Some gun owners are so disenchanted with President Bush that they may vote for a third-party candidate, stay away from the polls, or even back gun-control advocate John F. Kerry, reports the Los Angeles Times. The issues that have most alienated many gun groups from the administration have little to do with firearms, but rather with the Patriot Act and other homeland security measures. Opposition to such laws has aligned gun-rights activists with liberal Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s not just gun rights for us, it’s the Bill of Rights,” said Angel Shamaya of KeepAndBearArms.com. “A lot of gun-rights advocates are from mildly upset to livid over President Bush and his administration.”
Bush may have lost enough gun-rights support to keep them from becoming an energized and influential voting bloc in a close election. “I have great respect for this administration. But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with confiscating nail clippers from grandmothers and poking magnetic wands up skirts” at airports, says the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre. Leaders of the NRA – with 4 million members the largest gun-rights group are likely to back Bush again mainly because they don’t like Kerry.