Retired Des Moines cop Kayne Robinson is coming to the end of his reign as president of the National Rifle Association. At the Republican Convention in 2000, Robinson was a v-p of the NRA and chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. At this year’s convention, Robinson’s an alternate delegate and I caught up with him yesterday. He says NRA campaign ads will go on the air soon, and Robinson previewed some of the rhetoric that’ll be directed at democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
“Kerry will be the most anti-gun presidential candidate in our history,” Robinson said. “His entire life in politics has been opposing private gun ownership. He adopted this business of going around and getting a hunting license in all the states and everything as a gimmick.”
Kerry hunted for pheasants right before the Iowa Caucuses in January. This past July, Kerry told Radio Iowa he supports the right to keep and bear arms, but with commonsense restrictions. Kerry says he doesn’t know any hunter who uses an AK-47 to shoot a deer. Robinson fires back.
“And although he has owned a couple of guns and he’s done a little skeet shooting and a couple of birds he’s hunted, Jane Fonda hunts, too, and owns guns. That doesn’t mean very much. He’s not a serious gun owner and he’s not a serious hunter.”Robinson says Kerry will have a hard time winning in the “pro-gun” states that Al Gore lost in 2000. So which states are “pro-gun”? All but four or five, according to Robinson.
“There are 80 million gun owners, and when you get in their face and tell ‘em you’re going to take away their guns, they get pretty angry, and when you become a serious threat, they get more angry than they get about, you know, any of the other 50 or 60 issues that are laying around out there.”
In a prepared statement, Kerry’s Iowa campaign spokesman Colin Van Ostren said “John Kerry has been a gun owner and a hunter since he was 12 years old and voters can recognize it when special interest groups care more about party labels than they do the rights of gun owners.” Robinson’s term as N-R-A president expires in April.