Dick Lugar, "The Most Anti-Gun Republican in the U.S. Senate," suffers landslide defeat in GOP primary
by Chad D. Baus
Senator Dick Lugar, who has been described as the most anti-gun Republican in the U.S. Senate, has suffered a landslide defeat in the Indiana state Republican primary.
He was defeated on Tuesday by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who MSNBC reports was backed by groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to local Tea Party activists to the Washington-based fiscal conservative group the Club for Growth.
Mourdock scored a landslide victory, winning more than 60 percent of the vote with almost all precincts reporting.
Lugar, along with George Voinovich (the former Ohio senator who decided to retire in 2010 rather than face a similar fate), cast the deciding votes that prevented nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry license-holders from becoming law in 2009, and has since voiced his opposition to similar bills currently awaiting Senate action.
Also like Voinovich, Lugar voted for the confirmation of Obama's two anti-gun Supreme Court justices, Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, as well as many other anti-gun federal judges.
In an article written in March, pro-gun rights activist Jeff Knox documented some of the other reasons he calls Lugar "the most anti-gun Republican in the U.S. Senate":
Lugar also voted in favor of the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, and then voted to extend it for 10 years when it was scheduled to sunset. Lugar voted for the Brady Law with background checks and waiting periods, and voted to make private transfers of firearms illegal.
During his 36 years in the US Senate, Richard Lugar has consistently opposed efforts to roll back restrictions on firearm ownership, sale, and possession, and has consistently supported increased restrictions on lawful gun ownership. This in spite of the fact that he hails from a conservative state that scored only 4 points in the latest Brady Scorecard, putting it in a tie for 4th place among the lowest scores. The 6-term incumbent senator's voting record is completely out of step with the people he is supposed to be representing. Lugar's opposition to national reciprocity is particularly out of line since Indiana already recognizes permits from every other state.
From a statement issued after the polls closed by NRA-ILA's Chris Cox:
Thanks to your votes, Richard Mourdock has won the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate in Indiana defeating 36-year incumbent, Sen. Richard Lugar. Since the 1990s, Sen. Lugar has become notorious for his zealous support of gun control schemes and his fervent anti-gun positions.
Your NRA was fully vested in this race with a comprehensive campaign that encompassed thousands of radio and television ads in the months before the today's primary election. This effort also included 600,000 web ads. The media campaign was also supplemented by a concentrated advocacy and get-out-the-vote phone and mail program. All in all, nearly 500,000 phone calls were made and nearly 700,000 pieces of mail were sent in this remarkable victory for freedom.
Together we made a difference in this race. But, as always, what mattered most in this race was your vote. Thanks to Indiana gun owners, one of the most anti-gun Senators will no longer be in the U.S. Senate. You can find more information at: http://www.nrapvf.org/elect-mourdock.aspx.
Mourdock will face Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election. Donnelly is a three-term Congressman representing the South Bend area. According to Knox, Donnelly has no information on his web site about his positions on gun rights.
"The Indiana Senate race will likely be one of the most prominent and expensive in the nation. National Democrats see the seat as vulnerable and will pour tons of resources into the fight. National Republicans see the seat as a 'must-hold' and will go to the wall to keep from losing the seat," concluded Knox.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.