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By Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - Montana gunsmith Dan Cooper has been ousted as chief executive of the rifle company that bears his name after pressure from gun owners who are angry that he is supporting Democrat Barack Obama.

Cooper, founder and part owner of Cooper Firearms, told USA TODAY in a story published Tuesday that he has voted for Republicans for most of his life, but he is backing Obama "probably because of the war. And also because the Republican Party has moved so far right in recent years." Cooper said he was attracted to the Democrat's message about "the retooling of America, which involves the building of middle-class jobs and helping American small business be competitive with those overseas."

ELECTION 2008: More executives sold on Obama

Cooper contributed $3,300 to Obama's presidential campaign, according to election records complied by the non-partisan CQ MoneyLine.

The USA TODAY article sparked outrage from some gun owners and bloggers, including an open letter on a blog called Firearms and Freedom, urging people to boycott the company's products. Many gun enthusiasts believe Obama will try to restrict their right to bear arms, although he has said he respects the Second Amendment.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Barack Obama | Pennsylvania | Hillary Rodham Clinton | Republican Party | Republican John McCain | Second Amendment | Freedom | McCarthyism | CQ MoneyLine | Hunters | then-President George H.W | Dan Cooper | Shooters Association | Mr. Cooper | America When

In a portion of the interview that was not included in Tuesday's story, Cooper said, "I don't believe that what's being said about Obama and his policies about guns are accurate. I have had a conversation with the senator … he is a stanch supporter of the right to hunt and the right to bear arms."

The company posted a statement Wednesday night on its website that said:

"The employees, shareholders and board of directors of Cooper Firearms of Montana do not share the personal political views of Dan Cooper. Although we all believe everyone has a right to vote and donate as they see fit, it has become apparent that the fallout may affect more than just Mr. Cooper. It may also affect the employees and the shareholders of Cooper Firearms. The board of directors has asked Mr. Cooper to resign as President."

Cooper Firearms employs 38 people, Cooper said Monday. Cooper started the company with two partners in 1990. It manufactures wood-stock bolt-action hunting rifles that start at around $1,600. In October 1992, Cooper presented a rifle to then-President George H.W. Bush at a Montana campaign event.

In a statement Thursday to USA TODAY, Cooper said, "There is nothing on this earth I will not do for my employees … we have fought through 20 years of building what I believe to be the finest rifles built in America …When the internet anger turned on these innocent people, I felt it was important to distance myself from the company so as not to cause any further harm."

He said he had resigned the company. He did not address whether he will maintain an ownership stake - except to say, "stronger measures may be forthcoming."

"It's a really McCarthyism at its worst," said Bob Ricker, executive director of the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which has endorsed Obama. "That's really why our organization was formed, was to deal with this craziness. If you're a gun owner, but you have a contrary view to some of these wackos, they will go out and try to destroy you."

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, said in a phone interview that he was disturbed by the backlash against Cooper.

"It's the silly season," Schweitzer said. "There are people who have partisan interests here, and they are using the gun issue. Three weeks from now these bloggers are going to wake up, look under their bed and see that their gun is still there."

The governor, who once described himself as a "gun-toting. .. kind of Democrat," said he is a "big supporter of Cooper Arms."

"I'll go anywhere in the country to help them sell their product," he said.

Representatives for the campaigns of Obama and Republican John McCain did not respond to requests for comment.

Some gun bloggers, such as one who blogs on snowflakesinhell.com, had posted the company's e-mail address and telephone number, encouraging gun owners to boycott Cooper Firearms the company and contact its top executives.

"This needs to get around," wrote the blogger who identifies himself only as "Sebastian, a thirty something, self professed 'gun nut' living somewhere in Pennsylvania." He added: "Gun owners need to know which companies sell their interests down the river. Here's contact info for Cooper Firearms. I would talk to them, and be sure they know Obama's record, why you're not voting for him, and why you'll never buy one of their products."

The company said in a statement to USA TODAY that it had received more than a thousand emails over the controversy.

When the USA TODAY story was first published, Cooper Firearms posted a statement saying that Dan Cooper had only given money to Obama in order to "to help defeat Hillary Clinton" in the Democratic primaries and to protest the shifting of American jobs overseas. The statement said Cooper had then given money to the McCain and the Republican National Committee. Election records show no Cooper donations to McCain or the RNC, and the statement was later taken down.

Last year, a similar outpouring of outrage derailed the career of Wyoming outdoorsman Jim Zumbo after he denounced the use of assault rifles for hunting. Zumbo was a staff writer for Outdoor Life magazine and the host of a television show on the Outdoor Channel.

"Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity," Zumbo wrote in his blog on outdoorlife.com. "I'll go so far as to call them 'terrorist' rifles."

"Within a few days, I was radioactive in the industry," Zumbo writes on his website, jimzumbo.com. The magazine "asked me for my resignation, and I was suddenly without employment. I was done writing, and my TV show was on hiatus. Many of the companies that supported me in the past issued severance statements with me on their websites, as did shooting and firearms organizations," including the National Rifle Association.

Zumbo was able to save his career by publicly embracing assault rifles. He wrote a mea culpa entitled, "I was wrong, big time." And he "went on to work with the Second Amendment Foundation … and attended a three-day assault rifle course, which I immensely enjoyed," he writes on his website.

"It's very simple supporting the second amendment is like being pregnant. Either you do or you don't,," said Jim Shepherd, who publishes the Outdoor Wire and other newsletters. "Is it right? It just is. It's the way it works. It's absolutism. Dan Cooper laughed at his customers. If that company does not take Cooper out of its name, they're dead."

Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said the Cooper Firearms controversy is "an indication of how voters and gun owners feel about Barack Obama. He has a lifetime record of opposing their rights."

Obama has been trying to assure voters otherwise.

Earlier this month in Lebanon, Ohio, he said, "I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people's lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won't take your handgun away."
 

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I'm surprised there are no replies to this...

Some guys on here are talking about selling their rifles due to the prospect of an Obama presidency... In contrast, we've got the owner of a gun company giving money to Obama's campaign. What gives?
 

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"It's a really McCarthyism at its worst," said Bob Ricker, executive director of the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which has endorsed Obama. "That's really why our organization was formed, was to deal with this craziness. If you're a gun owner, but you have a contrary view to some of these wackos, they will go out and try to destroy you."
More deceptive liberalism. Know what I mean? What I mean is The American Hunters and Shooters Association is an anti-gun group. I think it was called Handgun Control Inc. Not sure about that, but I know they changed their name to sound like a group of sportsmen. They do such a good job some hunters have sent them money. It's been a couple years and some people who live in a vacuum still don't know about this deceptive anti-gun zealots.

Not all liberals are anti-gun, but nearly all anti-gun people are liberal.
 

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What I can't understand is the comment that the Republicans are swinging too far right I would love to see specifics on that.

Since around 1998-9 they have been steadlily becoming more and more liberal on evry single issue except the war on Islamic fundamantalism and even with that they have swung left of where they started in the Bush Adminstration.

However if the guy wants to support Obama he should be able to do so without all the recrimination, same with Zumbo IMO.

On the other hand Its very stupid to poke your customer base in the eye and then be suprised when you get your finger bit off.

Obama is without question anti-gun ownership
 

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I can keep my Cooper...since they canned him :wink: (or did he resign?)

Bob has echoed my sentiments. I heard Powell say it first, that the party has moved too far to the right.

Hogwash!

Only closet liberals would make such a statement. McCain is so far left he shouldn't even have gotten onto the Republican party's guest list. Just like his gun views, he's only "right" by comparison to Obama.

....and I sure wish it scared more people here than it appears to. :eek:

When the USA TODAY story was first published, Cooper Firearms posted a statement saying that Dan Cooper had only given money to Obama in order to "to help defeat Hillary Clinton" in the Democratic primaries and to protest the shifting of American jobs overseas. The statement said Cooper had then given money to the McCain and the Republican National Committee. Election records show no Cooper donations to McCain or the RNC, and the statement was later taken down
I am MUCH LESS tolerant of dishonesty than of closet liberals, so I may have bought my last Cooper anyway.

You guys can disagree with me, but as far as I'm concerned that is how America is supposed to work. Remember back in the old days when people wouldn't buy anything that didn't say "made in USA" on it? You know, before Wal Mart? Now it's all about the bottom line, so I'm actually thrilled to see the consumer can still swing a BIG STICK !!!

:2cents:

Good post, Willy! :beer:
 

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What I can't understand is the comment that the Republicans are swinging too far right I would love to see specifics on that.
They are not moving further right, they are moving further left. It's either a liberal hallucination, or the comments are made by people so young they don't know left of right.

Only closet liberals would make such a statement.
They are the only ones that think they are in the closet. They are clearly liberal to the rest of us. I get a big kick out of these far left people that think they are centrist. Most who make that statement don't have a grasp on where they stand. I am always surprised at who thinks they are centrist. What confuses me is how they can all have such a bad estimate of where they stand. No problem though it's worth a laugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I struggled with if this was right or wrong... I can understand both points of view. I think he should be able to have his own point of view and keep his job but on the other hand you have some of your customer base that is going to quit buying your products due to your beliefs.... in that business I guess the lesson is if you don't follow the crowd, keep your mouth shut. Imagine if teachers unions kicked out republican teachers.
 

