Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

The Gun Control Issue by zhouwenjuan


									    The Gun Control Issue
                   and the
2002 South Dakota Senate Race
                 By Steve Sibson
                   Mitchell, SD

             Table of Contents
                  Setting the Stage
             Enters the 2nd Amendment
                Here Comes the NRA
          First Dave Kranz, Do you Care?
                So Write An Editorial
    Sent Research to Tony Dean & Dave Kranz
           Here Comes Charlton Heston
    Tony, What about Johnson’s Voting Record?
                  Last Minute Plea
               The Tony Dean Factor
On 2/24/02 Randell Beck published a piece in the Argus Leader titled “Our campaign
pledge: Tough questions, accuracy, fairness”. He stated,

“ Accurately covering a political campaign means more than pinning down candidates
on their positions. It means hours of research to check Sen. Hornblowers voting record
in the Legislature or Congress. Does he claim to be a defender of the Second
Amendment, yet voted for every gun-control measure on the floor?”

By September 2002, Tim Johnson claimed to be a supporter of the 2nd Amendment and
did the Argus Leader follow Randall Beck’s campaign pledge? Did they spend hours
researching Johnson’s 2nd Amendment voting record?

                             Setting the Stage
On 8/20/02 the Argus Leader published “800 republicans back Democrat Johnson. This
story reported the formation of the Republicans for Johnson committee whose co-leader
included sportsman Tony Dean. He was quoted,

“Now, John can talk all he wants about his record, but I’ve watched his voting record
on conservation issues, and I can say that I haven’t left John Thune – John Thune
Left me.”

Would Tony Dean consider Tim Johnson’s voting record on the 2nd Amendment?

               Enters the 2nd Amendment Issue
On 9/22/02 Dave Kranz published in the Argus Leader “Sportsman split in support of
Senate candidates”. Kranz reported,

“Attitudes about the candidates are contrasted in the September issue of Field &
Stream magazine and the Pierre radio-show host Tony Dean’s Web site.”

Kranz quoted Field & Stream,

“Some politicians in the U.S. Senate didn’t get the message. They consistently vote
against the interest of gun owners and hunters, embracing every restriction on
firearms and hunting that comes down the pike. Your Senator, Tim Johnson, is one of
the Senators who is standing in the way of progress.”

Kranz says Tony Dean counters with Johnson’s response to a NRA questionnaire,

“There are 25 questions, and Tim agrees with the NRA stance on 24 of them. I believe
that he agrees with the NRA darned near all the time,” Dean said. “The right wingers
who never cross party lines are ready to believe anything bad about Tim Johnson. The
gun zealots who believe everyone should have a machine gun won’t like Tim

Krantz quoted Johnson,

“I am a gun owner. I hunt annually on my friend Larry Stroschein’s farm near
Aberdeen, and I strongly support the rights of hunters and sportsman. This ad is part
of a smear campaign that John and his allies are running against me.

The League of Conservation Voters printed part of this Kranz story and quoted Tony

“In six years in the U.S. Congress, John Thune compiled one of the worst voting
records in the house. By contrast, Tim Johnson has an excellent conservation voting

So, will the Argus Leader and Tony Dean care about Tim Johnson’s 2nd Amendment
voting record? Why is Tony Dean talking about the NRA? On this same day (9/22/02),
Tony Dean posted on his web site,

“I wasn’t surprised the NRA chose to support John Thune.”

The next day (9/23/02) the NRA was coming to Sioux Falls and endorse John Thune.

                         Here Comes the NRA
Before the NRA endorsement, Tim Johnson held a press conference of his own to
announce the formation of “Sportsman for Johnson”. The chair was none other than Tony
Dean. says the “Sportsman for

“…will educate fellow sportsman about Johnson’s work to protect the rights of hunters
and sportsman and will help to correct the record when false attacks are made on
Johnson’s record.”

David Kranz reported the next day in the Argus Leader both the Sportsman for Johnson
endorsement and the NRA endorsement of John Thune with the headline, “Thune,
Johnson backers dispute records on guns”. Krantz reported Tony Dean arguing that
Johnson is being “unfairly smeared” as anti-gun and quoted Dean,

“He doesn’t deserve to have his reputation sullied. Someone seems to be lying, and that
is not South Dakota value.”

Toward the end of the report, Kranz quoted Clark Butler,

“Tony Dean is simply telling the truth on where Tim Johnson stands. I know how this
man voted. I know how he thinks, and to say he is against the Second Amendment is
simply a lie.”

