Out West, Obama Faces Gun Battle

DENVER, Colo. -- Colorado is home to more than 100,000 dues-paying members of the National Rifle Association, all of whom should have received THIS MAILER sometime in the last week, which says he would be "the most anti-gun president in American history," and refers gun rights enthusiasts to the website GunBanObama.com.

Obama is aware of this of course, and he's on the radio airwaves out here -- as well as, according to readers of Ben Smith at Politico -- Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland. Virginia, Ohio, and New Hampshire.

The ad features former Washington Redskin Ray Schoenke, who helms the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which styles itself as a moderate alternative to the NRA, while the NRA deems it to be a bogus bunch of gun-grabbers.

"It's important to me that our next President protects our Second Amendment rights to own guns and defend ourselves," says Schoenke. "Barack Obama and John McCain will both make sure we can keep our guns. But what about keeping our jobs? Barack's got a real plan that invests in creating jobs here at home and cuts taxes a thousand bucks for working families. John McCain? I saw a lot of cheap shots in my day, but McCain's false attacks on Obama are just a fake to hide the ball. His plan sells out American workers. McCain will keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship our jobs overseas. And he'll look the other way while China breaks our trade deals. It's the same old Bush playbook. Look, when the coach loses eight years in a row, you don't bring him back for a ninth season! We just can't afford more of the same."

Listen to the ad HERE.

Obama's facing some tough skeptics out here, though, and comments like the ones he made in Duryea, Penn., earlier this month don't necessarily help.

"There’s rumors going around that you're going to take away the guns," said a hunter at a glass factory.

"I think this is a great question so I just want to clear it up," Obama said. "Because I know there are probably some sportsmen here in the audience. I believe in the Second Amendment, and if you are a law-abiding gun owner, you have nothing to fear from an Obama administration! I mean this has been this has been peddled again and again…

"I’ll be honest, and I’m sure there’s some NRA members here," Obama continued. "Their general attitude is 'Look, we don’t want anything, and if you even breathe the word "gun control" or "gun safety," then you must want to take away everybody’s guns.' Well, that’s just not true...

"The bottom line is this. If you’ve got a rifle, you’ve got a shotgun, you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it away. Alright? So they can keep on talking about it but this is just not true. And by the way, here’s another thing you’ve got to understand. Even if I wanted to take it away, I couldn’t get it done. I don’t have the votes in Congress."

That "I don't have the votes in Congress" line has ricocheted around the country…

- jpt

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