- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 23, 2004

Michael Dukakis’s Snoopy-like tank ride did nothing to burnish his defense credentials in 1988, other than to highlight his utter inadequacy on national-security issues. And photographs of John Kerry brandishing a double-barreled shotgun while emerging from an Ohio cornfield with a dead goose will not change his well-earned image as the leader of the most anti-gun rights presidential ticket in history.

Four years ago, Al Gore espoused less radical positions in opposition to gun rights than Mr. Kerry and John Edwards do today, but, according to no less than Bill Clinton, those positions cost Mr. Gore the electoral votes of New Hampshire and Arkansas, and perhaps the electoral votes of Tennessee and Missouri as well. He could have added West Virginia, too, and he also acknowledged that the National Rifle Association “nearly whipped us in two or three other places,” such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

An NRA voting analysis found that Mr. Kerry opposed the gun-rights position on 55 of the 59 votes he cast on firearms and hunting issues during his 20-year Senate career, making him “the most anti-gun presidential nominee in U.S. history.” Mr. Kerry sports a lifetime 100 percent voting record from the Brady Campaign, formerly known as Handgun Control, Inc. As a senator and longtime opponent of the Second Amendment, Mr. Kerry has written to constituents instructing them that “[h]andguns pose an increasing danger to the safety and welfare of the American public.” Illustrating why he is embraced by the trial lawyers, the Democratic presidential nominee advocates the extreme position of holding gun manufacturers, who are already strictly regulated, liable for the actions of criminals who misuse guns. Mr. Kerry has also proposed new taxes on guns and ammunition as well.

It is safe to say that the Second Amendment would be under constant assault from the judges that Mr. Kerry would appoint.

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