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Schwarzenegger Wrong for Gun Owners, Wrong for California  by David Codrea

Schwarzenegger Wrong for Gun Owners, Wrong for California

By David Codrea
codrea4@adelphia.net

August 28, 2003

“Where else do gun owners have to go?”—Former Republican Party National Chairman Lee Atwater

KeepAndBearArms.com -- In their zeal to rid California of the catastrophic Gray Davis and to prevent the equally loathsome Cruz Bustamante from assuming the governorship, the Golden State’s “centrist” Republican establishment has cast its lot with Arnold Schwarzenegger. On the surface, their reasoning is obvious. Famous, rich, successful, admired by millions, the superstar actor had but to cast his hat into the ring to command international attention and a multitude of star-struck followers—without ever defining where he stands on the issues beyond platitudes and sound bites. 

Proving yet again how they value power over principle, the state GOP leadership has been quick to fall behind the Schwarzenegger campaign—and to discourage principled conservative candidates from running, while chastising their supporters not to “split the vote.” The alternative, they tell us, will be to retain Davis, or to give power to turncoat underling Bustamante, either of whom, they assure us, will be disastrous for California.

The problem is, a Schwarzenegger victory would be just as undesirable of an outcome for those who value liberty. Where gun owner concerns are reckoned, there is no difference between Arnold and his Democrat rivals. As far as the Republican machine is concerned, and their scare tactics prove it, the late chairman Atwater’s dismissal is still in full effect, and gun owners are once more being played for fools.

Arnold on guns

“Gun controls should be stiffer.”—Arnold Schwarzenegger

Writer Paul Fischer quotes the action star recommending further citizen disarmament, beyond the thousands of draconian laws already on the books. This position is, of course, identical to the one promoted by Arnold’s Democrat opponents. But what does he mean by “stiffer”?

"Arnold has said he supports sensible gun-control laws," campaign spokesman Rob Stutzman said. But what does Arnold mean by “sensible”?

“[I]n reality I'm for gun control,” Arnold is reported as saying in The Los Angeles Times. But what kind of “gun control”?

According to the same Times article, “the perception of his support for gun control goes back to the early 1990s and was so well established that even California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) thought of him as a possible ally when actor Charlton Heston testified against her bill to ban assault weapons in 1994. ‘Someone told me we could have gotten Arnold Schwarzenegger because he supports gun control,’ Feinstein was quoted as saying in a 1994 article in the San Francisco Examiner.”

And COMTEX, the Canadian market news network, cites “Markus Guenther, an Austrian political commentator, [who] contends that Schwarzenegger is an improbable GOP candidate because of his liberal stance on key issues. ‘He supports…a ban on semiautomatic weapons,’ he said. ‘Except in the cinema, that is.’"

When asked by Sean Hannity if he supports "the Brady Bill or the 'assault weapons' ban or both," Schwarzennegger replied "Yes, I do [unintelligible] support that, and also I would like to close the loophole of the gun shows." He repeated that stance on "The Larry Elder Show," and added that he would also like to see laws for trigger locks.

Team Arnold

“Veteran director-producer Bud Yorkin, a liberal Democrat, said he wouldn't hesitate to vote for Schwarzenegger…”—Claudia Eller, The Los Angeles Times

A man is known by the company he keeps, and a look at Arnold’s fellow travelers should quash any hope that they might provide counsel to moderate his unconstitutional anti-defense opinions.

· Warren Buffet: Billionaire socialist—just the guy to identify with the concerns of we, the little people, so naturally, he’s a rabid Democrat and Hillary supporter who doesn’t think you and I are taxed enough. He has also “donated heavily to unilateral nuclear disarmament,” demonstrating his rejection of armed defense as a principle.

