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Facts About American Hunters & Shooters Assoc.

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Laudygirl, Sep 23, 2008.

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  1. Laudygirl

    Laudygirl TS Member

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    Over the past week, the local radio has run ads for the American Hunters & Shooters Association (paid by Obama) in support of Obama. Please check out the facts on who they are. Get the word out that they are not who they want us to belive they are.
     
  2. N. J. BOB

    N. J. BOB Active Member

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    What next, a preemptive strike ? We must be very careful when dealing with anything new. Never give up old friends, like the NRA...
     
  3. Laudygirl

    Laudygirl TS Member

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  4. Laudygirl

    Laudygirl TS Member

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  5. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    This needs to be near the other thread about the Obama campaign suing to stop the NRA ads. The attorneys for Obama are citing support from this organization.
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget what the NRA-ILA has to say about this FAKE gun group....<br>
    <br>
    Anti-Gunners Don Camo As Elections Loom<br>
    <br>
    Seeking to pick up the baton dropped by the ham-fisted Americans for Gun Safety, the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) has arrived on the scene to become the latest front group for the anti-gun movement in America.<br>
    <br>
    BY CHRIS W. COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director<br>
    <br>
    Tracking the recent history of the Second Amendment debate wouldn’t be complete without a look at the shifting tactics of the opposition. Our tireless efforts and resulting victories at the ballot box have made it clear that openly campaigning against the Second Amendment is a political loser. The anti-gun groups have undertaken a concerted effort to mask their long-term agenda, but only as a mark of pure, calculating political expedience.<br>
    <br>
    It surprised no one when Handgun Control, Inc., decided to change its name to the decidedly vague “Brady Campaign.” But the effort to paint the anti-gun agenda with the comfortable warmth of “gun safety” rhetoric moved from tactical to strategic with the formation of Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) in July 2000. Funded solely by New York City dot-com billionaire Andrew McKelvey—previously a member of the Handgun Control, Inc., board of directors—AGS supported the same tired gun-control agenda, but portrayed itself as “bringing a new, centrist perspective to a long-polarized debate.”<br>
    <br>
    In truth, it was staffed by a handful of longtime anti-gun strategists who were certainly vigorous in issuing countless press releases. But AGS never developed political credibility or power, because it had no members, no base of support and no grassroots strength. In due course, the group appeared to simply evaporate, and it now exists only as a website that hasn’t been updated in months.<br>
    <br>
    The failure of AGS should have been a clear lesson to our opponents that credibility as a voice for hunters and shooters cannot be created with money alone. But blind faith is a powerful force. Much as the anti-gun crowd cannot resist the temptation to continue to push restrictions that have already been defeated; it seems destined that they would again form a phony front group, dedicated to the lofty political goal of fooling gun owners and hunters into supporting a new emperor with no clothes. Just in time for the new election cycle, the group would push the same anti-gun agenda and grant false credentials to politicians seeking to cloak themselves in the false veneer of rhetoric “supporting our rights.”<br>
    <br>
    Now comes, as if on cue, the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). The group’s self-description that pops up in Internet search engines is: “Countering years of polarized debate and restoring pride in America’s hunting and shooting heritage.” Gee, that polarized debate thing sounds familiar.<br>
    <br>
    But let’s go through the exercise, for those with any doubt. AHSA is certainly working to create that doubt, with a debut performance at the recent convention of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.<br>
    <br>
    “Also troubling is the NRA’s attempt to protect the gun industry from lawsuits that could help shut down gun dealers.”<br>
    <br>
    —Ron Schuman (former BATF official)<br>
    <br>
    Hosting a press conference and a breakfast, the group made a minor splash. CNN fell for the routine, offering the group a clean slate from which to cast its own history. AHSA Executive Director Bob Ricker told the CNN host, “We feel that because of the extreme positions the NRA has taken in the past, as you mentioned, that it’s turned off a large number of gun owners. It just became clear to me that the extreme positions the NRA was forcing everyone to take was really hurting hunters and shooters, like myself.”<br>
    <br>
    Pure theater, of course, but good enough for CNN to fawn over. Some of the outdoor writers in attendance, however, were well familiar with the false credentials of Ricker and AHSA’s board of directors. Ricker attempted to sidestep his checkered past, dodging questions on his well-known history as a failed gun-industry lobbyist, then as a paid shill for the anti-gun lobby and its lawyers. Board member John Rosenthal, founder of the anti-gun Massachusetts state group “Stop Handgun Violence,” has called himself a gun owner and shooter. One outdoor writer noted in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: “They ask that you overlook their past associations and listen to their message.”<br>
    <br>
    The message is plenty familiar—a pure re-hash of the AGS mantra. Their past associations as operatives and supporters of the gun-ban lobby are well established. So let’s look at those associations as they are, not as Ricker glosses over them in the media. Let’s go to the videotape, as the sportscasters say, in the form of a sworn deposition that Ricker was paid to give in the baseless New York City lawsuit against the firearm industry.<br>
    <br>
