Prez wanna-be caught on tape: ''NRA...involved in...strategy I don't understand

By Chad D. Baus

As many politically-involved gun owners are aware, there has been a lot of anti-gun rhetoric coming out of New York City from a man whose name is being mentioned among the bloated field of anti-gun Presidential candidates.

Consider the following quotes:

    "In New York City, 90% of the guns that we see come from outside the city of New York."

    "We've gone to the 9mm weapon for police officers now so that they can be armed the way that criminals are armed."

    "I think the approach to gun control, the approach to assault weapons, at least by too many in the Republican party, is a terrible mistake for cities...terrible mistake for America."

If you read these quotes assuming they were uttered by anti-gun Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently shed his affiliation with the Republican party in anticipation of an expected independent Presidential run, you would be wrong.

These are the words of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And as a 1995 interview with PBS's Charlie Rose will show, they're just the tip of the iceberg.

Rudy Giuliani established a solid anti-gun record in New York. In the 1990s, Giuliani and anti-gun President Clinton talked about establishing uniform national gun control laws, and a March 6, 1997 press release from the Mayor's office entitled "MAYOR GIULIANI...CALLS FOR UNIFORM NATIONAL GUN CONTROL LAWS". In 2000, while defending his use of taxpayer dollars to file junk lawsuits designed to put gun manufacturers out of business, he accused these American businesses of knowingly calculating sales to an illegal market by intentionally overproducing guns.

Early in his presidential campaign, he began to test a talking point designed to fool Mr. and Mrs. American Gun Owner, telling FOXNews' Sean Hannity he understands that what works in the city may not work in more "rural" areas, and telling Vermonters at a campaign stop that he believes matters involving concealed weapons should be left up to the states. His campaign website also seems to be arguing states' rights, saying "Rudy understands that what works in New York doesn’t necessarily work in Mississippi or Montana."

Leaving out for a minute the question of whether infringing on Constitutional rights "works" anywhere in America, whether urban or rural, consider that Giuliani once argued for federal intervention.

From comments he made to PBS' Charlie Rose on May 31, 1995:

    "We're seizing guns and we've had massive reductions in shootings in New York City, but we can only go so far unless the Federal government passes a law that helps us keep those 90% of guns that are coming into New York from outside New York - helps get some control over that."

The interview with Rose also provides insight as to what Mr. Giulinani thinks about the grassroots group that represents nearly 4 million gun owners (who he must think all have incredibly short memories):

    "The NRA is involved in a strategy I don't understand. I don't understand fighting assault weapons - the ban on assault weapons. I have a police department of 38,000 police officers - it's the largest in the country. Those police officers are in jeopardy so long as there are assault weapons out long as criminals can get their hands, outside of New York City, on guns that are objects...or instruments of mass destruction."

    "I agree that there should be stronger penalties for people who have guns. I agree that it's the person who uses the gun that is the source of the real problem. The gun is also the source of the very big problem, and the NRA's, in essense, defense of assault weapons, and their unwillingness to deal with some of the realities here that we face in our cities is a terrible, terrible mistake."

    "The NRA, for some reason, I think goes way overboard. It's almost what the extremists on the other side do. I think the extremists on the left and the extremists on the right have essentially the same tactic - the slippery slope theory. "If you give one point, then your entire argument is going to fall apart", and we kind of get destroyed by that."

The entire 1995 interview can be viewed here:

That was then, this is now - or so Rudy would have gun owners believe.

Highlighting his "Don't look at what I did yesterday on guns, listen to what I'm saying today" campaign strategy, Giuliani's campaign website boldly proclaims that "Rudy Giuliani is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment."

There have been signs his strategy is working to fool many less politically in-touch gun owners. As contributor Michael Gaynor recently noted, a recent poll showed Rudy as the great favorite of gun owners, and stressed that "gun owners know what everyone knows--that Rudy was New York City's Mayor on September 11, 2001 and opposes terror and crime...AND DON'T KNOW WHAT HIS ATTITUDE TOWARD THE SECOND AMENDMENT AND GUNS WAS WHEN HE WAS MAYOR."

Through efforts of grassroots organizations like Buckeye Firearms, and thanks to individuals who have been paying attention a year before the primaries, the tide may be beginning to turn. Rasmussen Reports' daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that Giuliani has lost the lead he has been maintaining over the field of Republican candidates to presumed candidate Fred Thompson. While this is good news, the polls clearly show that gun owners still have a big job cut out for them.

It is important you tell everyone you know that the extremist gun control agenda coming out of New York City did not start with current Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and it is up to gun owners everywhere to make sure it does not end up in the White House in 2008.

Chad Baus is a member of the Fulton County, OH Republican Central Committee and the Buckeye Firearms Association Northwest Ohio Chair.

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