- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paul Ryan faces Joe Biden in a vice presidential debate Thursday where guns could become one of the many hot topics discussed. The Wisconsin Republican congressman has recently become a lightning rod for attacks from gun grabbers who think the issue is their ticket to thwarting the Romney campaign’s growing momentum in the polls.

Consider the local ABC affiliate in Michigan that ambushed Mr. Ryan on Monday. Reporter Terry Camp used his one-on-one time with the GOP vice presidential candidate to ask — twice — whether the country has a gun problem. Mr. Ryan replied that the nation has a crime problem that no new gun laws would solve.

“The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunities to the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty,” explained Mr. Ryan. “That’s what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value of one another.”

The reporter bizarrely responded on camera by asking if all that could be done with a big tax cut. Mr. Ryan replied, “Those are your words, not mine,” before his aide cut off the interview. The left pounced on the incident. Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse tweeted four times in a row about the encounter: “You can walk out of an interview if you don’t like a press question? This is a game changer — way to be a leader Congressman Paul Ryan.”


Mr. Ryan has never backed down from his support of the right to keep and bear arms, which is an issue he views in personal terms. He warned of the consequences of what the administration might do if given a second term.

“What I worry about as a hunter, as a person who believes in the Second Amendment, as a gun owner, is knowing that President Obama — in his earlier career, prior to his presidency — was an advocate for gun control,” Mr. Ryan said in this month’s issue of “Outdoor Life” magazine. “I worry about what his attitude will be once he never has to face voters again.”

Speaking at the National U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance in September, Mr. Ryan also pointed out, “The next president will appoint a lot of different judges and these are lifetime appointments. If you want to make sure that judges respect our Second Amendment rights, you need a president who respects those rights as well.”

In an interview with National Rifle Association’s Chris Cox published Wednesday, Mr. Ryan has made clear that a Romney-Ryan administration would oppose backdoor attempts to prohibit private gun sales (the so-called gun-show loophole) and the revival of the Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban. The Republican White House would support the national concealed-carry reciprocity bill currently being blocked by the Democratic Senate. That’s exactly what America’s 100 million gun owners want to hear.

The left may want to reassess its latest strategy. The assault on Mr. Ryan from anti-gun liberals is only going to bolster turnout for the GOP in November.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.