(08/02/2006)
By Bob Weaver

US Senate candidate John Raese has placed full-page gun ads in WV papers.

The ad, showing Raese in an expensive pin-stripped suit, an "elephant gun" over his shoulder and his finger on the trigger, says "We Need A New Gun In Washington."

During the last two election cycles, many candidates ran on "cowboy politics" by posing with their rifles, or using the neo-conservative attack of the NRA - "They're going to take our guns from us."

Raese's ad targets West Virginia's many gun owners and hunters.

But it should not be mistaken as a lesson in gun safety.

Safety rules considered fundamental by the National Rifle Association say to always keep your finger off the trigger when you're holding a gun, until you're ready to shoot.

The Raese campaign says the ad is not meant to promote gun safety.

"Big medicine is what we need in West Virginia right now to take care of the big Byrd," said Raese, the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd. "Everything is symbolic."

Carl Rove's political strategy for George Bush may have ended, proclaimed recently in Time Magazine "The end of cowboy politics."


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