When the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Gov. Paul LePage in 2010, marking the first endorsement for a Maine gubernatorial candidate in 20 years, they cited the fact that Maine had the highest gun ownership per capita in the nation and among the lowest crime rates. As a gun owner for decades in Maine this came as no surprise to me.
Yet our Second Amendment rights are constantly under attack by those who ignore facts and the intent of both the United States Constitution as well as Maine???s Constitution.
That???s why when the NRA endorsed me in the race for Maine???s open U.S. Senate seat I was thrilled to accept their support on behalf of Maine???s 300,000 gun owners, hunters, and sportsmen.
I was raised in a blue collar town in Illinois where gun ownership was as much a part of the culture as it is here in Maine. I???ve hunted Maine???s stunningly beautiful woods ever since coming here after college, and as a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars I gained a newfound appreciation for the importance of protecting the God-given rights we???re so fortunate to have here at home.
Throughout this campaign I have traveled to every corner of our state and continue to be struck by the reverence Mainers have for shooting sports and enjoying the outdoors. Each and every one of the people I meet I pledge that as their next U.S. Senator I will always stand up for gun owners and fight attempts to restrict their rights as law-abiding citizens.
There is a lot at stake in Maine???s Senate race. My opponents, Independent Angus King and Democrat Cynthia Dill, have shown they would be no friend to Maine???s gun owners.
King recently rolled out support from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hosted a fundraiser at his Manhattan townhouse for King and has funded two Super PACs running ads on his behalf in Maine. In addition to outlawing soft drinks and banning trans-fats from restaurants, Bloomberg is notorious for his work to restrict Americans??? second amendment rights.
Bloomberg has been called the ???the face of gun control in America??? and a ???national gun control vigilante,??? and he is funding candidates like Angus King across the country with the hopes of taking his crusade to Washington.
Cynthia Dill makes Angus King look like Charlton Heston.
She has a long history of systemically trying to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Her campaign website brags that she has been ???virtually alone??? in the Maine state legislature casting votes against the most commonsense gun rights legislation. Following the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, she sent an e-mail to supporters asking for money and vowing to help pass more gun control laws, using a horrific tragedy as an excuse to continue to her campaign to limit Mainers??? rights.
Without a doubt Mainers would find a gun control crusader in a future U.S. Senator Cynthia Dill.
Mainers know where I stand on gun rights; my opposition to the assault weapons ban has not been popular among Pine Tree State liberals over the years. But, popular or not, it is my firm belief that Mainers have enough restrictions on their gun rights.
The more new laws we pass the more dangerous a precedent we set by chipping away at a constitutional protection that came second only to free speech for our founders.
As a United States Senator I will carry the mantle of Maine???s strong gun heritage in Washington, D.C. and work to ensure Maine???s sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts will have an ally in the fight against Michael Bloomberg???s hand-picked politicians and liberal activists attempting to infringe on the rights our founding fathers fought so hard to guarantee.