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November 07, 2007

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Fred Thompson Answers My Questions

Fellow bloggers: You may recall (or you may not, depending on how much recoil you've absorbed) that we recently posted a statement from presidential candidate Fred Thompson airing his feelings on the U.N.'s role in gun control. The consensus among you was that the subject was as relevant as, say, Peruvian monetary reform in the years 1902-05. So I composed five relevant questions which Mr. Thompson has answered. (Two notes: In question one, he states that he is an "Endowment Life" member of the NRA. I assume he means an Endowment member; you can't be both. And he apparently chose not to answer question two. I have no idea why.)

Your comments, please (read the interview after the jump).

1. What are your credentials as an NRA member? How long have you been one, and what degree of membership do you hold?

I am an endowment life member of the NRA, which I first joined in 1995.

2. When did you start hunting or shooting, and when was the last time you went? What guns do you own right now?
(Editor's Note: Mr. Thompson did not answer this question)

3. If the Supreme Court finds that the Washington, D.C. gun law is unconstitutional—that the Second Amendment applies to individuals rather than militias—what would you do as President to take advantage of the ruling to our benefit?

I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. A ruling by the Supreme Court to that effect would not have any impact on what I would do as President, but it would clearly strengthen my hand and the hands of all who seek to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners: opposing arbitrary bans on classes of firearms due to appearance; protecting gun shows from laws that could put them out of business; preventing gun confiscations from law-abiding gun owners in the wake of emergencies and disasters; fending off the variety of restrictions on the gun rights of law-abiding citizens often wrongly pursued in the name of crime control; and protecting hunters from unwarranted interference. Likewise, although it does not involve a Second Amendment issue, I would also seek to promote common sense conservation policies based on sound science so that future generations have lands on which to hunt and waterways in which to fish.

4. Of the Republican candidates, only Mike Huckabee seems sympathetic to gun owners. Of the others, who would be the worst President for gun owners? Who would be the worst Democrat?

I do not accept the premise of the question that Gov. Huckabee is the only Republican candidate sympathetic to gun owners and sportsmen. As my record shows (“A” ratings from the NRA), I have been and remain a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and of the rights of guns owners and sportsmen. The records of other candidates in both parties on firearms issues are far less supportive of the interests and rights of gun owners and sportsmen, but I am not going to characterize or rank any of my opponents. Why support one of them when a candidate like me, who has a record of support for gun owners and sportsmen, is running?

5. Under the Bush administration, the BATFE seems to have been concentrating their efforts on prosecuting legitimate dealers for paperwork errors—making it difficult or impossible for them to make a living. If you were President, would you have the BATFE relent on this practice, and what would you ask them to focus on?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should have as its priority its efforts to combat violent crime, violent criminal gangs, and to interdict and disrupt the gun traffickers who supply violent gang members with firearms. While one way to curb illicit gun trafficking is to ensure that legitimate dealers maintain their paperwork in good order, these paperwork violations should in no way be BATFE’s focus. I would also consider giving BATFE a wider range of sanctions so that dealers’ simple paperwork violations do not result in license revocations. Finally, having a politically accountable BATFE Director, who is now subject to Senate confirmation, instead of a career bureaucrat should also help change BATFE’s priorities and make the agency more responsive.

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Comments

Chad Love

Come on, people, all you have to do is use one of investigative journalism's best tools to find out all you need to know about the real story on Fred Thompson's personal interaction with firearms.

And on the IMDB page for Fred Thompson it states very plainly right there in pixelated black-and-white that in the 1992 movie "White Sands" Fred Thompson portrayed an "Arms Dealer."

There you go. You can't get any more chummy with your gunny than that. Now please stop questioning the man's integrity. Frankly I'm shocked some of you seem to think a good, solid Republican candidate would stoop to pandering to the Gun Nut voting bloc by falsely portraying himself as just a regular 'ol shooter himself.

Of course, the IMDB also reveals that Thompson's role as an arms dealer in that movie is listed as "uncredited."

Hmmm...if he was a real Gun Nut wouldn't he demand to be credited for such a pro-Second Amendment role? Maybe he's trying to hide something after all. Maybe he's actually a Bilderburg-approved mole trying to lull us with his down-home populist schtick and as soon as he wins then BAM! Here come the blue helmets.

Or maybe he's just one more stupefyingly underwhelming cookie-cutter candidate in an apathy-inducing field of candidates (from both parties) whose main function up to this point seems to be to serve as a national narcoleptic.

Tommy

The reason I would say it was the most important question was this...

What if we found out Mr. Fred, a self-described, lifelong NRA member, had never hunted or owned a gun?
I would never trust him again.

Bubba

I have guns, y'all don't even know where I live, and I still wouldn't list my firearms. I might tell you when I went hunting last, and what I hunted. Fred deference to #2, so what!
But I feel I must reiterate: Fred T. is but a nominee at this point, not a candidate! I support him!

