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Fairbanks Assembly campaign ad reignites debate about guns at public meetings(AK) ^ | 20 September, 2011 | Matt Buxton

Posted on 09/21/2011 10:06:09 AM PDT by marktwain

FAIRBANKS — While most advertisements from candidates in the Oct. 4 local election promote their own positions, Van Lawrence has gone on the attack in the race against incumbent Michael Dukes.

The ad, which ran in the News-Miner on Sept. 11, called out Dukes for carrying a gun to public meetings and community barbecues, among other points.

Lawrence, a local attorney, said he ran the ad, titled “4 Reasons Why You Should Vote For Me,” as a way of pointing out what he felt are key differences between himself and Dukes. The other points included “I’m not an anti-government zealot,” “I am a sensible and positive problem-solver” and “I am not Michael Dukes.”

“I’m most troubled by him taking (a gun) to the assembly. I think that is entirely inappropriate,” he said. “Just because it’s in his right to carry a gun to the assembly meetings doesn’t make it right. I think it sends the message of intimidation.”

Dukes, a local radio personality who often talks about firearms on his show, said carrying a gun is only a small part of who he is and that he doesn’t feel it’s irresponsible.

“It’s no secret to carry a gun, it’s every Alaskan’s right,” he said. “It’s not like I walk around with a big shiny arrow pointing to my hip with a big chrome pistol. It’s a responsibility that I’ve chosen to exert for the last 25 or 30 years.”

Lawrence said his concern is not just about the gun Dukes carries. He pointed to T-shirts and mugs that Dukes sold through his blog before he was elected to the assembly in 2010. The merchandise carried a picture of a rifle and the words “When all else fails ... vote from the rooftops.”

Lawrence likened the message to controversial statements made by Sharron Angle, a Nevada Republican who made a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Angle was criticized for what she called “Second Amendment remedies” to problems in government.

“I think it sends a horrible message,” Lawrence said. “It implies that if a person doesn’t get what he wants out of the ballot box, he should resort to firearms to get his way.”

Dukes said the image, which dates back to 2008, was a satire and was never meant to be taken seriously by his listeners.

Dukes disagreed with being called an “anti-government zealot.” Pointing to work on the wood stove change-out program and his vote to create a bus line on Van Horn Road, he said he’s a small-government advocate not an anti-government zealot.

“I kind of had to chuckle when I saw the ad, because obviously he doesn’t know who I am, that’s the bottom line,” Dukes said. “Anyone who has sat down and talked to me more than five minutes knows that’s not who I am.”

But there was one point Dukes agreed with.

“As far as him not being Michael Dukes, he’s right, he’s not Michael Dukes,” Dukes said.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: ak; banglist; constitution; opencarry
I like to see candidates stand up for the exercise of Constitutional rights.
1 posted on 09/21/2011 10:06:17 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

So what’s this Lawrence guy running as?

2 posted on 09/21/2011 10:11:31 AM PDT by wastedyears (Of course you realize, this means war.)
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To: wastedyears

A p#ssy.

Colonel, USAFR

3 posted on 09/21/2011 10:17:54 AM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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