Letter - Second Amendment is at stakeA recent commentary entitled “Gun manufacturers worry about profits” contained insinuations and accusations not based on fact; they are simply opinions stated with the hope that they will be accepted as fact.
To the editor:
A recent commentary entitled “Gun manufacturers worry about profits” contained insinuations and accusations not based on fact; they are simply opinions stated with the hope that they will be accepted as fact.
The writer believes that the debate is more about money than second amendment rights. He stated that gun and ammunition manufacturers and state wildlife departments want to increase gun sales so more profits can be used to run the NRA, who can then buy off Congress with political contributions.
Under campaign finance rules, PACs and other contributors are allowed to support candidates on both sides of any issue. Yes, the NRA supports candidates who support the second amendment; and anti-gun organizations support candidates on their side (both legal under the law).
What also troubles me is the insinuation that political contributions from big business and special interest groups somehow made millionaires out of rank and file congresspersons. The federal election commission rules clearly state that political contributions may not be converted to personal use of a candidate or any other person. Personal use is defined as any use of campaign funds for an expense that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign or duties as a federal officeholder.
There is much misinformation out there on the gun issue. However, it takes some research to learn the facts. What is at stake in this debate is the constitutional right to bear arms, not the right to profit from gun and ammo sales.
If anyone believes that campaign funds make a politician personally wealthy, they should file a complaint so that he/she could be punished for breaking the law.
Have there been abuses of campaign finance laws? Certainly. With political opponents and outside groups constantly reviewing campaign finance reports, however, abuses are brought to light and appropriate penalties applied.
• • •
Editor’s note: Bettermann served on the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board for eight years.