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Why Bush Lost Pennsylvania

by Harry Schneider
Chairman, Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Association


Bush lost every battleground state with the possible exception of Florida. Democratic West Virginia went for Bush solely on the gun issue. Without West Virginias Electoral votes, Gore would win even without Florida. Pennsylvania could have also gone for Bush if Republican leadership, nationally and especially in Pennsylvania hadn't forced sportsmen into so many battles over gun and freedom issues. Republican leadership in Harrisburg and in Washington repeatedly alienated grass roots sportsmen's leadership during the past few years. Without active and enthusiastic grass roots support, the NRA's whistle stop visits and vote freedom first road signs didn't have the punch to override phony Democrat economic arguments. Republican leadership handed gun owners a lesser of two evils candidate; not enough to get many to vote against what the unions and the AARP convinced them was their economic interest.

At the Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Assn gun show the weekend before the election, the FOAC and NRA people made a valiant effort to help Bush, but the topic amongst individuals was that Bush and Gore both want to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill which can end gun shows. A strong secondary topic was Republican Attorney General Mike Fisher who did not honor his campaign promise to agree to pistol permit reciprocity with Florida and West Virginia. Most attendees said that they would vote for Bush and Fisher as the lesser of two evils, and probably most of them did. However, the Republican Congress and the Ridge administration had drained most experienced grass roots activists of enthusiasm. Not one statewide or national candidate had anyone at the gun show to represent them to the thousands of voters - a first that did not go unnoticed! The Bush Campaign had a Sportsmen's flyer that was distributed, but it was irrelevant to the issues of concern - it could have easily been a Gore flyer.

Sadly, had Tom Ridge, Mike Fisher, x-President Bush and George W's website been supportive of gun owners, it is very likely that Pennsylvania would have gone for Bush making the Florida issue moot.

This election post-mortem is not intended to bash anyone, but to offer an honest grass roots assessment. We hope that Democrat and Republican leadership will learn that it is not in their interests to continue attacking law abiding gun owners. We hold out an olive branch to every legislator who will respect all Constitutionally protected rights.

And a bayonet to those who don't. ~~ KABA