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“Chris Christie tore into a gun rights activist who questioned his Second Amendment record in an Iowa town hall event Saturday night, displaying the fiery and confrontational style the New Jersey governor is known for,” CNN approvingly proclaimed in its “report” on the exchange. Other media, including The Huffington Post and The Des Moines Register were quick to portray it as “Christie fires back” and “Christie counters” respectively.

Pointing out bills he did not support does not tell us what he does favor. Likewise, dismissing a 1995 campaign ad by asking if his questioner had not changed his mind in 20 years does not answer what Christie changed his mind to. What he avoided with all the skill of a seasoned political animal, was explaining – unequivocally — where he stood on the right to keep and bear arms and how he has shown leadership promoting the Bill of Rights.

Years back, sick and tired of “I support the Second Amendment” platitudes from politicians that did nothing to explain how, I developed a candidate questionnaire to help voters by seeing if candidates seeking their support deserved it. They’d either respond or they wouldn’t, weasel-worded dodging would be easily detected, and if a candidate reneged after winning elected office, there’d be an undeniable record to expose him as a lying fraud. The most notable race producing a response was Nevada’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign (Sharron Angle answered the questions head-on while Harry Reid ignored them, but unfortunately, the “gun lobby” refused to involve itself and the rest is sad history that could have been avoided). [UPDATE: Larry Pratt reminds me “GOA was all in for her.”]

If Christie –  or if any candidate for public office seeking gun owner votes– is serious about showing leadership and earning office, challenge him and them to answer the following – and make sure you let them know you’ll be sharing their answers and letting people know if they ignore the questions:

  1. Do you believe that the Constitution is the “supreme Law of the Land” and that the Bill of Rights acknowledges our birthrights?
  2. If so, should these rights be proactively protected from infringement by all levels of government, including city, county and state?
  3. Please give some examples of gun laws you consider constitutional.
  4. Please give some examples of gun laws you consider unconstitutional.
  5. Does the right to bear arms include the right for any peaceable citizen to carry them concealed without a permit (Constitutional carry)? How about openly?
  6. Do you believe that Americans have a right to own, use and carry weapons of militia utility, and will you use the prestige of elected office to publicly promote that right?
  7. Do you support or oppose registration of weapons? Why?
  8. Do you support or oppose licensing requirements to own or carry firearms? Why?
  9. What specific gun laws will you work to get repealed?
  10. If elected, will you back your words of support for firearms rights up with consistent actions? How?

I’ve since added a question to ask what they’re doing to oppose amnesty for illegal aliens with a “pathway to citizenship,” to account for the danger that poses to both the composition of legislatures and to judicial confirmations and subsequent gun rulings.

There will no doubt be some who would phrase questions differently, or ask altogether different ones. That’s fine – this is what I do. Feel free to modify and make it yours.

There’ll be others who will dismiss this altogether. The fact is, I’ve gotten responses from candidates in dozens of races over the years, and when that happens, it really does show a clear difference. With more gun owners doing this, more responses would be forthcoming.

The bottom line is, we can continue accepting opportunistic and meaningless political platitudes, and letting “progressive” agenda outlets like CNN and HuffPo and Gannett Company papers shape public attitudes on candidate gun positions, or we can realize all they’re doing is redefining the middle so anyone to the right can be portrayed as an extremist.

Back to Christie — for all his posturing and “tearing into” and “firing back” and “countering,” and for all his bullying of a citizen in a forum he’s a master at performing in, he knows he doesn’t dare answer my specific questions, or yours.

Care to try and see?

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50 Responses to Christie’s Bullying Tirade Deflects from Having to Answer Tough Questions on Guns

  1. No worries, Christie has about as much of a chance of being president has a hamburger has in escaping his kitchen intact.

  2. The inherit flaw in pandering to constituents is that sooner or later you may have ambitions to pander to a much larger number of constituents.
    A RINO can play up gun control in NJ, CT or MA.
    Good luck escaping that past when you attempt to branch out to people in NH, FL, IA.

    Of course this issue could be easily avoided if the politician in question was simply honest and spoke of what he actually believed rather than what his staff assumes the public wants to hear.
    An honest politician with actual convictions? Well, never see that.