After reading this Argus Leader coverage, I knew the truth on Tim Johnson’s voting
record regarding the 2nd Amendment was relevant. Randell Beck said,

“It means hours of research to check Sen. Hornblowers voting record in the
Legislature or Congress. Does he claim to be a defender of the Second Amendment, yet
voted for every gun-control measure on the floor?”

I was also included in this coverage. I was sandwiched between the Tony Dean and Clark
Butler accusations of lies. I knew how Tim Johnson had voted. I had the research done,
because I closely followed this issue since Columbine. All I had to do was review and
communicate it. The Argus Leader would be grateful. Right? Tony Dean was concerned
about Thune’s voting record, he certainly would be interested in Tim Johnson’s 2nd
Amendment voting record. Right?

Based on the experience that I am about to document, maybe the Argus Leader and Tone
Dean were more concerned about getting Tim Johnson re-elected, and not about his 2nd
Amendment voting record.

                First Dave Kranz, Do You Care?
On 9/24/02 I sent Dave Kranz this email:
“Thanks for including me in today's Argus Leader coverage on the gun issue
regarding the US Senate race in South Dakota. While attending the University of
South Dakota, I learned in American History that a democracy requires an
educated and informed populace. I have also learned that the true meaning of
the 2nd Amendment is in regard to self-defense and defending the freedoms that
the Constitution provides to law abiding citizens. Hunting and gun sports are
an added dessert. Tony Dean and Tim Johnson believe that they are 2nd Amendment
supporters by only promoting the dessert. What they don't understand is that
without the main course, are freedoms will wither away. The people of South
Dakota need to understand this before we vote on Novemner 5. I hope you will
help to inform the citizens of this State about the truth behind the 2nd
amendment. It goes beyond hunting and it requires courage to articulate that.
John Thune as demonstrated that courage. Tony Dean and Tim Johnson has not.”

Kranz’s response,
“Thanks. Good to see you again.”

On 9/25/02 I sent Dave Kranz this email:

The gun issue regarding the Senate race keep me up last night, because it is
unsettled. This morning I again read your coverage in yesterday's Argus, where
you quoted Tony Dean. He said, "Someone is lying, and that is not a South
Dakota Value". This needs more analyse and a deeper search for the truth.

First, I remember how the Columbine shooting stirred the spirit of America, and
then Bill Clinton chose to blame the NRA and the gun culture. Hollywood soon
joined him. Dave, do you remember the role Rosie O'Donnell played? She attacked
NRA member Tom Selleck on her show in May 1999. One year later she help lead
the Million Mom March. Please answer this question for me. Do you believe
supporters of Rosie O'Donnell and the Million Mom March, should be classified
as pro 2nd-amemdment, or are they better described as anti-gun?

I await your response.

Kranz’s response,

He did not respond!

For whatever reason(s), Mr. Kranz obviously wasn’t interested enough to check
Johnson’s 2nd Amendment voting record, so I decided to push it myself.

                          So Write An Editorial
After hours of reviewing my research I wrote an editorial:

  October 1, 2002

  Tony Dean Doesn’t Know Guns

  To the Editor of the Argus Leader:

  I think Tony Dean may have spent too many nights soaking in wetlands. If he could drain the
  swamp water from his boots, he might realize where Tim Johnson really stands on gun rights.

  In the months leading up to Rosie O’Donnell’s anti-gun “Million Mom March” in Washington,
  DC (an event that drew a few thousand people in May of 2000), Rosie left do doubt how she felt
  about America’s Second Amendment rights. “I don’t care if you want to hunt, I don’t care if you
  think it’s your right. I say: Sorry, it’s 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not
  allowed to own a gun, and if you own a gun I think you should go to prison.”

  Senator Daschle sponsored a Senate amendment praising Rosie’s efforts (#3148) with Senator
  Johnson voting for its passage.

  Outraged Senators, seeking to reassure Americans that the U.S. Senate didn’t support fanatics
  like O’Donnell, quickly proposed a more appropriate sense of the Senate resolution on May 17,
  2000. It said, in part, that the 2nd Amendment “protects the right of each law-abiding United
  States citizen to own a firearm for any legitimate purpose, including self-defense or recreation”.
  Sixty-nine Senators agreed (including North Dakota’s two Democrats). Tim Johnson and Tom
  Daschle voted against this statement.

