun in America, Klobuchar told Minnesota Public Radio, "I did favor extending the ban on assault weapons ... Unfortunately, we didn't prevail."

Even worse, on Feb. 21-22, 2002, Klobuchar participated in an "Arms AvaILAbility and Human Rights Conference" hosted by the University of Minnesota (whose pac and/or employees contributed over $31,000 to the Klobuchar campaign).

Along with Klobuchar, participants at that event included Mary Leigh Blek, president of the Million Mom March, and some of the major players in the global gun-ban movement, including Peter Batchelor of Small Arms Survey, Brian Wood of Amnesty International, author Lora Lumpe and Ed Laurance, a consultant with the u.n. Department of Disarmament Affairs.

Klobuchar has tried to parlay her experience as a prosecutor into a tough-on-crime persona, but that is merely an illusion. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, crime in Hennepin County--over which Klobuchar has jurisdiction--increased by 7 percent from 2004 to 2005.

Between 2002 and 2005, while Klobuchar was county prosecutor, federal figures show that violent crime in Minneapolis spiked by over 35 percent--even while it declined at the national level.

Maybe that's why the Fraternal Order of Police (fop) decided to set a precedent this year by making its first-ever endorsement of a U.S. Senate candidate.

"I'm pleased to announce our full support of Mark Kennedy in his bid for U.S. Senate," said Chuck Schauss, Minnesota National Trustee of the fop. "Over the years, the fop has always found a friend in Mark Kennedy. Not only has he listened to the concerns of the law enforcement community, he has also delivered on the issues that are important to us. In the race for U.S. Senate, there is no doubt that Mark Kennedy is the best candidate to represent the needs of the Fraternal Order of Police, and we endorse his candidacy wholeheartedly."

"If you live in Minnesota and you want to protect your firearms and keep your freedoms, you need to elect Mark Kennedy to the U.S. Senate," said NRA-ILA chief Cox. "It really is as simple and as serious as that."


The NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is NRA's political action committee. The NRA-PVF ranks political candidates — irrespective of party affiliation — based on voting records, public statements and their responses to an NRA-PVF questionnaire.