· Pete Wilson: Former “moderate” Republican governor, which means he ignored his oath and approved edicts restricting CCW approvals, requiring guns imported into the state to be registered, banning certain ammunition sales to gun owners under 21, and criminalizing storage procedures which, when obeyed, resulted in horrible multiple pitchfork murders of children. Gun owners must never forget that it was on this Republican’s watch that gun confiscation began in California enforced by his attorney general.

· Maria Shriver: A Kennedy. A network talking head. Host of a biased, anti-gun documentary the same night Arnold’s “Eraser” (a movie featuring “good” federal agent Arnold saving the day through gun control) made its debut on network television. “The hard line of the NRA,” she told Charlton Heston, “is a complete loser."

· Rob Lowe: The self-designated “Raw Blow” of video-taped sex-with-minors notoriety, Lowe is another Democrat activist who signed a Handgun Control, Inc. “Open Letter to the NRA” published in USA Today, demanding, among other things: Preventing “minors” (presumably including those old enough to bed down) “unsupervised access to a firearm”; requiring locks to be sold with all handguns, taking the choice away from purchasers, and giving tactical advantage to attackers; requiring government permission to exercise your right to obtain firearms; requiring a “cooling off” period to purchase a handgun—even though an attacker or stalker may be all fired up right now; advocating “No one should be able to buy more than one handgun per month. The only people who need to buy more than twelve handguns per year are the professional gun traffickers who make a living reselling guns to children and criminals”; and demanding “No more semi-automatic assault weapons. No more ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds. We don’t need more killing power on our streets.”

Arnold and the Constitutional militia

“I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers ... To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”—George Mason

Clearly, Schwarzenegger doesn’t have a clue about the meaning and nature of the Second Amendment. That, alone, should disqualify him from public office—or at least from getting one vote from gun owners who claim they believe in the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Bottom line—he believes in gun control, and surrounds himself with people who validate his beliefs.

This from a candidate who, if elected, will be “commander in chief of a militia that shall be provided by statute. The Governor may call it forth to execute the law.” After he has used the force of edicts to disarm “the whole people” of the very arms suitable and necessary for militia service.

This from a candidate who, if elected, will take a solemn oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; [and to] bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California;”

Speaking of foreign and domestic…

“I find it very interesting that an Austrian can influence American politics.” —Joerg Haider, Austrian politician.

There’s another oath Arnold took, back in 1983, when he became an American citizen:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

But there’s a problem: Arnold apparently never really meant it (any more than he would the governor’s oath) and pulled strings with the Austrian government to retain his citizenship there, as well. This despite the fact that the government of Austria “[i]n general… does not allow dual citizenship…Thus, if a person acquires US citizenship, he/she usually has to renounce the actual citizenship he/she is holding.” 

The problem reaches beyond Austrian law. According to Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook, “The U.S. government has generally looked with disfavor on United States Citizens maintaining dual nationality.” Indeed, the US Department of State cautions that “dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country.”

Furthermore, the State Department warns of “security clearance implications” when people in its employ hold dual citizenships, and while Arnold won’t be working for that agency, as governor he would be privy to classified information as it relates to coordinating “homeland security” in California. Among State’s concerns:

·  “The evaluation element presented by dual citizenship is that it could raise an issue of possible divided loyalty to the United States.”

·  “If there is any doubt about unquestioned preference for and allegiance to the United States, unencumbered by any undue foreign influence, DS must render a determination in favor of the national security and determine that individual ineligible for access.”

·  “Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:…the exercise of dual citizenship…military service or a willingness to bear arms for a foreign country [a requirement for all Austrian males] …using foreign citizenship to protect financial or business interests in another country…seeking or holding political office in the foreign country;”

As columnist Phyllis Schlafly reminds us, “Dual citizenship is an oxymoron…One cannot truly be a citizen of two countries because ultimately loyalty cannot be divided.” 

Can any of Arnold’s apologists really guarantee that conflicts between his competing loyalties will not arise? And remember, according to the State Department, “dual nationals…are required to obey the laws of both countries.” Anyone who says this is a non-issue had better be able to reconcile Arnold’s own admission: “Without going into details, I can say that being half-Austrian and half-American, I don’t like the idea that these two countries that mean so much to me are in such a disagreement.”