  3. Great questions. Also useful for children and vetting potential spouses.

    I do think it’s cute that Christie actually thinks he can be president – reminds me of Abe Simpson when Homer as a child says he wants to be president:

    “You, President? This is the greatest country in the world. We’ve got a whole system setup to prevent people like you from ever becoming President.”

    • You left out the last line of that quote. It’s the best of all: “Quit your day dreaming, melonhead!”

    • For the next 40years he will be claiming the “Former presidential candidate” discount a buffets everywhere.

      The jackass is not going anywhere in Iowa. Trump is up because he has the balls to OPPOSE the RINO establishment. Christie is the fatass RINO establishment with a big mouth.

    • Huckabee, Cruz…that’s about all I have seen so far.

      I love Trump’s rhetoric but your question: has he ever read the constitution? Can’t be sure. 🙂

      • The question is really who will fight for it un-“interpreted.” Treating rote memorization of the constitution text as some parlor game, may sound impressive to some on the stump; but what about never, ever signing off on anything one is not expressly and unequivocally authorized to by said document. Would you trust Trump to do that?

        Although he seems hellbent on distancing himself as far from it as possible in interviews for supposed fear of sounding “extremist”, if push came to shove, Rand is still the one I would trust the most. His background, and the relative lack of “influential class” people in his immediate circle pre Washington, simply inspires a tad bit more confidence than the rest of the lifetime self promoting career climbers. Also, he knows full and well he is beholden to the Paul brand his dad built for all he has politically. Hence will presumably be a bit less likely to throw that away, than others from more influential, vested and “diverse” power bases and backgrounds.

      • Rand Paul is a BIGGER flake than his old man.

        Huckleberry is useless metoo retread. Saw enough of him (both actually) 4years ago. We get ALL the serious ones in here in Iowa. If you want to participate in the process can face to face talk with most.

        The two in my estimation that know (or of) the Constitution, have a pair, and a chance.

        Ted Cruz
        Carly Fiorina

        Senator Mitchie McConnell apparently hates Cruz which is a pretty big endorsement.

        • Not a fan of Rand, but how was Ron a “flake?” He actually did the things the talk radio/Foxnews types pretend to support, but never actually do. It is also amusing to see so many GOP types who quote the Founders on the 2nd Amendment completely ignore what they said on entangling alliances abroad. Or for that matter, how many GOP types support the NSA spying on Americans or the Patriot Act, while also quoting the Founders?

    • “Crap, are there any candidates that have read and will fight for the Constitution?” Believe it or not, the only one I have seen, so far, that looks like a viable candidate is Donald Trump. Thought of him as a self absorbed, rich A-hole until I listened to an interview with him.

    • It’s not a politicians job to fight for the constitution, that is the job of the people. Politicians are no better than unruly dogs, and it is up to the people to bring them to heel.

      • Bullsh*t.

        U.S. House of Representatives: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”

        U.S. Senate: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”

        U.S. President: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

        It ABSOLUTELY is their job.

        • While they swear an oath it is meaningless to the politician. The military and law enforcement swear the same oath which again is largely ignored to the detriment of the people.

          Words and deeds are not the same thing. So yes while it is the job of the above castes to defend the constitution they do not.

          Stop looking to the help to fix what they broke in the first place. The constitution is the rod of the people, and exists for the sole purpose to keep government in check.

        • @ Ben How about we start with a list of Federal LE agencies that don’t violate the constitution daily? That doesn’t exist. FBI, CIA, ATF, DHS, ICE, TSA, BLM hell even the FDA and EPA violate the constitution.

          Those agencies work in local jurisdictions under the control of Sheriffs and Local PD doing those same unconstitutional things, aided and abetted by local law enforcement. No Knock raids, warrant-less searches, asset forfeiture all tools of your local PD, all illegal under the constitution.

          Or how about the CIC of the military whose list of constitutional usurpation’s is well documented. Yet he still gets ferried by Marines to his front door with a salute even.

          5 Servicemen were killed by an Islamic extremest because the military fails to recognize a soldiers right under the 2A to keep and bear arms while on duty as an American citizen. They operate under the belief that service = suspension of rights.

          So yeah, the proof is out there you just need to see it.

