Mountaineer May Carry His Black Powder Rifle

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

( - The Second Amendment Foundation has hired an airplane to fly a pro-gun banner over the crowd at Saturday's football game between the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the West Virginia Mountaineers. "Guns save lives," the banner will read.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) says by hiring an airplane to tow the banner over the crowd in Wisconsin, it is using the First Amendment (free speech) to defend the Second Amendment (gun rights).

The SAF is upset about a "public relations blunder" by the University of Wisconsin, which tried to ban the black powder rifle carried by the Mountaineers' "mountain-man" mascot.

The SAF calls the ban - reversed after an outcry - "a slap in the face, not only to one school's tradition, but the First and Second Amendments that are unique to America."

Alan Gottlieb, the SAF's founder, commented, "How ironic that such a thing could occur in a city named for James Madison, father of the Constitution and author of the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment. The Mountaineer, complete with his rifle, has been welcome by other schools and their administrators, but not Wisconsin."

"What nearly happened at Wisconsin," Gottlieb said in a press release, "is symptomatic of a broader anti-gun hysteria that runs rampant throughout liberal academia."

The University of Wisconsin's associate athletic director Jamie Pollard tried to justify the rifle ban. "First of all, it is our game," Pollard was quoted as saying. "And we don't need a gun going off in front of 80,000 people. In the big spirit of it all, I understand why they want to do it. But it is our home game."

Pollard's boss, Pat Richter, reversed the decision to ban the Mountaineers' rifle, which fires blanks.

"On Saturday, UW officials, fans and the nation will see that gun owners will not be mollified or silenced," said Gottlieb.