Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry today attacked rival Howard Dean on the issue of gun control. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry says former Vermont Governor Howard Dean “actively” courted and received the National Rifle Association’s endorsement while he was Governor — while Kerry says he and others were fighting the N-R-A in Washington to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons. Kerry says the Democratic party must “stand up against” the N-R-A and he says the party doesn’t need a nominee who says we need to woo the N-R-A. Governor Dean says he favors allowing states to enact their own gun laws and has often said Al Gore lost the presidency last time around because he antagonized the N-R-A. Kerry says Dean’s trying to have it both ways. Kerry says Dean’s been running around the country bragging about the “rapport” he has with the N-R-A. Kerry says even former President Bush — the father of current President George W. Bush — resigned from the N-R-A when the group referred to federal agents who enforce gun restrictions as “jack-booted thugs.” Kerry says at that very moment, Dean was still trying to get the N-R-A’s endorsement. Kerry says he started hunting when he was 12 years old, but has never supported having assault weapons available to “average citizens.”. A spokesman for Governor Dean says Dean supports a ban on assault weapons like the A-K-47. Republicans issued a statement attacking Kerry for his “anti-gun” sentiments and highlighting the fact he routinely gets an “F” from the N-R-A.
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