  Yes, Tony Dean, someone is lying about Tim Johnson’s support of the 2nd Amendment. That
  person is Tim Johnson and that is a matter of public – and Congressional – record.


   Steven L. Sibson
The letter was rejected by the editorial department of the Argus Leader. Why? Because I
am only allowed 1 letter ever 30 days. I was complying with that policy by sending
letters at the beginning of ech month. I wrote one on 9/9/02. As of the 1st of October, they
still hadn’t printed it despite my last letter being printed on 8/24/02, five weeks earlier. I
was being stonewalled. My 9/9/02 letter was never placed in the Argus Leader. It was
instead put on their web site on 10/13/02. Therefore 30 days from 10/13/02 would be
11/12/02, one week after the election. The letter was not to run. The Argus Leader
editorial department stopped my reporting of Tim Johnson’s 2nd Amendment voting

     Sent Research To Tony Dean & Dave Kranz
After hours of research on Tim Johnson’s 2nd Amendment record, I put together a

   Connect the dots to see Tim Johnson’s 2nd Amendment picture
   By Steve Sibson Mitchell, SD

   Dot 1: After the Columbine tragedy, Bill Clinton blamed the gun culture and
   pushed Congress to pass more gun control legislation. This created a divide in
   Congress between the pro 2nd Amendment defenders verses the anti gun
   Dot 2: The divide between 2nd amendment supporters and the anti gun
   supporters in the US Senate was 50 on each side based on vote 134 on May 20,
   1999. Al Gore broke that 50-50 tie vote on Lautenberg Amendment 362 of
   S.254 and the anti gun crowd celebrated the victory. Tim Johnson voted with
   Al Gore and the anti gun supporters.
   Dot 3: Because the House of Representatives stopped the Senate measure from
   becoming law on June 18, 1999, the anti-gun supporters organized a protest
   march in Washington DC on Mother’s Day in May of 2000, which was called
   the Million Mom March.
   Dot 4: Right after the Million Mom March, on May 17, 2000, the US Senate
   voted to express the sense of the Senate regarding the 2nd Amendment that it
   “protects the right of each law-abiding United States citizen to own a firearm
   for any legitimate purpose, including self-defense or recreation”. 69 Senators
   agreed including the two Democrat Senators from North Dakota. 30 of the
   most anti gun Senators voted against this Amendment including both Senators
   from South Dakota, Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson.
   Dot 5: Also on May 17, 2000 the Senate voted on the Daschle Amendment
   No. 3148 which was in support of the Million Mom March. (Please also
   connect this dot to Dot 3.) Tim Johnson voted in favor of this March, which
   was sponsored by the anti gun Handgun Control. The march’s master of
   ceremonies was Rosie O’Donnell who said in 1999, “ I don’t care if you want
   to hunt, I don’t care if you think it’s your right. I say” Sorry, it’s 1999. We
   have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do
   own a gun I think you should go to prison.”

   The picture is now clear, Tim Johnson turned his back on South Dakota gun owners and
   the Constitution of the United States and instead supported the ant-gun Hollywood elitists
   who want to ban our guns!!

I sent the summary (see page 7) along with the supporting Congressional Record and
other documentation to Tony Dean and also Dave Kranz with the following cover letter:

  October 7, 2002

  Dear Tony Dean,

  Please find enclosed material that leaves no doubt that Tim Johnson has sided with the
  antigun crowd. I hope that answers the question about who is lying in regard to Tim
  Johnson’s 2nd Amendment stand. It is Tim Johnson, and I hope you understand that he has
  turned his back on gun owners (including South Dakota hunters), stepped on our
  Constitutional freedoms, and walked lockstep with the Hollywood elitist who are trying to
  protect the money they make selling violent entertainment to our children. Currently Big
  Hollywood is raising millions for the Democratic Party.

  I do love you for the work you have done for conservation. If you continue to believe that
  that issue is more important than our Constitutional freedoms, then I will respectively
  disagree. But I do mean respectively. If after you have been confronted with the truth and
  you instead insist Tim Johnson comes from the same freedom-fighting mold that John
  Thune came from, then I can no longer maintain respect.

  My ultimate hope is that you understand that gun owners need to be united and change
  your mind on whom would make the best Senator considering all the issues. I am
  confident that John Thune will work with us on conservation issues, far better than Tim
  Johnson will work for our 2nd Amendment rights. I have an August 2002 letter from Tim
  Johnson to prove it.

