USA: "Dean backer explains gun-control stance "


November 4, 2003, 11:10 AM
from the Quad City Times (Davenport Iowa),1019963Last Updated: 12:12 am, Tuesday, November 4th, 2003

Dean backer explains gun-control stance
By Ed Tibbetts

An ally of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean tried Monday to assure activists in Davenport that Dean backs a menu of gun-control proposals, even as rivals continued to hammer him for comments he made over the weekend defending his position.
“He’s not a crazy man on guns,” U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a Dean supporter, told two dozen people at the former Vermont governor’s Davenport headquarters.

Dean has taken fire since Saturday, when he said, “I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” His rivals roundly criticized him for the comments, which were in response to a newspaper report that said he received favorable ratings from the National Rifle Association, or NRA, after filling out the group’s surveys.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., sought to capitalize on the issue during the weekend, telling a group Sunday night that Dean received those good reviews “by saying he wasn’t for any kind of restraint on the sale of guns.” Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt’s campaign sent out fund-raising e-mails Monday that headlined Dean’s Confederate flag comment.
Sarah Leonard, a Dean spokeswoman, called the attacks “typical Washington politics” that are distorting his position.
Still, the gun and flag comments were clearly on the minds of some voters, all of them women, who came to hear Lofgren on Monday.
One woman asked about Dean’s position on gun control while another held up a newspaper clipping detailing the dispute over Dean’s Confederate flag comment. Lofgren said Dean backs the federal ban on assault weapons and favors toughening the laws on background checks for people buying weapons at gun sales.
Dean has often said gun control should largely be left to the states. “I can live with that,” Lofgren said. She added that Democrats who want to the win the presidency have to realize they must win southern votes and should not criticize each other with words Republicans can use later.
“If we want to take our country back, we need to take some voters back,” she said.
Kerry said it is not the criticism that is hurting Dean, but his own statements. “If your positions are flip-flopping and your positions are counter to the mainstream values, that hurts you,” the senator told reporters Monday in Davenport. “To pander to the NRA to try to win those votes is not the value system that ought to govern our nominee.”
A Davenport woman who attended an event featuring Kerry on Sunday and then went to see Lofgren on Monday said she thought the issue was being overblown.
“They’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” said Audrey Linville, who is leaning toward supporting Dean. “It’s garbage-throwing and I don’t like that.”
Mary Williams, a Davenport woman supporting Kerry, said Dean’s reference to the Confederate flag was not smart.
“It sounds like he’s endorsing that, which I don’t think he was,” she said. At the same time, Williams said she was not sure how strong of a stand Dean would take on gun control. “He took a softer position than I see Kerry taking,” she added.
Ed Tibbetts can be contacted at (563) 383-2327 or

© 2003, Quad-City Times,

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November 4, 2003, 11:13 AM
oops, mistaken post

Mark Tyson
November 4, 2003, 11:23 AM
Pandering is only bad when it's done to groups that you disagree with.

November 4, 2003, 03:44 PM
Sounds like a great idea. Let the states decide property rights, or gun rights.

I wonder if each state should decide religious freedoms too. Some states are heavily catholic, some protestant. Catholics shouldn't be allowed in Utah. Just mormon churches.

What stupidity.

November 4, 2003, 03:49 PM
states' rights and localism.

November 4, 2003, 03:59 PM
If this idea of allowing the individual states to pass the legislation they saw fit came to pass, how would you all feel about it (asked with a certain premonition of what Cali people are going to say)?

Standing Wolf
November 4, 2003, 06:13 PM
Howie is no less an anti-Second Amendment bigot than the rest of the leftist extremists. He's trying to pretend otherwise, but I can't imagine anyone with more than about 65 I.Q. points falling for a single word of it.

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