    What’s that, you say? Ricker is a paid witness in the effort to hold the firearm industry responsible for the acts of criminals? Yes. And that’s just the beginning. Given on September 27, 2005, the deposition details the formation of the group, and Ricker’s other paid allegiances to the gun-ban lobby.<br>
    <br>
    Ricker stated his “biggest” client was the Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence. That’s the “educational” arm of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a long-in-the-tooth but minor gun-ban group, run by longtime gun-ban advocate Josh Horwitz. The signature logo of CSGV is a picture of a handgun with a red slash across it. Look at their website (www.csgv.org)—it’s right there in the corner. The rest of the site details their slavish support for any and all new gun restrictions. In the deposition, Ricker reports that his other client is the Virginia anti-gun state group Virginians for Public Safety.<br>
    <br>
    Ricker reports AHSA as merely another one of his clients in the deposition and that his services as Executive Director are compensated at the rate of $3,000 per month. Ricker was questioned about the number of members in AHSA and estimated that “it’s probably around 100 to 150 at this point.” Noting that each member pays $25 to join, industry lawyers observed that incoming dues alone were clearly inadequate to pay his retainer. Ricker stated that the rest of the funding comes from “individual contributions” and said the largest contributors were the AHSA board of directors.<br>
    <br>
    The AHSA board proudly displays pictures of themselves target shooting or afield, confirming their elitist mind-set that it’s okay to ban guns they don’t own. Their political track records follow suit. Board Member Ray Schoenke has supported myriad liberal causes in recent years. He has made political contributions to Al Gore, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. In 2000, Schoenke donated $5,000 to Handgun Control, Inc. Contributions were also made to HCI by the Ray and Holly Schoenke Foundation, enough to earn him a slot as a major benefactor of the annual HCI fundraising dinner.<br>
    <br>
    Board member John Rosenthal remains the leader of Stop Handgun Violence, the Massachusetts anti-gun group. He, too, is a former member of the HCI board of directors. Ricker had this to say in the deposition: “We recognize the fact that Stop Handgun Violence is considered a gun-control organization, and as Mr. Rosenthal is the person who runs that organization, we understand that some hunters and shooters, other organizations like the NRA … would perceive the fact that he’s associated with our organization, and therefore, would conclude somehow that (AHSA) was not pro-gun.” Asked whether this meant that AHSA was just a front group, Ricker responded “That perception would be out there, yes.”<br>
    <br>
    Another ASHA board member is Jody Powell, lead spokesman for the rabidly anti-gun Jimmy Carter administration. Under Carter, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) waged a brutal crusade against the civil liberties of firearm owners that resulted in three major congressional inquiries and led U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), chairman of two such investigations, to characterize BATF conduct as “bordering on criminality,” saying the agency had moved against honest citizens “because [it has] taken the view that individuals who are interested in firearms are either criminals or close to it.” While Carter was posing as a quail hunter, on his watch the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) tried to ban hunting on privately owned timberland. Had Congress not acted to kill the OSHA hunting ban at the urging of NRA, hunting in America, on both public and private lands, may have become a truly endangered activity.<br>
    <br>
    “If it wasn’t for criminals, there wouldn’t be a gun industry in this country.”
    <br>
    —Gerard Nunziato (former BATFE official)<br>
    <br>
    AHSA board member Joe Vince is a former BATF employee who made himself infamous as a key architect of the Clinton-Gore regulatory assault on the Second Amendment. Vince, now president of Crime Gun Solutions, employs a number of ex-BATF officials including one Gerard Nunziato, who told the Houston Chronicle that “If it wasn’t for criminals, there wouldn’t be a gun industry in this country.” Nunziato added, “the claims of the NRA and other gun-rights groups that they are protecting law-abiding citizens with their policies are false. The only people it’s protecting are criminals.”<br>
    <br>
    The Chronicle article has yet more: “Also troubling,” said Ron Schuman, another former BATF official who works for Crime Gun Solutions, “is the NRA’s attempt to protect the gun industry from lawsuits that could help shut down gun dealers whose firearms routinely make their way to criminals.” Schuman is identified by Ricker in the deposition as an attendee of the AHSA formative meetings. And did I mention that Crime Gun Solutions performs consulting for the lawyers at the Brady Campaign, frequently appearing as paid expert witnesses in lawsuits against the industry? In fact, these are the same lawyers that Ricker admits to meeting with several times in the deposition.<br>
    <br>
    There’s plenty more in the deposition, more than this space allows. But one response in particular describes the reception AHSA received from DCS, a Democratic vendor of Internet services that administers the AHSA website. Ricker states that DCS staff “advised that in their professional opinion, they thought an organization like the American Hunters and Shooters Association would be attractive to candidates running for office.”<br>
    <br>
    That completes the now-familiar picture. Rich anti-gun donors funnel cash into a front group that claims pro-gun and pro-hunting credentials, despite longstanding and current ties to a multitude of gun-ban groups, causes and candidates. The front group paints itself as a “moderate, centrist” alternative to the “polarizing rhetoric” of the Second Amendment debate and makes a soft-sell to outdoor writers and anti-gun candidates.<br>
    <br>
    Sure enough, there are some who have fallen for it. Outdoor writer Pat Wray was gleeful to parrot the phony rhetoric of AHSA, writing in the Corvallis Gazette-Times that “AHSA appears to be the answer to the prayers of a lot of shooters and hunters who have become disillusioned with the NRA.”<br>
    <br>

