Schwarzenegger Wrong for Gun Owners, Wrong for California by David
Schwarzenegger Wrong for Gun
Owners, Wrong for California
By David Codrea
August 28, 2003
“Where else do gun owners
have to go?”—Former Republican Party National Chairman Lee Atwater
KeepAndBearArms.com -- In their zeal to rid
California of the catastrophic Gray Davis and to prevent the equally loathsome
Cruz Bustamante from assuming the governorship, the Golden State’s
“centrist” Republican establishment has cast its lot with Arnold
Schwarzenegger. On the surface, their reasoning is obvious. Famous, rich,
successful, admired by millions, the superstar actor had but to cast his hat
into the ring to command international attention and a multitude of star-struck
followers—without ever defining where he stands on the issues beyond
platitudes and sound bites.
Proving yet again how they value power over principle, the state GOP leadership
has been quick to fall behind the Schwarzenegger campaign—and to discourage
principled conservative candidates from running, while chastising their
supporters not to “split the vote.” The alternative, they tell us, will be
to retain Davis, or to give power to turncoat underling Bustamante, either of
whom, they assure us, will be disastrous for California.
The problem is, a Schwarzenegger victory would be just as undesirable of an
outcome for those who value liberty. Where gun owner concerns are reckoned,
there is no difference between Arnold and his Democrat rivals. As far as the
Republican machine is concerned, and their scare tactics prove it, the late
chairman Atwater’s dismissal is still in full effect, and gun owners are once
more being played for fools.
Arnold on guns
“Gun controls should be
Writer Paul Fischer quotes
the action star recommending further citizen disarmament, beyond the
thousands of draconian laws already on the books. This position is, of course,
identical to the one promoted by Arnold’s Democrat opponents. But what does he
mean by “stiffer”?
"Arnold has said he
supports sensible gun-control laws," campaign spokesman Rob Stutzman
said. But what does Arnold mean by “sensible”?
“[I]n reality I'm
for gun control,” Arnold is reported as saying in The Los Angeles Times.
But what kind of “gun control”?
According to the same Times article, “the perception of his support for gun
control goes back to the early 1990s and was so well established that even
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) thought of him as a possible ally
when actor Charlton Heston testified against her bill to ban assault weapons in
1994. ‘Someone told me we could have gotten Arnold Schwarzenegger because he
supports gun control,’ Feinstein was quoted as saying in a 1994 article in the
San Francisco Examiner.”
the Canadian market news network, cites “Markus Guenther, an Austrian
political commentator, [who] contends that Schwarzenegger is an improbable GOP
candidate because of his liberal stance on key issues. ‘He supports…a ban on
semiautomatic weapons,’ he said. ‘Except in the cinema, that is.’"
by Sean Hannity if he supports "the Brady Bill or the 'assault weapons'
ban or both," Schwarzennegger replied "Yes, I do [unintelligible]
support that, and also I would like to close the loophole of the gun
shows." He repeated that stance on "The Larry Elder Show," and
added that he would also like to see laws for trigger locks.
director-producer Bud Yorkin, a liberal Democrat, said he wouldn't hesitate to
vote for Schwarzenegger…”—Claudia Eller, The Los Angeles Times
A man is known by the company he keeps, and a
look at Arnold’s fellow travelers should quash any hope that they might
provide counsel to moderate his unconstitutional anti-defense opinions.
· Warren Buffet: Billionaire
socialist—just the guy to identify with the concerns of we, the little
people, so naturally, he’s a rabid Democrat and Hillary supporter who
doesn’t think you and I are taxed enough. He has also “donated
heavily to unilateral nuclear disarmament,” demonstrating his rejection
of armed defense as a principle.
· Pete Wilson: Former “moderate”
Republican governor, which means he ignored his oath and approved
edicts restricting CCW approvals, requiring guns imported into the state
to be registered, banning certain ammunition sales to gun owners under 21, and
criminalizing storage procedures which, when obeyed, resulted
in horrible multiple pitchfork murders of children. Gun owners must never
forget that it was
on this Republican’s watch that gun confiscation began in California
enforced by his attorney general.