  There have been many who have said, all you care about is money. I hope you prove them
  wrong by saying freedoms are far more important than money. Tim Johnson is buying
  votes with other people’s money through Big Government. John Thune believes in the
  American people and preserving our freedom with a smaller Federal government leaving
  decisions to be made at the State’s level.


  Steven L. Sibson

  Cc: Dave Kranz
      Dave Conway

Here is Tony Dean’s email response on 10/16/02:


I didn't have the time to answer your email. There was no slight intended,
since my email frequently piles up because of 100 plus emails per day. I
also received your package.
While I am a second amendment supporter, I have also made the point on
numerous occasions that I consider the candidate stance on conservation as
important, if not more so. Your package did not convince me of anything and
it's apparent that we aren't going to agree.


Dave Kranz’s response to the voting record:

I did not get a response!

At this point Tony Dean was given Tim Johnson’s Congressional Record in regard to the
2nd Amendment. He should no longer say Johnson is a strong 2nd Amendment supporter.
Right? His job as chair for “Sportsman for Johnson” was to correct the record when false
attacks are made on Johnson’s record (see Page 4). What would he do with the truth
straight from the Congressional Record?

                  Here Comes Charlton Heston
On 10/23/02 Charlton Heston came to Sioux Falls to endorse pro-2nd Amendment
candidates. The 10/24/02 Argus Leader coverage included,

“In response to Heston’s visit, conservation leaders from across the state met earlier
Wednesday to support Thune’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and
to praise his record of preserving habitat and wildlife for South Dakota sportsman.”

The Argus Leader Reporter, Lee Williams, quoted Tony Dean,

“There are two things we as sportsman have to look at when we support a political
candidate. Number one, I believe they should be a strong Second Amendment
supporter. I am interested in protecting guns that sportsman use when hunting in
South Dakota, and Tim Johnson always supported that right.”

On 10/16/02, Tony Dean said he looked at my “Connect the Dots” package, which makes
it clear that Johnson’s voting record does not represent one who always was a ‘strong
Second amendment supporter’. He should have known better by now. So I emailed
reporter Lee Williams and copied Dave Kranz:
      > Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 1:02 PM
      > To: Williams, Lee
      > Cc: Kranz, Dave
      > Subject: NRA Coverage
      > Hi Lee,
      > Thanks for you hard work last night and the extensive coverage in today's Argus
      > on the Heston event.
      > You also included Tony Dean's comments, which need to be confronted. I am
      > copying Dave Kranz, because I sent him detailed documentation to show that Tim
      > Johnson did not support the 2nd Amendment on May 17, 2000. Instead he supported
      > Rosie O'Donnell's anti gun Million Mom March. Maybe Dave will share this with
      > you.
      > On Tony Dean's web site under the 'Issues" section (About to Return his NRA
      > Membership) Tony Dean says Tim Johnson and Tony Dean believe guns should not be
      > sold at gun shows. His quote in your coverage only talks about hunting. As you
      > heard last night, hunting is the desert we enjoy because of the 2nd Amendment.
      > The main course is defense of self, country and freedom. Tony Dean and Tim
      > Johnson do not support this. Your readers may not totally understand this.
      > Recently, I have tried to cover the points above with a letter to the editor,
      > but your paper rejected it.
      > I will be glad to answer any questions you may have on the 2nd Amendment issue.
      > Thanks Again,
      > Steve Sibson
      > Mitchell, SD
      > 605-996-2970                             10
Lee Williams response:

Thanks Steve, I appreciate your comments. I appreciate your offer to help answer
questions, but I have never, ever had any questions about the Second Amendment
(ever). As a former soldier and police officer, I've been hunting and shooting all of my
life, and own "too many damn guns" according to my ex-wives.

I had a good time at the event.

Take care,


Dave Kranz’s response to the email:

He did not respond!

    Tony, What about Johnson’s Voting Record?
I sent Tony Dean the following email on 10/20/02:

Dear Tony,

I just viewed your latest TV commercial with Tim Johnson regarding the waiting
period on background checks. Johnson's voting record is in opposition to what
was said. This is another example of Johnson doing one thing in Washington DC
and telling South Dakota he his doing another.