    Asked whether AHSA was just a front group, Bob Ricker responded,<br>
    <br>
    “That perception would be out there, yes.”<br>
    <br>
    Wray advised Ricker, Rosenthal and Schoenke that “we will beat a path to their door,” and said “the ripples emanating from the AHSA pebble are getting bigger and gaining speed as they approach NRA headquarters.” Ricker and his cronies were likely rolling with belly laughs when they read Wray’s naïve, enthusiastic embrace.<br>
    <br>
    From the deposition, we know there may be at least 100 to 150 others who have bought the same line. But with the unlimited funding of anti-gun social engineers, and the clear ability to fool at least some outdoor writers into giving the sham group free publicity, who knows how high that number could climb.<br>
    <br>
    The word “absurdity” is not strong enough to describe the notion that longtime operatives of the gun-ban lobby could credibly create and operate a self-described pro-gun association, particularly when they are still giving donations or being paid to push restrictions on consumers and support baseless lawsuits against the industry. Credibility is the coin of the political realm and that’s the reason NRA members hold the power that we do. We know what we believe; we’re good at what we do and the entire operation is made possible by the voluntary contributions of our members and supporters.<br>
    <br>
    We’re not ashamed to defend our freedoms from attack, no matter how “polarizing” our critics may find it to be. That’s what builds credibility. Those who are “disillusioned” are welcome and in fact entitled, under the Constitution, to form their own association. But they should be prepared to be called out as liars if they cover up whom they really are and what they truly support. That’s why AHSA has no political credibility and never will.<br>
    <br>
    The only thing emanating from the “AHSA pebble” is the stench of yet another cold, calculated attempt by the gun-ban lobby to thieve the hard-earned political credibility of gun owners and hunters.<br>
    <br>
    Posted: 8/14/2006 12:00:00 AM
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    And this.....<br>
    <br>
    Pro-Gun Groups & Anti-Gun Groups<br>
    American Hunters And Shooters Association: The Ultimate In Political Camouflage<br>
    <br>

