Gun-control group aims at Bush

WASHINGTON, DC: Hoping to make its influence felt in key swing states, Handgun Control is aiming its PR efforts squarely at suburban women voters.

WASHINGTON, DC: Hoping to make its influence felt in key swing states, Handgun Control is aiming its PR efforts squarely at suburban women voters.

WASHINGTON, DC: Hoping to make its influence felt in key swing

states, Handgun Control is aiming its PR efforts squarely at suburban

women voters.



Handgun Control, a prominent anti-gun group, is hoping to change the

perception that Americans have of George W. Bush and his stance on gun

control. Its leaders believe the post-Columbine ricochet can only

bolster its efforts.



’Americans will be learning that George Bush and his so-called

’compassionate conservatism’ is the best friend that the gun lobby ever

had,’ said Handgun Control communications director Naomi Paiss.



During his stint as Texas governor, Bush favored laws permitting

citizens to carry concealed weapons. He later supported allowing

concealed weapons in churches, hospitals and amusement parks.



Polling conducted for Handgun Control by the Democratic research firm of

Garin-Hart-Yang in six battleground states shows that the issue could

well prove decisive in the upcoming election.



’We finally realized what we should have known all along: most Americans

don’t know how bad our handgun laws really are,’ Paiss said, admitting

that a media-relations push was long overdue. ’We’ve had good

relationships with the traditional women’s magazines, but we need to

expand that and work with the new media.’



Despite Handgun Control’s best efforts, National Rifle Association

lobbyist Jim Baker thinks the pro-gun vote will still carry the day.

’Recent polls did not put into context the relative importance of the

gun issue, as opposed to issues such as education,’ he said.



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