UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN BOWS TO COMMON SENSE; MASCOT GETS MUSKET BUT GUN GROUP RESPONDS

Thursday, September 5th, 2002

BELLEVUE, WA – The University of Wisconsin’s silly attempt to disarm West Virginia’s Mountaineer mascot during this Saturday’s football game in Madison was a public relations blunder that has been rectified, yet it revealed a deeper philosophy of academic bigotry that will not be ignored by gun owners.

While congratulating UW officials for quickly regaining some common sense in this matter, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has hired an airplane to fly a pro-gun banner around Camp Randall Stadium during Saturday’s game between the Badgers and Mountaineers.

A key element of the Mountaineer’s garb is a black powder rifle. The effort to ban it was a slap in the face, not only to one school’s tradition, but to First and Second Amendment freedoms that are unique to America, noted Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, one of the nation’s leading firearms civil rights organizations.

“Political correctness has run amok on college campuses long enough. It almost allowed one university to humiliate another in order to make a political statement,” Gottlieb observed. “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. I suppose that should not be surprising, after Wisconsin’s liberal Democrats killed legislation earlier this year that would have allowed qualified residents to arm themselves for personal protection.

“What nearly happened at Wisconsin,” Gottlieb continued, “is symptomatic of a broader anti-gun hysteria that runs rampant throughout liberal academia, at Wisconsin, the University of Utah, University of Washington and elsewhere. Evidently, prejudice is still permissible on campus, so long as the victims are gun owners, the Second Amendment and the civil right it protects.”

UW associate athletic director Jamie Pollard had attempted to justify the ban, arguing, “First of all, it is our game. 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.”

In response, Gottlieb observed, “Actually, Wisconsin is hosting West Virginia, and as gracious hosts, they should make every effort to make their visitors feel welcome and at home. The game really is for both teams, and we’re delighted that Pollard’s boss, Pat Richter, saw it that way and reversed this embarrassing foolishness.

“But this goes beyond some bogus concern about a blank-firing gun in a football stadium,” Gottlieb continued. “This is really about firearms, and the freedom and heritage they represent. On Saturday, UW officials, fans and the nation will see that gun owners will not be mollified or silenced. We’ll use the First Amendment to defend the Second.”

The banner to be flown over Camp Randall Stadium during Saturday’s game will read, simply, “Guns Save Lives.”

“The UW made a decision that it could not defend, and we will make a statement that needs no defense,” said Gottlieb.