Scandal Shows Why Gun-Control Schemes Can't Be Trusted, Group Says

July 7, 2008 - 7:05 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A Second Amendment group says a scandal involving members of Sen. Chuck Schumer's staff shows why the Democrat's gun control schemes cannot be trusted.

The scandal has been quietly unfolding since July, but the mainstream press has largely ignored the story, said the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Two of Schumer's staffers, working for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, are accused of fraudulently obtaining credit information on Maryland's Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

The staffers reportedly used Steele's Social Security number - obtained from public documents -- to gain access to his credit reports in the hope that they might find something that would damage him politically.

Schumer has denied any knowledge about the activities of his research director Katie Barge and staffer Laura Weiner, both of whom were forced to quit their jobs at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (which Schumer chairs) when their activities came to light, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said.

But their departure is irrelevant, he added, given the larger implications of what they're accused of doing.

"This story reveals how irresponsible Schumer's people would be with the kind of information the senator has wanted to amass on gun owners over the years through his invasive gun control schemes," Gottlieb said.

He added that Schumer has backed "all kinds of intrusive legislation that would require law-abiding Americans to surrender their privacy" just to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Among other things, Schumer has backed bills requiring mandatory background checks for handgun purchases and he authored the 1994 assault weapons ban.

Gottlieb said the invasion of Lt. Gov. Steele's privacy tells American gun owners what "Schumer's minions could and would do" with private data on gun-owning citizens.

"We now have good reason to be suspicious of any gun control mandates that include disclosure of a person's Social Security number and other personal information on purchase forms...the kind of information Schumer wants the government to retain," Gottlieb said.

"Americans have every right to be concerned that anti-gunners of Schumer's ilk, including those on his payroll, would use whatever means available to dig up dirt on gun owners, just to find some reason why they should not be allowed to own firearms."

Gottlieb said Sen. Schumer should be held to the same standard of accountability for the acts of his underlings as President Richard Nixon was more than 30 years ago for the activities of his underlings in the Watergate scandal.

The incident involving Schumer's DSCC staffers was particularly embarrassing for the senator, who introduced a bill aimed at preventing identity theft in April.

Katie Barge, Schumer's now-departed research director at the DSCC, formerly served as research director at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group that seeks to discredit leading conservatives.

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