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November 15, 2007

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Exclusive Edwards Interview Update: The NRA Response

Last Month, soon after Presidential Candidate John Edwards proposed his “Hunting and Fishing Bill of Rights and Responsibilities," F&S Associate Editor, Brian McClintock, asked Edwards about some of his policy points, how he enjoys the outdoors, and what he thinks about gun ownership. (Click here to read our exclusive interview.)

Of the many responses we've received, the latest is from NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox. Below is the letter he sent to F&S, in full:

We all know that during political campaigns, candidates try to present the public with only those images they want them to see. It is up to the voters to figure out who the candidates really are. This is particularly true in Presidential politics, making it even more important to look beyond the spin and find the truth.

In a recent story released by Field & Stream, Presidential candidate John Edwards posed as a supporter of gun owners and hunters. This is a complete political fabrication. The readers of Field & Stream deserve to know the truth about John Edwards.

Even a brief look at Edwards’ voting record from his single term in the U.S. Senate shows he is no friend of gun owners or sportsmen. Edwards voted to regulate gun shows out of existence and to renew Bill Clinton’s sweeping gun ban, a gun ban the National Academy of Sciences reported did nothing to curb crime. He opposed the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” that protects America’s firearms industry from reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt them. He apparently believes that gun makers, which hunters depend on for their firearms, should be at the mercy of anti-gun mayors like Michael Bloomberg who want to use the courts to make guns unavailable to the average American.

Edwards, of course, ran on the ticket with John Kerry at a time when Kerry had sponsored legislation that would have banned common semi-automatic hunting shotguns like the Remington 1100, Browning Auto-5 and Benelli SBE. His running mate told America’s hunters that they could not be trusted with these “assault weapons.”

When he voted on the Senate floor in 2000 to commend the “Million Mom March” gun-ban crowd for its anti-freedom efforts, was he commending them for their loud calls for gun registration and gun owner licensing? Was he applauding their agenda of gun bans, long waiting periods and gun purchase limits?

Hunters know that for our hunting heritage to survive, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms must be protected from politicians like John Edwards. Wearing a camo jacket for one weekend during an election year does not make John Edwards a sportsman. Voting for anti-gun legislation time after time does make John Edwards an enemy of gun ownership.

John Edwards knows that educated and motivated gun owners and hunters defeated the Kerry/Edwards ticket in 2004. Now he wants to hide his record to avoid that fate in 2008. He can try to hide behind campaign promises and well-worded spin, but we will not forget his real record. It is time for politicians like John Edwards to finally learn that they will be measured by their actions, not their words.

Tell us your reaction below.



"I'm shocked", Dean responded sarcastically.


Anyone who expected anything else is very naive. He gave it all away in his "never met a hunter who needed an AK".

Once again, I repeat:

You, John Edwards, are a GERM!!


Definitions are in order first:
Poly - prefix meaning many.
Ticks - annoying, often dangerous, parasitic insects.

combine the two: Politics -- many annoying, often dangerous, insects.

Con - word meaning against

Pro - prefix meaning 'for'

Con is the opposite of Pro therefore Congress is the opposite of Progress!

John Edwards is an elitist who only remembers his humble roots (everso dramatically) every four years when it suits his political aspirations.

Not that I am thrilled with any candidate from either party. Of the current crop Ron Paul is closest to my sensibilities (though I can't support an instant withdrawal from Iraq). Mike Huckabee seems to be making a run up here in New Hampshire and seems overall to be ok.


Edward's playing up to sportsmen is no surprise and neither is the NRA's response. All of it is simple politicking, and nothing more. No one should be swayed to either side by any of it. Edwards may well be a fancy suit without substance, but no more so than the NRA are a bunch of nuts that never met a environment-raping Republican they didn't love.
Whatever you hear from candidates or lobbyists should taken with a big grain of salt.
Edwards is overselling his credentials as a friend to the sportsman, and the NRA is exagerating the danger he poses.
Surprise, surprise.

michael crandall

F and S should start its own political party made up of hunters and anglers. Politics like this make me want to be a Florida wildlife officer, a buisness man or politician. FWC officer to enforce the rules, buisness man to enjoy what those rules are there to protect, or politician to make the rules to protect what needs to be protected. I'm only 16 though, so I have a little while to decide.


I agree with Joel. All politicking. I'm no more apt to believe Edwards' representation of himself than I am the NRA's representaion of the candidate.


In all likelihood, the truth is somewhere in between. The real question, of course, is "Where exactly?"


Edwards is an example of the disdain politicians have for the public. They treat us as stupid, gullible voters who send them to washington to pursue their own agendas. TRUST NO ONE BUT THOMPSON!


Gee, and I thought Edwards was being genuine. I'm just shocked!



More on Edwards and gun ownership.
It seems everything is a "right" to this guy except gun ownership.



To me, I would rather give more trust to a used car salesman than to John Edwards.


Wow, I bet he hopes not too many people see that one!

r napolitano

Edwards, Shumer, Corzine, Lautenberg, Kennedy, Biden, Mulkaskey, Clinton, Kerry, and Menendez, they all never met a gun contol law they did not love.
They will say anything to get elected and then enact their own agenda of confiscation and denial of ownership. Want proof, just look to NYC and its mayor.
Only difference is tha only one of the above has testicles, Hillary, the rest have cankles.

Dave P.

This crap is typical of many politicians. They think they can fool people by posing as something they are not every 4 years. Also, if it wasn't for the NRA, there wouldn't be a second amendment. Also the NRA isn't a puppet of every environment raping Republican. If people would take the time to examine the issues, they'd learn a lot more. The NRA supports hunters, whose excise taxes on ammunition, hunting licenses, deer tags, duck stamps, etc help pay for conservation. If it wasn't for that, the developers would have developed a lot more land and ruined a lot more open space and forests.


Edwards is as much a chameleon on the gun issue as Hillary is a supporter of the 2nd amendment. At least the part until you get to arms. Biden is about the same. There is a TREMENDOUS difference between reasonable regulations and disarming our republic. The latter is the goal of each of these as far as I can see. Also, for those who do not like guns in any form, I would suggest you be careful that you understand the right NOT to have any firearms and being denied the right to have virtually any functional firearm for self-protection, which is the case in D.C. right now and for the past 31 years. Methinks these folks speak with forked tongue on the 2nd. The political pasture is also cluttered with those flat brown piles that float up when it rains hard. Just be careful where you step. :-)


He's a modern elected Democrat. Here's the problem with even electing a truly rock solid pro-gun Democrat;

Electing any Democrat to the point where Democrats become the majority party means more gun control period.

It doesn't matter what an individual elected federal official stands for as long has the party platform and the legislation that will be pushed by the Majority leadership is contrary to that memebers personal views.

James Bennett

In response to some previous posts:
NRA's Cox's is cites a number of specific, verifiable facts about Edward's actions on specific legislation. There is no "truth somewhere in the middle." While he may think his proposals are reasonable, they are the front half of the camel's body under the tent. The guy is not the gun owner's friend regardless of whatever good times he had afield in his youth.


To Dave P.,you are so very right. Could'nt have said it better.To those other people,you are so NRA ignorant.The NRA stands for your,my,and everyone elses FREEDOM,if the NRA was'nt on top of things and didn't take action to PROTECT our freedom right away,you would have to be asking permission just to leave your house and take your family out to eat.Not to mention all the "check points"along the way.LOOK AT ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DISARMED!!!! (Bad)Politicians love unarmed phesants.VOTE FREEDOM FIRST!!! NO HITLERY Clinton!!!


For those above posting NRA “comments” I would suggest they go to the NRA web site and sign up for the daily NRA alert e-mails. Read the e-mails each day for a month. I believe it will prove to be an eye opener.

These e-mails cover a wide variety of events going on at the local, state and national level that effects hunters, gun owners etc. These e-mail alerts are a window into the daily events and fights that effect our hunting, gun rights and what is being done by the NRA and others to support gun and hunting rights.

Do not listen to what John Edwards says, but as with any politician watch their actions and how they VOTE. John Edwards has a horrible voting record when it comes to supporting gun rights and gun owners.

His vote to NOT protect the firearms industry from junk lawsuits that were designed only to bankrupt the industry was very telling.

You can’t hunt if you have no guns or the red tape is so great that the next generation of hunters says it is not worth jumping through the hoops. Be careful who you vote for

R. C. Crowe

As one can see from some of the above postings many gun owners and hunters are content to exist in a state of ignorant bliss.

Example: If it does not effect my hunting or my firearms it is someone else’s problem.

We are all in the same wagon here. It is unfortunate that many choose to ride in the wagon instead of getting out , getting informed and helping pull.

Charles P

The NRA works VERY hard to present the TRUTH to people. It is the ONLY thing that they have to protect the second amendment of the Bill of Rights. ANYONE who takes the time to look at the NRA, and STUDY the FACTS, will see that the anti-gun groups/politicians have a LONG history of lieing to force their agenda on America. LOOK AT THE PROVEN FACTS!

Raymond Boback

Have you ever meet a Democrat that hasn't like a anti-gun proposal? Typical Democrat on the 2nd Amendment, "I fully support the 2nd Amendment as long as no one owns a gun or if the U.N. supports ownership of a gun." Show me a Democratic Politician and I will show you a low-life.


The NRA backs up their comments with facts and documents or the words or the lying politicians. The NRA is looking out for all of our gun rights, sportsmen and patriots alike!

mark a

The second amendment is not there so we can deer hunting, or target shooting. It is there to protect us against the possibility of a tyrant government. The day the government disarms law abiding citizens in this country, will be the day we go from being citizens to subjects, with Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy as our masters.

Blu Fox

DemocRAT , Progressive , a polite word for communist .
Shame on the people that are stupid enough to fall for
Edwards party line crap.

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.

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