U.S. gun lobbyist: 'time to hunt Democrats'
With Barack Obama winging to Colorado today to talk gun control at the Denver Police Academy, the president's supporters are incensed over an especially inflammatory slice of red meat rhetoric from the best-armed corner of American politics.
At issue are four words -- "time to hunt Democrats" -- uttered by Dudley Brown, founder of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in an interview with National Public Radio.
Brown, a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, told NPR that the push for universal background checks is mere preamble to the government's goal of eventually seizing weapons. He then signalled political payback is in store for Colorado lawmakers who have jumped ahead of the national debate with recent legislation that includes 15-bullet limits on ammunition clips.
"I liken it to the proverbial hunting season," said Brown. "We tell gun owners, there's a time to hunt deer. And next election is the time to hunt Democrats."
Longtime followers of the U.S. gun debate note that Brown has a long history of inflammatory rhetoric and in fact had a falling out with the NRA in the 1990s, when the organization dismissed him as too extreme, calling Brown "the Al Sharpton of the gun movement."
But pro-Democrat organizations like ThinkProgress.Org argue the NRA itself has "pulled much farther to the right" in recent years and now occupies ideological space nearer to Brown and his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.
Among other points of agreement, both the NRA and RMGO contend that a United Nations conspiracy is behind the gun crackdown in the U.S., with the ultimate goal of disarming the country.
A simple glance at the @NRA Twitter feed shows this to be true. Earlier today, aging country music fiddler Charlie Daniels of "Devil Went Down To Georgia Fame" tweeted nativist fury, saying: "Obama is in favor of UN gun control treaty, handing over the sovereignty of this nation to foreign thugs. Hell no, not now, not ever!"
The NRA jumped on the message, fowarding it with the addendum, "We agree!"
Mitch Potter is the Star's Washington Bureau Chief, his third foreign posting after previous assignments to London and Jerusalem. Potter led the Star’s coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he won a 2006 National Newspaper Award for his reportage. His dispatches include datelines from 33 countries since 2000. Follow him on Twitter: @MPwrites