Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry need only turn his attention to the National High Power Rifle championships being held this month at Camp Perry, Ohio to observe the legitimate use of semiautomatic rifles, a use that seems to elude him and other gun control proponents, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) said today.

“There’s no better place than Camp Perry for Mr. Kerry to see hundreds, if not thousands, of registered shooters and spectators, participating in a registered competition with the kinds of legitimate firearms for which anti-gunners claim there is no legitimate use,” said SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb. “Camp Perry is the World Series of shooting competitions, attracting dedicated marksmen from across the nation. After visiting Camp Perry, nobody could honestly claim there are no legitimate uses for the firearms that would be affected by legislation Mr. Kerry and so many of his colleagues support.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” Gottlieb noted. “The National High Power Rifle Championships are scheduled Aug. 8-12, and the National High Power Long Range Championships follow immediately, Aug. 13-16.”

Gottlieb said such a visit by Kerry or his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, would be a revealing educational experience that would belie their notions about semi-auto rifles.

“For more than ten years,” Gottlieb stated, “gun control proponents have demonized these firearms—and the people who own them—when they know nothing about them. It’s easy to criticize when you speak from ignorance. Unfortunately, it appears that the gun banners prefer to remain ignorant, because they are unwilling to admit that they just might be mistaken.

“John Kerry wants to lead this country,” Gottlieb observed. “If so, he’ll need to be a leader to all of its citizens, including those who compete with, collect, and even hunt with the kinds of firearms that would be banned by legislation he supports. You cannot learn with a closed mind. You cannot lead with closed eyes.”

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