Bubba

Greg

Tommy I think you said before, They are all corrupt and or immoral or something akin to that. I agree so we have to vote for the lesser of evils but we have to vote! Mr. Thompson at least answered Mr.Petzals inquiry which is more than I can say for the rest of them.?

Dave Petzal

To Yooper Jack: Fred Thompson came to us, not the other way around. I think it's nothing short of amazing, and don't think we'll see anyone else following him.

To Ted Strong: In 1964, I cast my first presidential vote for Lyndon Johnson, because everyone knew that if Barry Goldwater won, we'd get into a way. So Johnson won and we got into Veetnam.

The fact is that there is almost no connect between what these people say they are going to do and what they actually undertake. We have only a scant idea of what kind of deals they've made and who they owe, and who they will listen to. Also, a large part of what a president does or does not do is dictated by outside events over which they have absolutely no control. It's all a crapshoot, and a lose/lose situation.

Dave Petzal

That should have been war, not way.

Mark-1

I think everyone should take a loyalty oath. I mean it’s pretty obvious shooting and hunting are Republican sports. We need to make certain GOP can-u-dates are of the proper shade and hue. I think volunteers for administering the loyalty oath, checking
all media daily for sedition should come from this blog.

Tommy

All should hail ''American's'' post.

Keep Hillary out of the white house!!!!

Rally gun nuts - we have our stance! Our differences must be put aside. De-elect Spillary!

Mike Strehlow

Number 2 is a good question, but a tough one for a politician to answer. If he owns two guns, or none, and hasn't even shot paper in years, we think less of him. But what if he does own ten guns or more? The media, which is almost completely liberal, would go into shock. From now on, he'd be depicted as a paranoid gun psycho. Every late night comedian and political cartoonist would sketch him with guns sticking out of his pants and sleeves, leaving a trail of guns as he walks. They'd hammer him for owning an 'arsenal.' Liberals don't understand hunting and shooting, they don't like conservatives, and the opportunity to trash one would be too good to pass up.

"If he's one of us, he should be proud of it!" you will say. I know. But like it or not, antigunners rule the media; they are the only game in town. Everything he says or does is filtered and transmitted to the voters by them. He either plays ball with the media or gets out of the game.

Dave is good and wise, and what he writes about what a politician says, and what he actually ends up doing, is correct. So look hard at every candidate's past voting records; what Hillary has done, Hillary will do. That goes for all of them. Thompson has an NRA 'A' rating; I can live with that. Let's take his assurances that he is on our side (he DID come to Dave, and that IS cool)and wish him well.

Dave in St Pete

Back when he was a Senator he Sponsored and SHOT at a celebrity shoot for funds for Juvenile Diabetes.

http://www.gunweek.com/2000/feature0810.html

Alamo

If y'all beleive your candidate must be a firearms owner or active shooter you're pissin' in the wind.
The salient point is Fred Thompson believes the Second Amendment defines the Aemerican citizens God given (or natural if you prefer) right to own firearms. This right, along with the rest of those defined in the Constitution are NOT derived from the government.

Oh and Mr. Savage ownin' Gman, you whine baby, I refuse to pay for your "expensive" health insurance. THAT my friend is not a right. Pay for it yourself you baby.

Tommy

I'll stick up for GMAN,

Hey Alamo. I guess you are pretty well off. I honestly hope you stay that way and never have to decide whether or not to take care of yourself medically, or a loved one. I was laid off, 2 days notice, two months ago. And yep, insurance gone, just like that. The company only had 2 employees so they didn't even ''have'' to offer cobra. I make a dollar less an hour now and still have no insurance.

Eat a dixk axxhole.
PS MY BACK HURTS LIKE HELL TOO.
Maybe one day your life experience will give you some knowledge in this regard. Til then good luck not becoming a hippocrat.

Tommy

Sorry for my language guys, but that guy is clueless. And I would not have felt so strongly or reacted so negatively if he hadn't called GMAN a baby, or thought to think the healthcare problem in this country deserved a whining comment. I would say GMAN is dead on. Healthcare for ALL our citizens is much more important than hunting or keeping a closet full of guns.

Alamo

And Petzal, I have questioned your judgment before, but now that I know you voted for Johnson, everything you say (write) is suspect.

Your comment at 2:14 sounds like the standard jaded BS of someone who finds it fashionable to bash politicians in general, and on many issues that's understndable. But when it comes to basic interpretation of the Constitution and particularly the Second, there is a clear distinction between the parties.
Democrats will attempt to restrict our constitutional right to bear arms at every single opportunity.
And among Republicans the deeds and words of Thompson and Huckabee stand clearly apart from the rest of the field. Before you Ronbots start, I know Paul has a commendable outlook on gun rights, but that's akin to saying that Hitler was good to his dog- The guy is a fruit.

Tommy

Wait til your wife or child or mother is in a bed, and you can't do jack about it. Then post that crap buddy. Til then, you know nothing. And if it occurs - the last thing you will want to hear is someone stupidly calling you a whining baby.

