By allowing the ban on the sale of assault weapons to expire, a ban he claims to support, George Bush and his allies in Congress have handed the Kerry campaign an easy stump-speech isse. There is simply no way to spin allowing assault weapons to once again be legally sold in this country as contributing to the War on Terra.
Ellen Ratner explains:
The Republicans’ determination to let the ban expire, coupled with the president’s lack of leadership to pressure them to renew it, is a complete course reversal on what the president describes as his most solemn duty, to protect the nation. The only way to describe this gross inconsistency in the war on terror is to concede that ultimately the president’s heart is where his treasure is, in the pocket of what he euphemistically calls his “base” and what I call one of his pet special-interest groups. As goes the National Rifle Association, so goes the nation.
The Bush campaign’s response to John Kerry’s plea for President Bush to pressure the Republican Congress to renew the ban was equally puzzling in the context of homeland security. There was no mention of homeland security or any specific response to John Kerry’s claim that these weapons are known to be used by terrorists and that no gun owner can honestly say that his-her rights have been impeded during the 10-year-old ban. Instead the Bush-Cheney campaign said that John Kerry had spent a career in the Senate voting against hunters. Huh? The Bush campaign shifts the argument to enhance its political base and away from the issue of making our nation more safe.