If you would have taken seriously the documentation I sent you, you would
understand that Johnson voted with the anti gun view that background checks
need to be as long as 3 days, not 10 minutes. It was the NRA that argued that
the instant background check should truly be 'instant'. The NRA argued that the
3 day limit was not workable for weekend gun shows.

Based on your web site, it is clear that you do not care about the 2nd
amendment, but only say that you do. It is widely held that actions speak
louder than words. For Tim Johnson and Tony Dean, your actions are against the
2nd amendment rights of "all" law abiding American citizens for "all"
legitimate purposes. That makes your words hollow.

Your view on the 2nd amendment is closer to the views of another TV
personality, anti gun Rosie O'Donnell. She only cares about security guards and
police officers having firearms. You seem to only care about shotguns. Please
note that a pump shotgun is among the top ten guns used in crimes. A 17 year
old high school girl was killed by a convicted felon with a shotgun in Iowa
recently. The Columbine shooters had a shotgun that they named after a violent
video game character.

The danger that you are creating for the sportsman is that it is OK to give up
2nd amendment rights for those who do not hunt. This is the divide and conquer
plans of the Democrats and other anti gun advocates. If hunters side with the
anti gun crowd as they destroy the 2nd Amendment, then the vote on banning
shotguns will be on a majority basis (changes to the Constitution are at two
thirds). Since hunters are a minority, we will be out voted without the 2nd
Amendment. For the sake of freedom, you should stop keeping Tim Johnson's
voting record on the 2nd amendment issue a secret from sportsman.

Based on your actions regarding 2nd amendment freedoms, I can no longer believe
your views on conservation issues. I know question what you are saying about
John Thune. I need to study the issue for myself. You can no longer be relied

Since you can't and won't debate this issue with facts, I would not be
surprised that you end up assassinating my character by calling me some "right
wing gun wacko". This is a common practice of lefties. Fortunately the truth
will set you free. I will vote freedom first by voting for John Thune.”

Tony Dean posted it on his web site (I did Not Have a Right Wing Gun Wacko with that
Man) with his response:


There is no need for me to question your character as you’ve attacked mine.

Nor is there any reason to get into a discussion with you. You have your mind made up
and it’s nothing but guns. You talk of conservation but in all the years I’ve been
involved in conservation issues, I cannot ever remember seeing you or hearing your
name in conjunction with them.

The second amendment and conservation are two different things and the only thing I
have gathered from you and others is that you question my dedication to the second
amendment. You’re wrong, Steve, since I’m interested in shotguns, rifles, and
handguns. I own’em all and over 50 years of being in the forefront of outdoors issues
in the Dakotas, I certainly don’t have to justify my views to your.


Later that day (10/20/02) he changed his response on his web site:


There is no need for me to question your character as you’ve attacked mine.

I admit I have a hard time understanding those who suck up the NRA view, lock, stock
and barrel. There’s no questions, no second quessing. So, you’ve called me names,
questioned my judgement, suggested I don’t know anything about conservation and
then say I’m not interested in debating. I am glad I do not live in such a dark world.

The second amendment and conservation are two different things and the only thing I
have gathered from you and others is that you question my dedication to the second
amendment. You’re wrong, Steve, since I’m interested in shotguns, rifles, and
handguns. I own’em all and over 50 years of being in the forefront of conservation and
concern for natural resources..while enfoying days a field with shotguns AND rifles, I
do not feel it necessary to justify anything to you.

Since it isn’t likely I’ll change your mind or that you’ll change mine, why don’t you go
frequent some other website?


Well Tony, I was hoping we could talk about Tim Johnson’s 2nd Amendment voting
record. So I emailed him back on 10/21/02:


Thanks for putting my email on your web site yesterday. Your response was true
Tony Dean.

You did question my character many times. You think I am a liar because I
support the NRA. You have a hard time understanding those you suck up the NRA
view, lock, stock, and barrel. You have even a harder time when someone doesn't
suck your views, lock, stock, and barrel. People shouldn't accept what you said
today (Government Resource Workers Know What's Going On) lock, stock, and
barrel. There is one day in history that proves you wrong. It was May 17, 2000
and the votes on the Senate floor. I sent it to you, and you continue to keep
your followers in the dark about it. Go ahead and tell them about what Tim
Johnson did on that day.”

And I emailed him on 10/25/02:


Lynn Lang needs Tim Johnson's voting record from May 17, 2000 and Rosie
O'Donnell's quote about hunters being thrown in jail because they own guns. I
suppose you already buried them somewhere in the Wetlands. That is where they
will bury our freedoms, including the freedom to hunt, because you decided to
hide the truth about Johnson's lack of support for the 2nd Amendment.