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Imagine if teachers unions kicked out republican teachers.
Imagine if the teacher's union stuck to teaching instead of indoctrination. (the union, not most individual teacher's I know as I hunt with a couple of teachers that refuse to follow the union's BS)
 

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JustAnotherDog said:
Imagine if teachers unions kicked out republican teachers.
Imagine if the teacher's union stuck to teaching instead of indoctrination. (the union, not most individual teacher's I know as I hunt with a couple of teachers that refuse to follow the union's BS)
No kidding my brother and his wife retired a few years ago. I went with them a couple of times to the North Dakota Teachers Union and it was a total indoctrination. The anti-hunting crowd passes out their brain wash pamphlets too, and the teachers get all gushy and haul them back to their students. Ever see the NRA at a teachers convention? Ya right. :eyeroll: They should stick to math, reading, and science and not brain wash the kids.
 

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If you can't procreate, you must recruit!

A California school system refuses to say what action, if any, it will take after it received complaints about a kindergarten teacher who encouraged her students to sign "pledge cards" in support of gays.

During a celebration of National Ally Week, Tara Miller, a teacher at the Faith Ringgold School of Arts and Science in Hayward, Calif., passed out cards produced by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to her class of kindergartners.

The cards asked signers to be "an ally" and to pledge to "not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts."

The school has acknowledged that the exercise was not appropriate for kindergartners.

Parent Adela Voelker, who declined to be interviewed in depth for this report, said she was furious when she found her child's signature on one of the cards. She said she contacted a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in parents' rights.

Meanwhile, a school board member, Jeff Cook, says some type of action should be taken.

"We have a general rule that all instruction should be age appropriate, and this clearly was not," said Cook, who has served on the school board for five years.

Val Joyner, a school district spokeswoman, told FOXNews.com in an e-mail that when deciding what to teach on this subject matter, educators "gather materials from community agencies and other education groups" and that "the materials have grade level indicators which help determine what is age-appropriate."

The district said the pledge cards were intended for middle school and high school students.

Asked last week if the district planned to take action against Miller, Joyner said she would have to look into the incident. On Thursday she told FOXNews.com that she did not have an answer for the question and that she would no longer be doing any media interviews.

Joyner said in an e-mail that Miller, the teacher, "planned to teach students how to become an ally and conflict-mediation through various activities." She added that the district doesn't advocate for a specific cause and/or lifestyle, and it has "no curriculum for gay, lesbian and transgender lifestyles."

The district employs a "Professional Learning Specialist: Equity," who is in charge of gathering material and helping teachers decide what should be taught on the subject matter.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, the group representing Voelker, said parents at the Faith Ringgold School weren't notified of what was going to take place in the classroom.

He said that teaching students as young as pre-school about gay, lesbian and transgender issues is common in California, but that there are "all kinds of material the average parent could find highly objectionable or potentially harmful" to their children.

When asked if the school district did anything wrong, he said, "possibly," but he declined to go into detail or say whether Voelker would sue the district.

Dacus would not comment specifically on whether children who signed the pledge could be held responsible if the school determined that they were not honoring it. He said they are minors and there are certain degrees of limited liability, but from a psychological and emotional perspective, it's a whole different ballgame.

"[There is] tremendous peer pressure put on children to accept a pro-homosexual philosophy and attitude," Dacus said.

Meanwhile, opponents of gay marriage are up in arms over the incident, which occurred as California voters prepare to vote Tuesday on Proposition 8, which would overturn the state Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage.

"How do you teach a 5-year-old to sign a pledge card for lesbian, gay and transgender issues without explaining what transgender and bisexual is?" asked Sonja Eddings Brown, a spokeswoman for Protect Marriage California.
Where's the teacher's union on these things?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445865,00.html
 

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More teacher union info:

BISMARCK - North Dakota's new Teacher of the Year was barred from a reception held to honor top teachers because she declined to join the North Dakota Education Association, education officials said. One denounced the move as "hurtful and vindictive."

Beth Ekre, a sixth-grade teacher at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School in Fargo, showed up for the Oct. 23 "celebration of excellence" social at a Fargo hotel, hours after her selection as North Dakota's Teacher of the Year was announced at an NDEA instructional conference.

The event was intended to honor award-winning teachers, including the new teacher of the year and the North Dakota winner of the Milken Educator Award, officials said.
So much for ND being a right to work state.
 
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