· Maria Shriver: A Kennedy. A network
talking head. Host of a biased, anti-gun documentary the same night Arnold’s
“Eraser” (a movie featuring “good” federal agent Arnold saving the day
through gun control) made its debut on network television. “The hard line of
the NRA,” she
told Charlton Heston, “is a complete loser."
· Rob Lowe: The self-designated
“Raw Blow” of video-taped sex-with-minors notoriety, Lowe is another
Democrat activist who signed a Handgun Control, Inc. “Open Letter to the
NRA” published in USA Today, demanding, among other things:
Preventing “minors” (presumably including those old enough to bed down)
“unsupervised access to a firearm”; requiring locks to be sold with all
handguns, taking the choice away from purchasers, and giving tactical
advantage to attackers; requiring government permission to exercise your right
to obtain firearms; requiring a “cooling off” period to purchase a
handgun—even though an attacker or stalker may be all fired up right now;
advocating “No one should be able to buy more than one handgun per month.
The only people who need to buy more than twelve handguns per year are the
professional gun traffickers who make a living reselling guns to children and
criminals”; and demanding “No more semi-automatic assault weapons. No more
ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds. We don’t need more killing
power on our streets.”
Arnold and the Constitutional militia
“I ask, Who are the
militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers
... To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave
Clearly, Schwarzenegger doesn’t have a clue
about the meaning and nature of the Second Amendment. That, alone, should
disqualify him from public office—or at least from getting one vote from gun
owners who claim they believe in the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Bottom
line—he believes in gun control, and surrounds himself with people who
validate his beliefs.
This from a candidate who, if elected, will be “commander
in chief of a militia that shall be provided by statute. The Governor may
call it forth to execute the law.” After he has used the force of edicts to
disarm “the whole people” of the very arms suitable and necessary for
This from a candidate who, if elected, will take a solemn oath
to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the
Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and
domestic; [and to] bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the
United States and the Constitution of the State of California;”
Speaking of foreign and domestic…
“I find it very interesting
that an Austrian can influence American politics.” —Joerg Haider,
There’s another oath
Arnold took, back in 1983, when he became an American citizen:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I
absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any
foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have
heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the
Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies,
foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United
States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national
importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take
this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
so help me God."
But there’s a problem: Arnold apparently
never really meant it (any more than he would the governor’s oath) and
pulled strings with the Austrian government to retain
his citizenship there, as well. This despite the fact that the government
of Austria “[i]n general… does not allow dual citizenship…Thus,
if a person acquires US citizenship, he/she usually has to renounce the actual
citizenship he/she is holding.”
The problem reaches beyond Austrian law.
According to Kurzban's
Immigration Law Sourcebook, “The U.S. government has generally looked
with disfavor on United States Citizens maintaining dual nationality.” Indeed,
the US Department of
State cautions that “dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United
States and the foreign country.”
Furthermore, the State Department warns of “security
clearance implications” when people in its employ hold dual citizenships,
and while Arnold won’t be working for that agency, as governor he would
be privy to classified information as it relates to coordinating “homeland
security” in California. Among State’s concerns:
· “The evaluation element
presented by dual citizenship is that it could raise an issue of possible
divided loyalty to the United States.”
· “If there is any doubt
about unquestioned preference for and allegiance to the United States,
unencumbered by any undue foreign influence, DS must render a determination in
favor of the national security and determine that individual ineligible for
· “Conditions that could
raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:…the exercise of
dual citizenship…military service or a willingness to bear arms for a
foreign country [a
requirement for all Austrian males] …using foreign citizenship to
protect financial or business interests in another country…seeking or
holding political office in the foreign country;”
As columnist Phyllis Schlafly reminds us, “Dual
citizenship is an oxymoron…One cannot truly be a citizen of two countries
because ultimately loyalty cannot be divided.”
