Fri 17 Oct, 2008 10:19 am

Obama supporters decry gun store ad
By Steve Lynn The Daily Times
Article Launched: 10/16/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

Cope Reynolds, owner of Southwest Shooting Authority, said Lora Bradford got angry when she saw a sign saying, "Pre-Osama bin Biden sale" advertising a sale at a local gun store.

"I think it was redneck and ignorant to put such a sign up," said Bradford, of Kirtland.

The sign outside Southwest Shooting Authority has offended Bradford and other Sen. Barack Obama supporters who complain that the Democratic presidential candidate and his running mate should not be linked with Osama bin Laden, the terrorist behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

"If this sign offended people, I am damn proud of it," said Cope Reynolds, owner of the gun store.

Obama and vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden want to take away Second Amendment rights of gun owners and Reynolds believes Obama has "terrorist connections," