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April 25, 2008

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Discussion Topic: AHSA Endorses Obama; NRA Blasts AHSA

From the American Hunters & Shooters Association:

Today, as President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), I [Ray Schoenke] announced our endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. . . .

We believe recent attacks on Senator Obama's stand on the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to our hunting and shooting heritage are unfair . . . .

Senator Obama has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the 2nd Amendment by his vote in support of the Vitter amendment to HR 5441, [which] . . . prevents the Government from confiscating guns in a time of crisis or emergency.

From the NRA:

In keeping with their “pro-gun” stance, this week, AHSA did the last thing one would expect of a pro-gun group—they endorsed Democratic hopeful Barack Obama for President! . . . .

Are you kidding?  Obama’s hostility toward the Second Amendment is so well known and well documented that in the 2004 elections, NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) issued Obama a well-deserved “F” grade.  Obama is anti-gun.  Period. . . .

And from the AHSA again:

[T]he NRA sells out regularly to politicians who care nothing about the land or wildlife, but who will deliver votes against gun control. . . .

The problem is not that the NRA leadership acts aggressively to protect the Second Amendment. It is their mission. The problem is that they mislead hunters into thinking their actions will benefit hunting. . . .

The NRA feeds our money and our hunting heritage into the coffers of political snakes who will use their influence to ruin the land we hunt.

And from the NRA:

AHSA would be more correctly called the “American Association for the Protection of Anti-Gun Politicians.”  No gun owner or sportsman should take the group seriously or fall prey to its carefully crafted lies and deceptions, as clearly demonstrated by their endorsement of Barack Obama.

Care to chime in?



Hey Yooper Jack,

Your comment earlier about the Constitutionality of the Fed's owning land my copy says in Aritcle 1, Section 8...
...(congress)and to excercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, forthe Erection of Forts, Magazines, Aresenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;

I do not see where National Forests, USFS or any other Fed program is Constitutional. It is a matter left to the Idividual States, as the 10th Amendment to the Bill of Rights...
...the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The setting aside of Public hunting land and Conservation land is a State issue. It is up to the people of the localities to decide what land better suits what purposes. Washington is out of touch with everywhere but Washington. But if we feel the need to change this all we have to do is follow Aritcle 5 and the Amendment process it lays out to ratifie and amend the Constitution, then theres no question on the authority of the Federal programs. I think its a just cause and I would be all for this amendment. thanks and sorry if your question was a retorical one Yooper.



Thanks! It muddies the water a bit because the states have no control over BLM and USFS lands. The FS lands were covered by the Organic Act, and more recently, I think its the National Forest Policy Act. At any rate, hunting and fishing are part of the recreational portion of the policies portion of these laws. Forest Management is also a policy. If these needs aren't met, they're supposed to put forth plans to remedy the shortfalls. I know up here, if deer hunting stopped, we would be overrun with deer. We also would have no little trees in our forests. Hence, forestry would have to cease.

Actually, I don't know if that question was retorical. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about this until I started thinking about gun control as an issue. That probably happened within the past ten years. A lot of commentators started asking about judges and their adherence to strict interpretation of the Constitution. That's when I started to wonder. Also, when Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, one of his greatest concerns was the legality of this purchase.


Is the 2nd amendment your guys only concern when voting? Never vote for liberals because they are against guns? If you havent noticed ammo prices are already going up and look who's in office. Handguns will never be banned so you mine as well not even make that argument...and I dont see what would be so wrong with registering every firearm bought? I kinda figured that would be a good idea wouldnt it? The truth is if a canidate wants to ban guns or tax ammo it would have to be voted on and it would never ever pass, so why dont you vote for better reasons than just guns.


With all of the topics we've discussed here, where did you get that idea?

The beauty of this country is that most firearms are now untracable. They were purchased by someone before the current laws were enacted. If the gov't knows who has the guns, they can easily enforce new gun ban laws. Besides, even if I had had to register my firearms, do you honestly believe that the criminals would register theirs?

Also, if this Heller Case should go against us, you will see a lot of legislation to ban handguns and semi-auto rifles and shotguns.

I'll stick with the candidates I'm comfortable with. Certainly not BHO or HRC.



One of the problems with Nat'l Gun Registration is, they (the anti-gun faction) want to make it possible to file felony charges against a gun owner if their gun is stolen and used in a crime!
Registering firearms, of any type, will NOT deter crime! Period!
Bush in the White House has absolutely nothing to do with ammo prices and everything to do with ammo bans, micro-engraving, etc, etc, etc. The anti's are discovering bucking the NRA and the Second Amendment are very, very difficult. They have made some inroads, causing us gun owners lots of headaches. Back as early as the early '80's, they decided that since gun bans weren't working very well, very quickly, that banning ammo was the next best thing! Make it difficult or impossible for "Everyday John" to get ammo and he'll more easily give up his firearms. He doesn't hunt. Could care less about the value of a pristine Mod. 12 Win compared to a Western Auto single shot White Powder Wonder! And wouldn't go out in the cold to go hunting on a bet! Also, why spend all that money hunting when he gets everything he needs from the grocery store!
A mindset like yours only solidify's the statement, "Outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have guns!"
Everytime we (pro-gunners) allow the slightest concession to them (anti-gunners), they have taken another step towards stripping the American public of it's firearms. For instance, look at the recent ban on lead ammo in some areas of California. Full scale ammo restrictions have come forth in full force!
Ammo bans are aimed at a "gun free" America!
Bush and the GOP had nothing to do with ammo prices!
Clinton, Obama and the Dems will do everything in there power to strip us (pro-gunners) of our firearms! THAT, amigo, is why your ammo cost is going out of sight!



There have been and will be again, what must be called 'back door' efforts at bans which hit us gun owners one way or t'uther; ammo sales restrictions etcetera. The upshot is that we can't let some fake organization like the AHSA 'speak' for us. Call, write, email, passenger pigeon your elected representatives and tell them this bunch of clowns is not speaking for you and that your vote will not be for them if they oppose our Rights!


How many times can I hear the same old tired arguments from both sides? If we would spend an ounce of energy that we spend lobbying for gun control towards preserving hunting lands our gun control policy wouldn't change yet our access to hunting lands would increase. Why can't we do both equally as fervent? Why are they mutually exclusive with one being considered leftwing and the other rightwing? I think that we need to de-politicize these issues or we'll never be satisfied with guns laws or land management. Every single one of us is responsible for this being a partisan issue as we would rather argue with ourselves over which is more important rather than demand from our politicians, law makers and activist groups that we protect 2A and our land and hunting heritage.


Im as pro gun as the next guy...do I think we all need to carry semi auto rifles? probably not. If you like to hunt with them thats fine, but going to the store and being able to just buy an assault rifle is a little ridiculous and I know Bubba that you dont agree with that because lord knows we all need our AR15s right? I was basically saying that there is more important things to worry about than guns in the upcoming election.



Great point on the Louisiana Purchase! When I saw your question on the Constitutionality of Govt land purchasing, well it got me thinking about how good a question like that was, so I decided to research it a little so thank you for giving me something to do on my rainy sunday yeasterday! As for strict adherence to the Constitution, it is a must, its written in plain English and if somebody isn't sure about what the Framers meant, they can look up Madisons notes from the Convention, where he detailed the arguments that unfolded and they could read the Federalists Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay (first Supreme court Justice) and James Madison. It is a must because without we will loose our Natural/God givin Rights and Libertys. If we must change the Constitution to GIVE new powers to the Feds then we must use the Amendment process givin to us in Article 5. And CTB whats most important to me during election years is my LIBERTY and yours and it is OUR right as the PEOPLE to be armed, so we can protect OUR LIBERTYS. Hillary, Barrack, or McCain doesn't cut it, two tax and spenders and one goin to cut out earmarks (that isn't eliminating any taxes but he keeps saying it does) and "pork barrel spending" but is going to borrow money from the Chinese and spend it on wars for the next "100 years" as he said. And lets all be truthful with ourselves McCain other than the war issues he really isn't that Right wing, who's his best buddy? what's his name? OH thats it its Joe Lieberman! another pro war socialist.


Clinton and obama are bad for hunters, gun owners, and the USA.They will, with the democrat controled legisture, vote in more gun control, raise taxes hurting the economy, and close more public land to hunting and atv use. They are on the same side as peta, humane society, and groups like hand gun control inc. Hunters and gun owners who vote democrat need to wake up, these poeple are after your hunting and gun rights.


Right now there are bills in the US House and Senate that propose everything for excessively taxing ammo and registering handguns to banning various types of firearms and some kinds of hunting. They CAN and WILL pass if the Democrats pick up a few Senate seats and Obama gets into the Whitehouse. It amazes me how uniformed many sportsman are and by the remarks of some hunters. "Ammo prices are up with Bush in office"- duh.. copper and brass prices have tripled and raw chemical prices are up. "The NRA has done a horrible job of protecting hunting land"- the NRA protects your 2nd Amendment rights not game lands- that's why they are called the National Riffle Association, not the Sierra Club. Land, just like the price of ammo, is a function of supply and demand. "Free" hunting land isn't free at all. First the housing boom and now high grain prices are affecting hunting grounds it has very little to do with who is in office. The government taking away some guns or banning bear hunting (as they have in some states) has EVERYTHING to do with who is in office. Blaming Bush, Satan, the NRA or anyone else for lack of land access is ALMOST as stupid as voting for Obama.


C4 please dont talk about democrats hurting the economy...if I remember correctly the last time our economy was good and even our national debt was even back to even a democrat was in office. And yea democrats raise taxes, but do you know what that money will go towards? Im thinking health care, public schools, research towards debilitating deceases, land concervation. I cant believe how informed some of you are on only two topics Andrew. Let me guess, you vote based on religous beliefs and your wanting to have guns? what other benefit besides letting you keep your guns (even though niether clinton nor obama said they were going to ban guns. do some research dont just read some post some old geezer convervative wrote on the internet)do republicans have to offer?

Chad Love

I hate to sound flippant about this, but who the hell really cares? As a voting block hunters are perhaps the most lied to, taken advantage of and generally screwed over demographic in American politics.

With such a massive identity crisis why engage in this internecine hand-wringing every election cycle? We should be used to it. This time of year we're pandered to from the left, pandered to from the right. It's only AFTER the election that we're spit upon by the left and bent over by the right.

All this really does is further demonstrate that it's damn hard to be a reasoned, pragmatic voter these days.

I am a somewhat socially progressive, environmentally concerned, independent-minded, meat-loving Second Amendment absolutist.

That used to describe lots of American voters, but the politics of polarity has made me an endangered species.

And call me a fruitloop if you will, but I firmly believe that's by design. Despite all the ridiculous yapping about change and straight talk both parties prefer it this way. In today's political climate honesty and consensus-building are political liabilities.

This is the future of American politics, because Americans have quite simply lost the ability to think for themselves.

They much prefer someone else to do it for them so they can concentrate on more important things, like being able to score a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV for their kids.

If YOU were running either of the two major political parties in this country what would you rather have, lemmings or freethinkers?

So we end up in an endless feedback loop of countless doctrinaire bile-spewing partisan echo chambers on the 'Net, on the tube and on the radio.

And once again the great American election automaton totters forward on permanent autopilot. The red states stay red, the blue states stay blue and we all suffer the consequences, none more so than hunters.

I don't have a damn clue how I'm going to vote because I don't have a damn clue if anything about this election even matters anyway.

I put about as much faith in what I read from the NRA as I do in what I read from the Clinton or Obama or McCain camps

I mean really, in the end does it really matter if Barack Obama is pro-gun, anti-gun or if Hillary Clinton did or did not go hunting or if John McCain is really a conservative? It's all light and heat, anyway, on both sides of the political aisle.

You want the evolution of the American political process in three simple stages?

At one time politicians who aspired to office told the American people what they believed in, why they believed in it and why they believed that vision would be good for the country.

Then politicians stopped telling people what they believed in and started telling the American people what they (the politicians) thought the American people wanted to hear and explained why it would be a good thing for them personally, and oh yeah, the country too.

Then the politicians and their respective conservative and liberal media machines dispensed altogether with trying to figure out what the American people were thinking (that might have been barren territory anyway...) and decided to just start manufacturing the thought process itself and spoon feed it until we actually started believing we thought of it ourselves.

And that, in a nutshell, is the average American voter.

And if you think I'm a gloomy pessimist, just chew on this: the aforementioned Grand Theft Auto IV, as socially and intellectually defunct a product as has ever been produced in this country (and that's a mighty big hill to climb) is set to break sales records at a time when the crumbling Dystopian society depicted in the game may already be here.

It's a lot easier to manipulate someone when they prefer a fantasy world to the real thing.


CTB- I'm not very religious, but I don't think that people of faith or gun owners are backwards single issue voters as you imply and I prefer them to liberals any day. FACT Obama said he would ban handguns at least twice.(http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9722.html). HRC lobbied hard for the "assault weapons" ban in 1992 and (until 6 weeks ago) supported gun control and opposed the individual right to arms.

Like most people I vote on economic issues. Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress balanced the (operating) budget for exactly 1 year- at the high point of the dot-com bubble. Mostly because they cut defense spending after Ronald Reagan won the cold war. Who will cut pork- Barack Obama for voted FOR the "bridge to no where" or John McCain who has fought lobbyists and earmarks for decades? By any statistical measure, our economy was doing well before the housing crisis- although I know that people who are out of work probably don't care about our GDP. Both parties deficit spend during good and bad times at alarming rates, but higher taxes and socialized medicine will be a disaster and I think McCain has much better experience than either democrat .

Mike Diehl

I think the business about the Constitutionality of the Fed owning land is silly. Certainly the 9th Amendment has no obvious bearing on it. I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut this has been tested in the past. I'd equally bet that the plaintiff in "Dingbat v. US" was laughed out of the courtroom. As a matter of pragmatism, the Fed owning land for any reason it wants was made Constitutional when the Fed decided to use citizens dollars to buy land (vis the La. Purchase). Let any man say that the Louisiana Purchase or the Gadsden Purchase or the Alaska Purchase were "bad ideas" and the self-evident silliness becomes apparent without the need for further discussion.


"Bush in the White House has absolutely nothing to do with ammo prices and everything to do with ammo bans, micro-engraving, etc, etc, etc."

That is not correct. Micro engraving has not become actual law anywhere in the United States. Nor have new ammunition bans occurred (IIRC AP rounds are banned).

Ammo inflation is being driven by two things. 1. Iraq war. If you think that the demand for all that .223 hasn't affected the price of lead, copper and nickel for your .308, think again. 2. Commodities speculation has been driving these things especially when stocks started to look less than rosey last summer.

Mike Diehl

in one of the most intellectually shallow posts on this blog, Andrew wrote:

"The NRA protects your 2nd Amendment rights not game lands- that's why they are called the National Riffle Association, not the Sierra Club."

Apparently you missed the memo. NRA claims now to represent sportsmens interests and has made that clam for almost twenty years. That is why one of their trade zines is entitled "American Hunter" rather than "American Rifleman." Perhaps we could ask for a third one -- "American Bullethead" that could appeal to people dimwitted enough to think that undermining hunting would, in the long run, undermine shooting and political support for the 2nd Amendment.

"Free hunting land isn't free at all."

Depends what you mean by "free." Federally owned and state owned land costs its users nothing up front -- admittedly there's a management cost that all pay. But it's pretty much SOP that the public pays for the maintenance of infrastructure such as highways, military bases, and the like, and publically huntable lands are every bit as important as interstate highways and the DoD.

"First the housing boom and now high grain prices are affecting hunting grounds it has very little to do with who is in office."

Federal land management policy is heavily tilted by the General Mining Act of 1872 -- a bad piece of legislation that allows foreigners to purchase US mineral rights without much regard to the value of the surface rights, at pennies on the dollar, extract the wealth, sell it to China, and saddle the US Taxpayer with the cleanup bill. If you think that Pres. Bush doesn't rub his greasey covetous hands together at the thought of strip mining the taxpayer, you've been asleep for the last 8 years.

"The government taking away some guns or banning bear hunting (as they have in some states) has EVERYTHING to do with who is in office."

That at least is true. The person in the office not only has a strong influence on public lands treatment, but also on the degree to which the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th Amendments are taken seriously. The current man strikes out on every Constitutional test.

Fortunately, McCain seems a lot brighter than Pres. Bush. If McCain would vow to hold taxes where they are now, end all overseas deployments, and eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, I'd nominate him for sainthood.

Mike Diehl

should be:

Perhaps we could ask for a third one -- "American Bullethead" that could appeal to people dimwitted enough to think that undermining hunting would NOT, in the long run, undermine shooting and political support for the 2nd Amendment.


1) Ammo prices are up because of demand driving up metal prices. The Iraq War, which is 6 years old and winding down is not the cause. If you knew anything about commodities you would realize that ammo is not a big enough end use to effect metal prices. High commodity prices cause high ammo prices- not vice versa. Blame industrialization in China and India and speculation, not Iraq. I said nothing about micro-engraving, black helicopters, or my personal interpretation of the 9th Amendment.

2) I am a hunter- I don't even own a "black gun", but you are insane if you think Obama, who supported banning frois gras because it's mean to geese and hangs with the PETA and the Sarah Brady crowd, is our friend because he says he's for the environment.

3) I'll take the NRA over the Sierra Club or the AHSA any day. If you Google the Sierra Club board members and see where they give money, it's oblivious they have more in common with George Soros and Michael Moore than any hunters I know.

Everyone should research Obama's record on gun control and not fall for his rhetoric. Kenneth Vogel's article "Obama linked to gun control efforts" is a good start.