      • And exactly how do you propose we do that Mr. Bolan? How do we rein in the out of control psychopaths running this asylum? How it is up to us? Do you propose voting for the right candidate? What is your master plan for restoring freedom to this land?

        • We get the government we deserve. I was in a class here in NM and most of the students, especially the women, were vociferous in defending the Nanny state; Obama care, food stamps, free education, unbounded and limitless immigration, white privilege and social justice, abortion, all on the public dime and all as a “right”.

          I was pretty much the lone voice of personal responsibility, limited and constitutional government and fiscal responsibility.

          Personally, McCarthy was right; the only way the socialists/communists could have poisoned our kids with this type of brainwashing was if they were dominant in the school system in the sixties. We are seeing the results now.

          Can it be turned around at this point? I think so, but it is going to a very painful and ummm, how do I say it? Transformative process.

    • Cruz has not only read it, but literally memorized it. Try him sometime at a campaign event. It’s uncanny.

      More importantly, he has argued and won multiple constitutional law cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

      If he doesn’t win the nomination, I hope he resists the temptation to accept the winner’s offer to be his running mate. I would much rather see Cruz appointed to the Supreme Court and setting that ship straight for the next fifty years, than puttering around as #2 and attending state funerals for four+ years.

  4. Christie lost this one when he never took any executive actions to loosen gun restrictions or to help persecuted gun owners, until he decided to run for President. Based on this my personal opinion of the guy is that he is a liar and can not be trusted; typical politician. Not surprising really though: ever wonder how he continued to be elected Governor of a left leaning State?

  5. Lots of the folks running don’t deserve any attention at all and a few deserve a slap (Christie is one of the latter). The thing I like about Trump is that he is not a coward like so many of the RINOs and faux-conservatives we see in the US Senate. I really like Walker both he and Jindal have shown there is some fight in them, especially Walker, but Bush….no thanks, don’t trust him.

  6. At the end of the day, there isn’t even any (serious) dialog about 2A rights in NJ. It’s all letters to nj.com and a small buzz every time some story hits the national news because the state laws are a disaster.

    With all due respect, none of those questions matter. It’s obvious that at the very best Christie just doesn’t care. He will pick whatever answers fit him the best politically and that’s that.

  7. Christie lies, then bullies when caught in lie. Christie’ s opportunistic, two faced hypocrisy WILL catch up….sooner rather than later. Americans will not suffer him as Chief Executive. The Bloviator will do himself in…..thankfully.

  8. My ideal candidates answers:

    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) 2A
    4)all the rest
    5) yes, yes
    6) yes
    7) oppose
    8) oppose
    9) All of them
    10) yes

    • On #3 I’d add that ANY law pre-empting a violation of the 2A by a lower government is also constitutional.

      On #10, you didn’t answer “How?” I’d *start* (if I were POTUS) by rescinding every single 2A violating executive order ban, rescind any ATF regulation not explicitly required by law (I’d like to go further than that, but really can’t), and offer pardons for anyone who has been convicted of nothing more than some sort of firearms possession charge.

      I’d also call for a review of past egregious ATF actions, too many to list them here. Appoint a special prosecutor perhaps. (I might be constrained by statute of limitations here.)

      That’s all stuff any *actual* 2A supporting president can do with no help whatsoever from Congress…and therefore one who CLAIMS to be pro 2A can’t blame Congress for NOT getting done.

      There’s probably more I could do, I just haven’t thought of it (that’s what advisers are for).

      THEN it’s time to engage Congress in an *actual* conversation about guns.

  9. Gee Bernie Sanders panders to Vermont-it’s what politicos do. To be fair to big chris a lot of peoples positions have changed in 20 years. Guns were barely on my radar then-but the rotund one is still on my never/a RINO list…

  10. You’d exclude people who would return to their country, arm themselves and fight the cartels, the corrupt army and the corrupt police? Sounds like our kinda people. ?

  11. Excellent article. Is David Codrea going to be a regular contributor over here? My vote is for yes, if that means anything!!!

    • Yes, he has already written several great articles. Click on his name to see his other entries.

  12. I see some flaws in the first and fifth questions. I’ll explain them by answering the questions.

    Do you believe that the Constitution is the “supreme Law of the Land” and that the Bill of Rights acknowledges our birthrights?
    Part 1 yes, Part 1 no. The Bill of Rights enumerates some of the most important rights that all humans possess. Birthright makes it sound like it only applies to Americans.