Why not go “into the details”? Arnold wants us to give him tremendous political power—with such an apparent conflict, don’t “we the people” granting it to him deserve to know, including whose side he’d take?

But the more important question is: Why did Arnold hedge his bets and not renounce his native citizenship? That he could have things both ways, while the same dispensation would not be granted to less “important” Austrians is a given—the privileged operate by a different set of rules than we mortals. Why did he leave the option of being an Austrian—instead of an American—open? Hasn’t he been in this country long enough to make up his mind? Hasn’t he prospered here more than he could have anywhere else in the world? Doesn’t he want to govern Americans? Why hasn’t he made his commitment to this nation complete? Why hasn’t he honored the OATH he SWORE to “absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen”? 

What advantage does retaining the Austrian option give him?

King Arnold?

“And having no further concern, he and his companions sought adventure in the West. Many wars and feuds did Conan fight. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name. In time he became a king by his own hand... but that is another story.”—Epilogue, “Conan the Barbarian”

“Austrians hail favourite son 'King Arnold',” reads the AFP headline. “Arnie, the future emperor of California,” the story relates “the local press” proclaiming.

And while Austria is not a monarchy, there is another prize for someone with political ambition—perhaps even more prestigious than governing an American state, even one as important and powerful as California.

For Austrian politicians and political commentators have speculated that Arnold “may decide to run for the presidency of Austria.”

“The movie star ‘has ambitions,’ Austrian diplomat Hans Janitschek told the New York Post. ‘There is no doubt about it. And I think he has a better chance of getting elected president of Austria than he does governor of California.’

“‘He will be the crown of our country,’ columnist Wolf Martin of Kronenzeitung wrote. ‘Let him enjoy his success in the world in little Austria.’”

And what better crown would there be as the next step for someone aspiring to political power than leadership of a sovereign nation? Because if Arnold is elected governor, his road for political advancement dead-ends domestically; the Constitution forbids the presidency to any but the native born, denying him that prize—unless Republican Orrin Hatch gets his way to change that requirement, to allow “his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for the White House.”

Whether these multiple, independent speculations by professional observers have merit or not, Arnold’s as-yet unstated reasons (the Schwarzenegger campaign has ignored my multiple requests for clarification made during the course of writing this article) for not officially casting his undivided allegiance with the United States should trouble everyone considering giving him political power over their lives.

But a vote for another Republican will just split the vote…

"There may come a time where what may be in the best interests of the state is for one or more of these candidates to put their personal ambitions aside for what's in the best interest of the state.”—California Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim

There is one principled Republican candidate running who fully understands the Second Amendment and is not afraid to say so, State Senator Tom McClintock. With Darell Issa and Bill Simon having dropped out of the race, the conservative vote is NOT split. The real split is between avowed gungrabbers Davis, Bustamante and Schwarzenegger. And “the best interest of the state,” Mr. Sundheim, is inseparable from a return to Constitutional principles.

What the “centrist” Republican establishment really means is the PARTY may not gain power if principled Republicans vote for someone they can trust, as opposed to someone who stands for none of their core values and beliefs. It’s an old game, familiar to anyone who follows California politics: the “moderates” continually advance their thinly-disguised Democrat-Lite agenda to achieve repeated losses and then point fingers when they continually lose: look at how anti-gun Dan Lungren, the man who began enforcing gun confiscation, lost the governorship. Look at how, time and again, the “Big Tent” middle-of-the-roaders sabotage any chance for Republicans to unite behind proven friends of gun owners.

But we can’t win on that issue, they tell us. How would they know? When have they tried educating the electorate on their unalienable rights, and promoting them rather than hiding from them? Remember, of all Republicans running for statewide office in 2002, the one who earned the most votes, and came within a hair of winning was Tom McClintock!

