May demand a second look in the days before election day, based soley on his answers to the NRA Candidate Questionare.
All but one question has the right answers, and on that one question (regarding gun shows) his middle ground answer shows there is some ability to compromise (and he's not targeting private sales per se).
However, most impressive is his addendum which shows vastly more knowledge of the underlying issues than 99% of the candidates out there, pledges to support and introduce favorable legislation, and best of all the acknowledgement that
There are side benefits to my membership for me, as I am a hand weapon enthusiast and shoot often at the NRA Range in Fairfax.
I've never seen him there, but then again, I wouldn't have been looking for him (or even known what he looks like). Nevertheless, this is a great great response, signifying his understanding that the 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting.
Here's the letter he has posted regarding the NRA Survey and his ranking. Its pretty damning of the organization. I can understand their support of an incumbant, but it seems like they've really given a long time member the short shrift here (emphasis mine).
October 30, 2006
Dear Virginia Sportsmen and Gun Owners,
As a long-time member of the National Rifle Association, you can imagine my surprise when I received a mailing in the form of an Orange Card saying "VOTE FREEDOM FIRST ON NOVEMBER 7 - VOTE GEORGE ALLEN FOR THE U.S. SENATE!"
I am writing this letter to make certain that no Virginia sportsmen or gun owner has any question concerning my stand on Second Amendment and sportsmen rights.
To be clear, I value and will defend your right of self-defense. As a Marine combat veteran who shot "double expert" and once taught the .45 pistol to Officer Candidates, and as a former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, I know first hand the importance of armed self-defense by law-abiding citizens as a deterrent to criminals, and in the long term, to would-be tyrants.
I have possessed a concealed-carry permit for many years, and shoot regularly. I have made no secret during this campaign of the fact that I carry. I support a national concealed carry permit. I also will sponsor a bill in the United States Senate that repeals the National Park Gun Ban that disarms only law-abiding citizens in Interior Department/National Park Service across Virginia. And I intend to get it to the floor for a vote.
Please compare this background with that of my opponent. Individual Second Amendment Rights are ingrained into my Scots-Irish culture, and I stand where I stand.
On the sporting side, I support opening up more Federal land for sportsmen. Federal land is, after all, the property of all Americans. In addition, I support air and water quality measures that improve wildlife habitat. I will be monitoring the "Farm Bill" and its wildlife habitat programs to make sure that Virginia and our abundance of National Forest lands gets its fair share of funding for our wildlife programs.
You can also imagine my frustration when I received my NRA magazine and saw there was a question mark beside my grade. Only after complaining to the NRA did they finally post my grade on their website. I got an "A" which was purposefully omitted from the NRA orange card that, to my shock, urged a vote for George Allen. The question is, why did they not mention my own lifetime of support on these issues?
In order to fully clear the air, I am making public my 2006 NRA Candidate Survey. You can find that at www.webbforsenate.com/nrasurvey.pdf I challenge George Allen to do the same. We should have no more secret surveys in Virginia when it comes to our right to keep and bear arms.
Please help me clear up this deliberate distortion by an organization that I must regretfully conclude has more on its agenda than protecting the earned Second Amendment rights of our citizens.
UPDATE Bitter posts a detailed response to his charges regarding the operations of the NRA. I understand all of them (especially the endorsement of sitting legislators), and agree with her that its likely a timing issue (which would explain the A rating on the web page) but stand by my statement that its a great response. Wouldn't it be nice if George Allen came out and publically offered up an equally thoughtful defense of the second amendment?