At least you will still be able to fish.”

I guess you all can see I was beginning to become frustrated, but I emailed him again on


I just saw your Tim Johnson commercial on ESPN. The 2nd Amendment is only for
hunters is as phony as phony gets.


PS: You still haven't told sportsman about Rosie O'Donnell's message to hunters
and Tim Johnson's Senate votes on May 17, 2000. I not only sent that to you
last month, Dave Kranz also received it. Then Lee Williams gets assigned to the
gun issue, and now Kevin Woster gets it. It's amazing how you media people work
together. No wonder you all are endorsing Tim Johnson. Keeping the truth about
Johnson's action in the Senate silent is the bias we have come to know. This is
what's wrong in America today. The cost is our freedoms.”

This email best describes what really was going on. How frustrating! Tony Dean, with
the help of the Argus Leader, was misleading the populace. I witnessed media bias first
hand. How could I be so lucky? Now (12/29/02) Dave Kranz is bragging about Tony
Dean neutralizing the NRA. It could not have been done without Kranz’s help.

                               Last Minute Plea
On 11/2/02, I made a last minute plea to Dave Kranz with an email,


I know you have alot to cover. I know this is within the last hours. But the
truth about Tim Johnson's actions in Washington DC regarding our 2md amendment
freedoms have been side stepped by Tony Dean.

I sent him and you my knowledge (Connect the Dots), including the Congressional
Record, a month ago. I know you have been busy, so I wrote an editorial which
the Argus Leader editorial staff did not print.

The attached file is from David Conway, …

For the sake of freedom in America, can you help us out?


David Conway’s file contents:

Hello To All,
         Tony Dean and his support for anti-gun Senator Tim Johnson continues to be a
controversial subject among firearms owners and hunters. If you research Tim Johnson’s voting
record while he has been in the US Senate, you will find that he has always voted to strip us of
our Second Amendment rights. Yet Tony Dean, who is just another media entertainer, would
have us believe that his buddy Tim Johnson is the best thing that ever happened to the shooting
and hunting community. “Tim doesn't believe guns should be sold at gun shows and neither do I.”
This is a statement written 10-22 by Tony Dean and posted on his web sight.
( He stops just short of ridiculing Governor Janklow with,
“Governor often says things he really doesn't mean, usually for effect, and with a room full of
people who apparently really believe that they need guns to defend themselves” (10-27). Or how
about, “I'm not in favor of concealed carry laws because I think the days of the shootout at OK
Corral are pretty much over” (10-27). Weigh these opinions while you consider his confused
support for Tim Johnson.
         Tony Dean believes that he is a spokesman for firearms owners due to his television and
radio popularity, but he has yet to come to grip with the true meaning of the Second Amendment.
His public statements prove it. “No wildlife, why own guns?” (9-22) Now he is asking firearms’
owner’s to buy into his lack of insight with comments like,
“I truly believe Sen. Tim Johnson is the best choice for defending the second amendment” (9-24)
Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!!! When posting an article on 10-22 concerning Tim
Johnson and John Thune “Neither guy is going to take our guns since they're both second
amendment supporters” was his deceitful assertion. Well, I hope that Tony can handle the reality
of public Congressional Records. Tim Johnson:
1) voted for the Brady Bill and 75% of the Brady liberal legislation,
2) tried to pass Trigger Lock legislation,
3) supported a ban on hunting on public lands,
4) voted to eliminate funding for the Civilian Marksmanship Program,
5) voted 3 times for the Laughtenberg gun show legislation which included up to a 3 day
      wait. This would make gun show sales next to impossible,