From a gun owner’s perspective, there is demonstrably no difference between Arnold and the Democrats. If Bustamante wins, it won’t be the fault of McClintock supporters—the responsibility will lie squarely with the RINOs who offer us no alternatives other than ones who will destroy our lives if we defy their unconstitutional edicts.

If we give them a pass, lining up like good little lemmings behind the oppressor of their choice, how will we ever break the cycle so cynically described by Chairman Atwater? What will the Republicans’ incentive be to ever acknowledge and honor our rights? Why would any political power respect such timid subjects?

Why reward an abandonment of principle? It’s time the GOP establishment learns they can NEVER win office without our consent, and they’ll never get it as long as they’re intent on betraying us.

Gun rights supporters who dismiss McClintock's chances of winning will make that a self-fulfilling prophecy if they allow the Republicrats to buffalo them into resignation and inaction. Instead of lamenting, why not enter the fray—actually do something instead of surrendering before the battle has been engaged?

The fact is, if we all make a genuine commitment to get involved, McClintock will outperform Arnold at the polls. Schwarzenegger is currently at 22%. If Simon’s conservative following shifts its support to McClintock, he will be within 3 percentage points of taking the Republican lead—and then we can make the argument that the moderates are the ones splitting the vote and endangering a GOP win, and pressure the leadership to support the conservative frontrunner.

On June 9, 2001, Tom McClintock gave a speech titled “Freedom and Firearms” to the Western Conservative Conference. Read it. Fittingly, he begins by comparing the American view of government, as reflected in the Bill of Rights, with the German concept. Compare his beliefs, boldly stated with no hint of equivocation, with those of Davis and Bustamante. Compare them with those of Arnold the “action hero,” and see for yourself how superficial and evasive Schwarzenegger’s lame attempts at policy definition are.
Then ask yourself why any politician should take heat for promoting liberty when the rewards all seem to go to those who undermine it. Gun owners expect fidelity from our representatives, yet our apathy too often leaves our leaders alone at the head of the charge.

Tom McClintock CAN win—but only if California gun owners make a genuine commitment toward his victory. This means getting involved. It means being registered to vote and making sure that other gun owners are. It means sending McClintock generous contributions so that he can get his message out (he needs to raise at least $4 million and he needs it NOW). It means informing your gun-owning friends, and recruiting support from fellow shooters, gun clubs, gun dealers, etc. It means writing letters to the editor and calling into talk radio programs. It means spending time volunteering for the McClintock campaign and attending campaign events. 

Tom McClintock has proven himself to be worthy of our support, receiving 100% ratings from Gun Owners of California in 2001 and 2002. The question that remains to be answered: Will we prove worthy of his leadership?

Find out how you can help elect Tom McClintock as governor of California by visiting http://www.TomMcClintock.com. If you’re a California gun owner, this opportunity depends on the burden YOU are willing to shoulder. If you do nothing, expecting others to carry your share of the load, chances are we’ll all get worse than nothing in return.

It’s time we laid Lee Atwater’s philosophy to rest alongside the late political strategist. It’s time to say “Hasta la vista, baby!” to Arnold and the GOP establishment, unless and until they truly deserve our support.

It’s time to elect a truly principled representative who is not afraid to champion the Second Amendment. It’s time to stop with the negativity, the resignation, and the complaining, and start with the serious business of taking back our state.

So—what’s stopping you?


David Codrea has a lot of respect and admiration for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s achievements, is a big fan of his movies, and wishes him continued success in that field. He is not affiliated with the Tom McClintock for Governor campaign in any official capacity—he is simply a citizen exercising his First Amendment right to free political speech. He is also an advisory member of the Silveira v Lockyer Support Fund, financing research to achieve a definitive Second Amendment ruling by the Supreme Court. For information on this groundbreaking effort and how you can help, visit www.KeepAndBearArms.com.

 

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