Tommy

Karma

Alamo

Well Tommy, I think I've diagnosed your problem (and I'm no "hippocrat", whatever the hell that's supposed to be). You are apparently lacking the cognitive abilties to understand the principles on which this country was founded. So I'll try and elucidate for you.
"Recognizing the right of the citizen to make their own decisions then live with the consequences" : American. "Providing cradle to grave economic protections for whine-babies": Not
My "life experience" of 46 years includes plenty of injury and hardship, and working my butt off to achieve what I have. You'll not find me (or my family for that matter) crying about what I have or don't, or expecting others to provide anything for me. Man up before you get a case of the cramps.

Tommy

But you will berate a stranger, gman, without knowing his situation. get a life. Your words mean nothing.

Tommy

And that crap about the cramps. I wish we could meet and ''discuss'' that face to face.

I repeat Karma.

May the rest of the days of your life be filled with happiness and joy.

Tommy

And if I would be likened to a woman, by a MORON, for caring about another man's possible medical situation. Get me some midol you tool. I would be proud to need it. Your foolish, girlish, cowardly insults have no effect at all.

LOL

William Giordano

As to question #4... There are either 65 or 80 million gun owners [ I've heard both ], twenty percent women, in the USA. Even if only half of them vote, name me one politican, even Hillary, Schumer or the fat Irishman from Mass. who wants 30 or 40 million pissed off voters out to get them. If nothing else politicans are pragmatic. They will posture and BS and introduce legislation that they know will never pass, just to placate their supporters. Even Fat Rosie says that we will never have gun control, as per the UN, in this country.

Tommy

And it should have read hypocrite. Sorry for the misspelling, like your butchering of the word ''believe'' in your first post, or ''understandable'' in your second.
Misspelling happen here friend.

I would hope you would never become a hypocrite by falling on bad times and suddenly needing assistance in the area of healthcare. Because, if you did, and you needed help and asked for it.

You, would be a hypocrite.

Alamo

My Tommy aren't we an angry and industrious youngster (at least when it comes to posting). Your little fingers must be smoking!

Anyone who comes to a fire arms discussion board to whine about their health insurance issues (or bad backs) is a pitiful excuse for a man. So if the shoe fits...

Gman made the point that in his opinion the 2nd only guaranteed our right to own flintlocks, and oh by the way, I want to cry about my health insurance. That's fine, just go to a socialist board where people will be sympathetic to your mewling for assistance, and the other posters will tell you how unfortunate you are, and how you deserve to be taken care of. I would jsut ask that you leave this board to men (and of course not being a sexist, women who shoot and hunt, pleanty of whom are likely more manly than you).

And one last suggestion kid. You should re-secure health insurance before you run into me with a belligerent attitude. But then I expect your threats would dry up rather quickly in the physical presence of a man. You know, like your testes apparently have.

Chad Love

My silly upstream post aside, Tommy's comment on health care brings up a good point I think everyone should consider: if you insist on being a single-issue voter then it's very easy to be taken advantage of by a candidate. All he (or she) has to do is pander on that one issue, rather than pander on a multitude of issue.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a Second Amendment absolutists like I'm sure everyone else here is, but it's not the only issue I'm concerned about. If you intend to vote for a candidate based solely on his (or her) willingness to let you continue to blithely shoot your guns while he (or she) systematically dismantles and either sells to the highest bidder or gives away to the biggest campaign contributors the very infrastructure of our nation then you're no better than the rest of the video game and pop culture-addicted lemmings we call Americans these days.

Do you honestly think that an NRA rating is the best and highest measure of a political candidate?

I would argue that only a braindead zombie would vote exclusively for whom the NRA told him (or her) to vote, and I would further argue that some of the worst political disasters to be foisted upon the American people in the past 15 years or so have been NRA-endorsed.

Ultimately you have to think for yourself and make a decision based on what you feel is best for you, your family and your nation.

Strangely enough, that's what voters used to do, but along with everything else we've apparently outsourced that function to those who have discovered there's big profit to be made and big power to be cultivated by polarizing the American political process.

I don't mean to single out Fred Thompson here, for all I know he'd make a crackerjack president, but it's going to take a helluva lot more than an obviously parsed, massaged and hack-generated press release response to questions on one issue to get my support, and I would hope everyone else would hold ALL the candidates up to the same scrutiny.


Alamo

Well Chad, I'm glad to see that you are an absolutist. As for your assertion that the majority here are also; I'm not so sure.

The NRA rating is certainly a good start when judging a candidate. The fact is one's views on the immutability of the Second Amendment grants significant insight to a candidate's overall philosophy. Less government intervention, personal decision making power (read Liberty), and the belief that citizens are capable and decent all are premises implied by a strong support of the 2nd. Show me a strong proponent of individual gun rights and I'll show you a person who has faith in the citizenry and their abiltiy to succeed given a free market and minimal government intrusion in our lives.

For me, review of a candidate's position on the Second is a great place to start the process, albeit not the lone issue on which to base your judgment. Only the most important.




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