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Old January 30, 2000, 03:34 AM   #1
Leadfoot
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http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/gun29.html

Downstate pol puts rifle raffle on
Web

January 29, 2000

BY SCOTT FORNEK POLITICAL REPORTER

A Downstate Republican congressional candidate is raffling off a .50-caliber sniper
rifle over the Internet to raise money for his campaign, advertising the weapon as
"a Rod Blagojevich Special."

It's a dig at the Democratic congressman from Chicago who is trying to outlaw
high-caliber weapons such as the ArmaLite AR-50 in .50BMG caliber.

"The civilian model of the BMG has never been involved in a single fatality," said
Dr. Michael Curtiss, the GOP congressional hopeful.

"It's a caliber that has been demonized. I guess Mr. Blagojevich has the idea that
some day someone will be a target. But it's never happened."

For his part, Blagojevich is not outraged. He's not asking for any apologies. He's
not demanding the candidate stop using his name.

"I see the humor in this," Blagojevich said. "God love the guy. It's OK. With all due
respect to the doctor, he is nuts about guns."

But Blagojevich is not laughing about Curtiss' cavalier attitude toward the weapon.
He disagrees that no one has been harmed by one.

In fact, Blagojevich is considering naming his proposed bill to ban civilian use and
sale of the weapons after Colorado State Trooper Timothy Mossbrucker, who was
killed with one April 28, 1995, in Littleton, Colo.

"It was designed for the Gulf War," Blagojevich said. "It was designed to take out
fortified concrete bunkers, armored personnel carriers, helicopters. . . . Being able
to raffle this off on the Internet just points out how ridiculous our gun laws are."

Curtiss, 43, is one of three Republicans in the 17th Congressional District primary
vying for the chance to challenge Democratic Rep. Lane Evans. Curtiss is a family
practitioner from Mount Carroll, about 200 miles west of Chicago.

His campaign Web site (www.lo veofcountry.com) offers pages on such topics as
"Why I'm Not a Homophobe" and "G. Gordon Liddy's Endorsement." But it's the
section headlined "Gun Raffles" that has attracted the most attention.

"It didn't initially start as a way to finance the campaign," Curtiss said. "It just
started as a way to get the attention of the Second Amendment rights people and
let them know someone cared about their rights."

Curtiss said he already has sold $30,000 in $5 tickets for his first raffle, which will
be held Sunday. That one features a .45-caliber pistol, a semi-automatic
AK-47-style rifle, a $400 box of cigars and a $225 bottle of scotch.

His second raffle, for which he began selling $20 tickets a couple of weeks ago, is
for the AR-50 and a Match Grade M1 Garrand rifle.

Curtiss said he does not have the guns. He will purchase them from licensed
dealers from the states in which the winners live to make sure background checks
are done. The winners will be given gun safety courses by National Rifle
Association instructors.

Curtiss insists he's not a gun nut, saying he only owns three: two 12-gauge
shotguns and a .22-caliber hunting rifle. But he said the gun must remain legal
because it is protected by the constitutional right to bear arms.

Blagojevich is unimpressed, saying the arguments are typical of the gun-rights
advocates who "love their guns more than they love their wives."

"They love their guns so much, I don't think they have any concept of the
consequences," Blagojevich said.
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Old January 30, 2000, 04:12 AM   #2
Gwinnydapooh
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.50 cal rifles designed to take out fortified concrete bunkers? Now I REALLY want one. If anyone but Mr. Blagojevich were to say that, I'd call him a blithering idiot, but obviously this is a thoughtful man who knows what he's talking about, right?

OTOH it doesn't help for Dr. Mike to claim "no" fatalities. I'll write to him tomorrow suggesting that he publicly apologize to Blagojevich and admit that there has actually been ONE civilian murder committed with a .50 BMG--in the properly sarcastic tone, of course. Might still be able to make Mr. B. look a bit silly if we show that his crisis consists of ONE murder that could have been committed with a .45.
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Old January 30, 2000, 12:28 PM   #3
jcoyoung
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Just to let everyone know how ignorant some of the media is here in Chicagoland, I heard an anchorman for one of the local stations call the ArmaLite AR-50 a MACHINE GUN!

Since the AR-50 is a bolt action single shot, someone would have to move pretty fast to make it a machine gun (Superman?).
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Old January 30, 2000, 03:18 PM   #4
Gwinnydapooh
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No offense, Jcoyoung, but I believe the AR 50 is actually a machine gun. It has all the most important traits:
It's black.
It's big.
It shoots big bullets.

See? Machine gun.
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Old January 30, 2000, 04:34 PM   #5
ctdonath
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The AR-50 fires the .50 BMG round.
BMG stands for Browning Machine Gun.
So...anything that fires it is a machinegun, right?

<bangs head against wall>
MORONS!

Support freedom: because willfully ignorant morons want to control your life.

(Oh, BTW: did you know that banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories per hour?)
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Old January 30, 2000, 04:41 PM   #6
Monkeyleg
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Jcoyoung: it's probably a bit slower than the semi-automatic submachine gun our Milwaukee paper referred to.

Dick
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Old January 30, 2000, 04:44 PM   #7
labgrade
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Gwinny,

Before you write about the "no fatalities" bit, might wanna do some checking. We did have an LEO get killed a while back while a .50 cal was in the possession of the perp. I don't believe that the LEO was shot with the .50 - it was only in possession. LEO was, as I recall, shot with some other firearm. If this is same situation I'm thinking of, it was a domestic disturbance gone wrong at a King Soopers (grocery store) where the man tried to kill his wife.
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Old January 30, 2000, 05:24 PM   #8
Gwinnydapooh
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Exactly, Labgrade. That's the same incident, isn't it? I've been told a few times that it was the only one. Could be untrue, I'll try to check.
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Old January 30, 2000, 06:07 PM   #9
jcoyoung
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Good comments guys.

That AR-50 will look good next to my S&W 2206 22LR "Anti-Tank" weapon, Remington 700 "Death Ray", and my AR-15 (Dr. Evil Edition).
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