Mike Diehl

"1) Ammo prices are up because of demand driving up metal prices."

"The Iraq War, which is 6 years old and winding down is not the cause. If you knew anything about commodities you would realize that ammo is not a big enough end use to effect metal prices."

If you knew anything about industrial processes you would realize that ammo manufacturers tend to have one or two process lines that they reset for ammo types. When Uncle Sam issues a big production request for .223, other ammo types take a backseat, limiting supply relative to demand. Market forces then do their usual thing.

"I said nothing about micro-engraving, black helicopters, or my personal interpretation of the 9th Amendment."

True enough. I thought I was being clear in drawing attention to where I was responding specifically to your claims.

"but you are insane if you think Obama..."

On that we agree. Obama is no friend of firearms ownership or a whole lot of other free market niches.

"I'll take the NRA over the Sierra Club or the AHSA any day."

Different goals. NRA has for a long time claimed to be "for" (representing the interests of) sportsmen... which job it does most poorly. Sierra claims to be about conservation, rather than "for" sportsmen, and seems to do a good job sticking to their claimed mandate. Neither of 'em are all that great representing both the interests of conservation AND for the relationship between conservation and hunting and fishing. One can always hope that either will evolve to do a better job representing the hook n bullet crowd.

Mike Diehl

"I am a somewhat socially progressive, environmentally concerned, independent-minded, meat-loving Second Amendment absolutist."

Chad Love for President.

Chad Love

I will have to say in some small defense of the Sierra Club that they have, in the past, made token attempts to appeal to hunters and those oafish anglers who dare eat some of the fish they catch.
It has, without exception, been an unmitigated disaster.
There was an almost palpable, nose-holding distaste in the attempt and judging by the reaction from the membership it went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
As high-minded as it sounded, I think a more pragmatic relationship between the Sierra Club and us hunters is to stay true to the old "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" credo when we have common environmental goals (and we do have quite a few, despite the cultural gulf) and then keep a wary distance the rest of the time.

I don't want any bongo-drumming wankers ruining my woods and I'm sure they don't want any semi-literate rednecks like me using Half-Dome as the world's tallest deer stand. I can live with that compromise.

Chad Love

And I forgot to give my opinion of the NRA as an organization that represents the environmental concerns of America's sportsmen...

I'm not very good with this whole Internet text messaging jargon, but am I doing this right when I say ROTFLMAO? If not then I need to convey in the King's English that I'm rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.


NRA is the biggest pro-hunting organization in the world. We've run a youth hunting program (Youth Hunter Education Challenge)that's brought over 1.2 million kids into hunting in the last 21 years, and we lobby for state youth mentored hunting programs. We've got a women's hunting and shooting program that Field and Stream wrote up a couple of years ago--and has had over 30,000 women participate. We've helped pass No Net Loss laws in several states and are the driving force in advancing state constitutional amendments guaranteeing the right to hunt. The NRA Foundation has donated millions for youth programs, hunter education, conservation and range development. We campaign for Open Fields legislation to keep hunting land open. About 80 percent of NRA members hunt, and every issue of concern to them is of concern to us. If you want to know what NRA is doing for hunters, visit the new website at: www.nrahuntersrights.org.

Mike Diehl

All I ever see of the NRA is the monthly requests for "emergency" donations and bi-monthly requests to support the creation of a gun range that I won't be able to afford.

Where the NRA stands vis the General Mining Act of 1872 is unknown. If NRA steps up to the plate and says "Repeal the General Mining Act of 1872" I'll believe they're doing something to represent my interests as a hunter. They're doing a good job vis my 2nd Amendment rights, but not much for hunters.

Consider for ex their web site survey on "Shooting on Federal Lands." Basically asks whether or not theres good infrastructure for target shooting on Fed lands. The questions are all slanted towards opening access for plinking. Hunting isn't even on the radar.

Chad Love

That's great, and I applaud the NRA for all the fine things it's done. Just as soon as my sons are old enough they're going straight into any and all NRA-sponsored youth shooting programs I can get them into.
I appreciate the NRA. I support (mostly) the NRA. The NRA's support for the shooting sports and hunting access laws is commendable.
Really. I heart the NRA. But the issue on which I take exception to the NRA is its continued unwavering and unquestioning support of elected shills whose sole mission is to literally give away and squander every public natural resource we own.
And they do it with impunity because they know the NRA won't call them on it.
Remember Richard Pombo? Tom Delay? My own state embarrassment Senator James Inhofe?

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