Can any of Arnold’s apologists really guarantee that conflicts between his
competing loyalties will not arise? And remember, according to the State
Department, “dual nationals…are required to obey the laws of both
countries.” Anyone who says this is a non-issue had better be able to
reconcile Arnold’s own admission: “Without going into details, I can say
that being half-Austrian and half-American, I don’t like the idea that these
two countries that mean so much to me are in such a disagreement.”
Why not go “into the details”? Arnold wants us to give him tremendous
political power—with such an apparent conflict, don’t “we the people”
granting it to him deserve to know, including whose side he’d take?
But the more important question is: Why did
Arnold hedge his bets and not renounce his native citizenship? That he could
have things both ways, while the same dispensation would not be granted to less
“important” Austrians is a given—the privileged operate by a different set
of rules than we mortals. Why did he leave the option of being an
Austrian—instead of an American—open? Hasn’t he been in this country long
enough to make up his mind? Hasn’t he prospered here more than he could have
anywhere else in the world? Doesn’t he want to govern Americans? Why hasn’t
he made his commitment to this nation complete? Why hasn’t he honored the OATH
he SWORE to “absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and
fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or
which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen”?
What advantage does retaining the Austrian
option give him?
“And having no further
concern, he and his companions sought adventure in the West. Many wars and
feuds did Conan fight. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name. In time he
became a king by his own hand... but that is another story.”—Epilogue,
“Conan the Barbarian”
“Austrians hail favourite son 'King
Arnold',” reads the AFP
headline. “Arnie, the future emperor of California,” the story relates
“the local press” proclaiming.
And while Austria is not a monarchy, there is
another prize for someone with political ambition—perhaps even more
prestigious than governing an American state, even one as important and powerful
For Austrian politicians and political commentators have speculated that Arnold
decide to run for the presidency of Austria.”
“The movie star ‘has ambitions,’ Austrian diplomat Hans Janitschek told
the New York Post. ‘There is no doubt about it. And I think he has a better
chance of getting elected president of Austria than he does governor of
“‘He will be the crown of our country,’ columnist Wolf Martin of
Kronenzeitung wrote. ‘Let him enjoy his success in the world in little
And what better crown would there be as the next step for someone aspiring to
political power than leadership of a sovereign nation? Because if Arnold is
elected governor, his road for political advancement dead-ends domestically; the
Constitution forbids the presidency to any but the native born, denying him that
Republican Orrin Hatch gets his way to change that requirement, to allow
“his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for the White House.”
Whether these multiple, independent speculations by professional observers have
merit or not, Arnold’s as-yet unstated reasons (the Schwarzenegger campaign
has ignored my multiple requests for clarification made during the course of
writing this article) for not officially casting his undivided allegiance with
the United States should trouble everyone considering giving him political power
over their lives.
But a vote for another Republican will
just split the vote…
"There may come a time
where what may be in the best interests of the state is for one or more of
these candidates to put their personal ambitions aside for what's in the best
interest of the state.”—California Republican Party Chairman Duf
There is one principled Republican candidate
running who fully understands the Second Amendment and is not afraid to say so, State
Senator Tom McClintock. With Darell Issa and Bill Simon having dropped out
of the race, the conservative vote is NOT split. The real split is between
avowed gungrabbers Davis, Bustamante and Schwarzenegger. And “the best
interest of the state,” Mr. Sundheim, is inseparable from a return to
What the “centrist” Republican
establishment really means is the PARTY may not gain power if principled
Republicans vote for someone they can trust, as opposed to someone who stands
for none of their core values and beliefs. It’s an old game, familiar to
anyone who follows California politics: the “moderates” continually advance
their thinly-disguised Democrat-Lite agenda to achieve repeated losses and then
point fingers when they continually lose: look at how anti-gun Dan Lungren, the
man who began enforcing gun confiscation, lost the governorship. Look at how,
time and again, the “Big Tent” middle-of-the-roaders sabotage any chance for
Republicans to unite behind proven friends of gun owners.
But we can’t win on that issue, they tell us.
How would they know? When have they tried educating the electorate on their
unalienable rights, and promoting them rather than hiding from them? Remember,
of all Republicans running for statewide office in 2002, the one who earned the
most votes, and came within a hair of winning was Tom McClintock!