6) voted against limiting the liability lawsuits against firearms manufacturers.
         As we all know, these attempts to financially cripple the firearms industry by using
deceitful tactics such as product liability lawsuits, is financially taking its toll on a legal
enterprise. Tony Dean’s reasoning, “(I) don't know a gun manufacturer doing very well
financially. Most are losing money because we're losing hunters and that doesn't have a thing to
do with gun control”. (10-27).
         When displeased South Dakotans (who do not mention NRA membership) respond to
Tony Dean’s uneducated support for anti-gun Senator Tim Johnson, they are referred to with
comments like, “but the some (sic) of the right wing nuts in the NRA crowd want only a GOP
Senator” (10-22), or “I have a hard time understanding those who suck up the NRA view, lock,
stock and barrel” (10-20), and in another reply, “is the "you haven't seen anything yet," an NRA
threat?” (10-24). Hmmm, seems like Dean disapproves of the NRA. Or is he just disillusioned
about the importance of our Second Amendment? “I am not, nor have I ever been, an NRA
member --- I've always been a bit nervous about their "take no prisoners" approach to guns. I am
not convinced that this is --- all about freedom.” 10-27. Well Mr. Dean, 16,000 NRA members
who live in South Dakota know that it is indeed “About Freedom”. A poll conducted here in
South Dakota on 10-29 by the Tea and Harrisburg Champion, showed 93.48% of respondents
unsatisfied with Dean stepping onto the political turf. The question asked of respondents was {Is
Tony Dean better at catching fish than endorsing candidates}.
         Self-proclaimed Republican Tony Dean should never forget that Tim Johnson is an elite
member of the radical anti-freedom left wing of certain Democrats who would like nothing better
than to disarm this country. Dean’s reaction, “Some might argue that Daschle and Johnson
would, but I think you can dismiss that thought” (9-22).
         Perhaps the most damning vote ever cast by Tim Johnson was right after the Million
Mom March, on May 17, 2000, the US Senate voted to express the sense of the Senate regarding
the 2nd Amendment that it “protects the right of each law abiding United States Citizen to own a
firearm for any legitimate purpose, including self defense or recreation.” 69 Senators agreed
including the two Democrat Senators from North Dakota. 30 of the most anti gun Senators voted
against this Amendment including both Senators from South Dakota, Tom Daschle and Tim
Johnson!!! Tony, WAKE UP, Tim Johnson NEVER-EVER defended our constitutional rights to
“Keep and Bear Arms” and he NEVER WILL!!!
         Tony Dean may be an excellent hunter and angler, which I am convinced he is, but his
shallow endorsement for such an anti-freedom candidate, Tim Johnson, can best be summed up
by using his own words, (9-24) “I suppose some in campaigns figure the truth doesn't matter”.
Yes, Mr. Dean, you are right, and that is why we must elect the candidate who shares our South
Dakota values. That candidate is John Thune!
         Do you want to secure our Constitutional Rights for generations to come?
         Do you want to stop those who would strip us of those rights?
         Do you want to assist this great nation in this freedom endeavor?
             On November 5th, VOTE FREEDOM FIRST
                      VOTE JOHN THUNE!

Dave Kranz’s response to my plea:
No Response!
Tony Dean was running interference for Tim Johnson on his web site, and only a few of
us cared enough to speak out. How many voters went to the polls without seeing the truth
about Tim Johnson’s voting record? They simply believed Tony Dean and the Argus.

                        The Tony Dean Factor
The Tony Dean impact on the Senate race was discussed by Alan Malavolti, of Sioux
Falls, at web site with a posting named
“Mugwumps Defeat Thune”:

“As the campaigns neared November 5th, the underground whispering of Republicans
for Johnson became loudly public. In an unconfirmed report, Johnson and the
Democrats believe a television commercial by the nationally recognized outdoorsman
and lifelong Republican Tony Dean proved to be the turning point. In this commercial,
Dean tells the viewers he is a Republican and would have supported Thune if he had
continued in his bid for Governor, but in this race for the Senate Dean would have to
support Johnson. Specifically citing Johnson’s seat on the Senate Appropriations
Committee as vital to South Dakota interests, Dean also defended Johnson on another,
unrelated issue. In South Dakota, gun control is an extremely provocative issue. Any
candidate who openly supports gun control is seen as secretly plotting to take away
their right to own firearms. Republicans attempted to capitalize on this issue by
attacking Johnson. During the final two weeks of the campaign Johnson announced
he would only produce positive advertisements, Thune had little choice other than
follow suit. In a radio ad, supposedly produced by the Republican National Campaign
Committee, “not affiliated with any candidate,” Johnson was said to support gun
control, taking guns from honest Americans, and benefiting criminals. This
advertisement had no significant affect because Tony Dean and Tim Johnson, during
their commercial, were shown hunting in a field. Johnson demonstrated to the voters
he, as a hunter, supports gun ownership. This advertisement was truly affective, hitting
South Dakotans in their wallets, by reminding them of Johnson’s seat on the
Appropriations Committee, and having a famous Republican publicly turn

Despite Johnson’s voting record, he put on hunting clothes, grabbed a gun, and pranced
around the cameras with Tony Dean. How many people were convinced Tim Johnson
was a strong 2nd Amendment supporter by those ads? Did and should they know this
same Senator voted in support of Rosie O’Donnell’s anti-gun Million Mom March?