    When it comes to political discourse and campaign rhetoric on Second Amendment Rights, there are two events that have shaped the current landscape more than any others: the 1994 mid term elections and the 2000 Presidential election. In 1994, gun owners turned out in record numbers to send a message to the Clinton Administration that the gun bans and the anti-gun laws they had pursued were unacceptable. And in 2000, Vice President Al Gore lost because his position on guns was unacceptable to voters in states that had been reliable for his party for decades.<br>
    <br>
    The result was a watershed change in American politics, and a change in the way many anti-gun politicians campaign. Rather than talk openly about their desire to ban guns, register gun owners and regulate firearms sales, anti-gun politicians talk about their “support” for sportsmen. Rather than admit they oppose the individual right protected by the Second Amendment, they claim they “support firearms ownership for hunting.”<br>
    <br>
    This is all an effort to mislead and divide the gun owning community and to dilute gun owners’ political impact. Anti-gun activists want to ensure that 1994 and 2000 never happen again. To achieve their goals they have created new organizations with names designed to confuse gun owners and hide the real agenda. The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) is one of those groups.<br>
    <br>
    AHSA was created with the specific intent to provide political cover for anti-gun politicians by allowing them to claim support from a “sportsmen’s” group. In truth, the anti-gun credentials of AHSA’s leadership is well documented. For instance, AHSA president Ray Schoenke has a long history of giving political donations to some of the most anti-gun politicians, including Al Gore, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Dianne Feinstein and Ted Kennedy. In 2000, Schoenke donated $5,000 to Handgun Control, Inc. (now the Brady Campaign) and the Ray and Holly Schoenke Foundation also made donations to the Brady Campaign. AHSA Board member John Rosenthal remains the leader of Stop Handgun Violence, the Massachusetts anti-gun group. And one of the leading organizers of AHSA is Bob Ricker, who has been a paid expert witness against gun manufacturers in a number of reckless lawsuits. (For more information, see Anti-Gunners Don Camo As Elections Loom.)<br>
    <br>
    AHSA’s political activities are predictable when you consider its primary goals are to discredit the NRA and advance the interests of anti-gun politicians. AHSA`s first effort was in the 2006 Missouri Senate race. AHSA used direct mail to mislead sportsmen and distort the landmark work NRA was doing to protect millions of acres of wetlands in Missouri. While NRA was working with legislators to protect the 100-year flood plain in Missouri from development and ensure that land would be available to hunters, AHSA produced direct mail falsely claiming the NRA had “sold out hunters” so that they could mislead sportsmen into voting for anti-gun candidate Claire McCaskill (See Who Needs Another Alternative To NRA for more information.) Unfortunately, AHSA’s lies were at least partly to blame for McCaskill’s election and the loss of Sen. Jim Talent, a valuable friend of gun owners and sportsmen.<br>
    <br>
    While the NRA counts membership in the millions, AHSA can only claim a few hundred members and has done nothing to advance the issues important to sportsmen. On top of that, in its first foray into Second Amendment issues, AHSA chose to stand alongside one of the leading anti-gun politicians in America: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. AHSA supported Bloomberg’s effort to repeal the law that protects confidential law enforcement data from disclosure that threatens the privacy of gun owners and the safety of law enforcement officers—all so that Bloomberg could use the information in reckless lawsuits against the firearms industry (for more information, see: The "Tiahrt Amendment" on Firearms Traces: Protecting Gun Owners` Privacy and Law Enforcement Safety). By standing with Bloomberg, AHSA President Ray Schoenke made his claims that “we are a gun rights organization” impossible to defend.<br>
    <br>
    AHSA has also attempted to use the District of Columbia v. Heller case as an opportunity to create false pro-gun credentials, but its effort reveals the group’s real agenda. In its friend of the court brief—ostensibly in support of the challenge to D.C.’s gun ban—AHSA claims to support the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, but a complete reading shows a different story. The AHSA brief actually makes the case that the D.C. gun ban is mainly improper because D.C. is not a state, and the gun ban has not been authorized by Congress, saying “as a federal district, D.C. enjoys none of the indicia of statehood absent congressional legislation to the contrary and, therefore, basic notions of federalism cannot logically or semantically apply to the District.”<br>
    <br>
    If AHSA’s position were adopted, it would strengthen the ability of states to pass more restrictive gun laws and lessen the impact of a pro-Second Amendment ruling in any of the fifty states. Unsurprisingly, in its conclusion, the brief states:<br>
    <br>
    The argument advanced by [AHSA] would in no way prevent the D.C. Council from enacting reasonable regulations relating to possession, safety, and registration of firearms in the District. Indeed, it has a responsibility to the public to do so. [AHSA believes] that the District’s Gun Law was a laudable effort.<br>
    <br>
    “Reasonable regulations,” “a responsibility to the public to do so,” a “laudable effort”?<br>
    <br>
    No organization that claims the D.C. gun ban is a “laudable effort” or claims the gun regulations supported by the D.C. Council are “reasonable” can be described as pro-Second Amendment by any stretch of the imagination. And the claim that the gun ban’s primary flaw is that is was not enacted by a state eliminates any doubt that AHSA opposes a true individual right to keep and bear arms. If AHSA’s view were adopted, states would largely not be subject to the ruling—and to the extent they were, would not be prevented from enacting a broad range of laws as “reasonable regulations.” In fact, they would say, it would be their “responsibility to the public to do so.”<br>
    <br>
    AHSA would be more correctly called the “American Association for the Protection of Anti-Gun Politicians.” No gun owner or sportsman should fall prey to its carefully crafted lies and deceptions.<br>
    <br>
    Posted: 2/27/2008 12:00:00 AM
     
  8. bill1949

    bill1949 Well-Known Member

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  9. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Thanks for posting, Brian.
     
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