    If so, should these rights be proactively protected from infringement by all levels of government, including city, county and state?
    No. Proactive protection is a means of infringement. I’d rather have reactive protection: government violates a right, victim sues, victim gets a payout, bad politicians get ousted, government stooge goes to prison if it was criminal.

    Please give some examples of gun laws you consider constitutional.
    * Anyone deemed unsafe through due process of law (e.g. anyone held in a restricted access facility, such as a prison or mental hospital, convicted violent felons, the severely mentally retarded, and the mentally infirm) may not possess a firearm.
    * It is illegal to use any weapon to threaten, intimidate, or assault another person with a weapon, or to damage another’s property with a weapon without permission.
    * The CMP-style distribution of surplus military arms to the citizenry at a steep discount.

    Please give some examples of gun laws you consider unconstitutional.
    Pretty much anything else.

    Does the right to bear arms include the right for any peaceable citizen to carry them concealed without a permit (Constitutional carry)? How about openly?
    Yes it includes that, but it also includes the right for any other peaceful human to do the same, regardless of citizenship.

    Do you believe that Americans have a right to own, use and carry weapons of militia utility, and will you use the prestige of elected office to publicly promote that right?
    Yes.

    Do you support or oppose registration of weapons? Why?
    Oppose. In order of increasing importance: 1) It serves no valuable public interest. 2) Historically it has led to confiscation. 3) The Constitution grants the government no authority to do so. 4) Rights don’t require permission slips.

    Do you support or oppose licensing requirements to own or carry firearms? Why?
    See the above answer verbatim.

    What specific gun laws will you work to get repealed?
    All.

    If elected, will you back your words of support for firearms rights up with consistent actions? How?
    * A blanket pardon for every non-violent firearms conviction on the books.
    * Sending the ATF to the unemployment line.
    * Directing the Attorney General to cease enforcing the NFA or GCA.
    * Removing any executive order or administrative law restricting the sale, possession, or use of firearms.
    * Introducing federal legislation that repeals the NFA & GCA and states unequivocally, that no government, at any level, may license, tax, ban, or otherwise restrict or regulate the rights of non-prohibited people (see answer 3) to purchase, sell, trade, construct, modify, own, carry (except in restricted access facilities such as prisons), use (in a safe manner), any firearms, regardless of type, or any ammunition or other accessories, nor may they retain any records of firearms ownership, purchase, training (unless entered into the record for a legal proceeding). Any violation of this, by a government agent or politician, even if acting in “good faith” or “for the children”, shall be a federal crime.
    * Direct the Attorney General to enforce the law listed above.

    JasonM 2016! 😀

    • If a candidate said that Bloomberg, Pelosi, Obama, Reid, MDA’s, and the rest’s heads would explode

  13. as a former jersey boy, i’ve asked him about his stance ans still do. never even got back an auto reply. my thing about that story about him is, it’s not what he has done for 2a rights in NJ (big deal, he vetoed the ban on possession of a .50 and vetoed the mag cap bill) it’s what he hasn’t done. Granted he’s going against a liberal as anti gun legislature as you can get, but has never said a peep about easing restrictions on concealed carry. Then again, thats jersey. gotta be a pol or connected to get one. Sweeny the swine has his, and if you think 2a rights in jersey are bad now, wait till he’s elected gov in 17. I’ll never go back

  14. Crispy Cream’s NJ is broke and you can’t carry a gun in NJ unless well connected. He can’t control what goes nto or out of his mouth.

  15. David,

    It’s unclear to me whether you were aware of the “Young Portrait” article in Politico:

    “Christie’s biggest mistake, Carroll told me, was his positioning as a pro-choice, anti-gun candidate.”

    And:

    “Perhaps the biggest misstep was underestimating how much bad blood there was in the wake of Christie’s vicious freeholder campaign. His liberal views on abortion and guns might have been a tough sell among Morris conservatives, but they didn’t make him enemies.”

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/portrait-of-the-governor-as-a-young-man-chris-christie-103502_Page3.html

    Makes Christie’s smackdown of that Iowa guy even more cynical.

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