On 12/29/2002 Dave Kranz reported in his Argus Leader column:

“Will the efforts by some Democrats succeed in persuading Tony Dean, the prominent
South Dakota outdoorsman, to switch from Republican to Democrat and run for the

Dean is considered one of the key factors in helping Johnson win re-election. His
strong stand in support of Johnson neutralized the National Rifle Association’s
opposition to the senator.”

The NRA’s position was based on Johnson’s voting record. Dave Kranz, the Argus
Leader reporter, where were you? With the power of the press, you allowed the NRA to
be demonized and sheltered your readers from the truth regarding Tim Johnson’s 2nd
Amendment voting record. Media bias? Or, should it be Media Bias!!!

This was from Randell Beck’s 2/24/2002 column:

“Digging deep means going beyond the self-serving claims of each candidate to probe
personality, character, record. Look for in-depth profiles in the Argus Leader that
probe where politicians stand on important issues versus - at least sometimes - where
they say they stand. Let's face it: it is often human nature - and always the purpose of
political advertising - to polish the truth, to avoid responsibility, to dwell on style over

Mr. Beck, could a TV guy like Tony Dean polish the truth? Who is going to take

Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson have clout in Washington DC. Many Republicans, as lead
my Tony Dean, voted for Johnson because of it, and that may have been the biggest
factor in the 2002 South Dakota Senate race. Since Columbine, I witnessed first hand
how the two South Dakota Senators turned their backs on South Dakota gun owners, and
sided with Clinton’s gun control schemes. How much of that was to create and or
maintain their clout? The coverage never reached this depth.

During the 2000 elections, gun control was not as popular as the Democrats had hoped.
Clinton himself credited the Gore’s loss of 5 states, including his home state of
Tennessee, to the gun control issue. James Carville even realized gun control was a loser

During the 2002 Senate race, since Johnson, in 1999 and 2000, also supported much the
same gun control that Gore did, had to overcome that liability. Coming to his rescue was
a Republican sportsman. As Tony Dean delivered the “Johnson is a strong 2nd
Amendment supporter” and we need his clout, it looks like maybe, the Argus Leader rode
shotgun. At a minimum, the Argus Leader failed to implement Randall Beck’s campaign
pledge he made on 2/24/02. Instead they allowed Johnson and his supporters to claim
Johnson is a strong 2nd Amendment supporter, and let those supporters call, those of us
who knew Johnson’s voting record, liars (see Page 4). One of the accusers, Clark Butler,
claimed to know how Johnson voted (see Page 4). Why didn’t the Argus Leader reporter,
Dave Kranz, pursue his claims?

I never had a discussion with Tony Dean on Johnson’s 2nd Amendment voting record,
even though Dean considered Thune’s conservation voting record important to
understand. His main argument was the way Johnson answered the NRA questionnaire
(see Page 3). Those who instead relied on his voting record were to be ignored. We were
only right wing gun zealots (see Page 3). No one, including Tony Dean or the Argus
Leader, has addressed 2nd Amendment concerns about Tim Johnson’s votes in the U.S.
Senate on May 17, 2000. In particular his vote in support of Rosie O’Donnell’s Million
Mom March was the most disturbing. How could anyone argue Rosie was a strong 2nd
amendment supporter? Her 1999 comments about putting hunters in jail for simply
owning guns should have been relevant to the “Sportsman for Johnson” chair and his

For the sake of a healthy democracy, the truth about Tim Johnson’s voting should have
been disclosed to the general public prior to Election Day. The issue was about the 2nd
Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Those of us who knew the truth about Tim Johnson’s
voting record regarding the right to bear arms, were labeled as liars as reported by the
Argus Leader (see Page 4). What was the most frustrating for me was that my 1st
Amendment right not granted by the Argus Leader. I could not defend the 2nd
Amendment. Tim Johnson may have won the election, but the biggest loser may have
been the future of our freedoms. The 2002 South Dakota Senate race left a stain on our
Bill of Rights. Not just the 2nd Amendment, but also the 1st.


To top