From a gun owner’s perspective, there is
demonstrably no difference between Arnold and the Democrats. If Bustamante wins,
it won’t be the fault of McClintock supporters—the responsibility will lie
squarely with the RINOs who offer us no alternatives other than ones who will
destroy our lives if we defy their unconstitutional edicts.
If we give them a pass, lining up like good
little lemmings behind the oppressor of their choice, how will we ever break the
cycle so cynically described by Chairman Atwater? What will the Republicans’
incentive be to ever acknowledge and honor our rights? Why would any political
power respect such timid subjects?
Why reward an abandonment of principle? It’s
time the GOP establishment learns they can NEVER win office without our consent,
and they’ll never get it as long as they’re intent on betraying us.
Gun rights supporters who dismiss McClintock's
chances of winning will make that a self-fulfilling prophecy if they allow the
Republicrats to buffalo them into resignation and inaction. Instead of
lamenting, why not enter the fray—actually do something instead of
surrendering before the battle has been engaged?
The fact is, if we all make a genuine
commitment to get involved, McClintock will outperform Arnold at the polls. Schwarzenegger
is currently at 22%. If Simon’s conservative following shifts its support
to McClintock, he will be within 3 percentage points of taking the Republican
lead—and then we can make the argument that the moderates are the ones
splitting the vote and endangering a GOP win, and pressure the leadership to
support the conservative frontrunner.
On June 9, 2001, Tom McClintock gave a speech
titled “Freedom and Firearms” to the Western Conservative Conference. Read
it. Fittingly, he begins by comparing the American view of government, as
reflected in the Bill of Rights, with the German concept. Compare his beliefs,
boldly stated with no hint of equivocation, with those of Davis and Bustamante.
Compare them with those of Arnold the “action hero,” and see for yourself
how superficial and evasive Schwarzenegger’s lame attempts at policy
Then ask yourself why any politician should take heat for promoting liberty when
the rewards all seem to go to those who undermine it. Gun owners expect fidelity
from our representatives, yet our apathy too often leaves our leaders alone at
the head of the charge.
Tom McClintock CAN win—but only if California gun owners make a genuine
commitment toward his victory. This means getting involved. It means being registered
to vote and making sure that other gun owners are. It means sending
McClintock generous contributions so that he can get his message out (he
needs to raise at least $4 million and he needs it NOW). It means informing
your gun-owning friends, and recruiting support from fellow shooters, gun clubs,
gun dealers, etc. It means writing letters to the editor and calling into talk
radio programs. It means spending time volunteering for the McClintock campaign
and attending campaign events.
Tom McClintock has proven himself to be worthy of our support, receiving
100% ratings from Gun Owners of California in 2001
and 2002. The question
that remains to be answered: Will we prove worthy of his leadership?
Find out how you can help elect Tom McClintock as governor of California by
If you’re a California gun owner, this opportunity depends on the burden YOU
are willing to shoulder. If you do nothing, expecting others to carry your share
of the load, chances are we’ll all get worse than nothing in return.
It’s time we laid Lee Atwater’s philosophy to rest alongside the late
political strategist. It’s time to say “Hasta la vista, baby!” to Arnold
and the GOP establishment, unless and until they truly deserve our support.
It’s time to elect a truly principled representative who is not afraid to
champion the Second Amendment. It’s time to stop with the negativity, the
resignation, and the complaining, and start with the serious business of taking
back our state.
So—what’s stopping you?
David Codrea has a lot of respect and
admiration for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s achievements, is a big fan of his
movies, and wishes him continued success in that field. He is not affiliated
with the Tom McClintock for Governor campaign in any official capacity—he is
simply a citizen exercising his First Amendment right to free political speech.
He is also an advisory member of the Silveira v Lockyer Support Fund, financing
research to achieve a definitive Second Amendment ruling by the Supreme Court.
For information on this groundbreaking effort and how you can help, visit www.KeepAndBearArms.com.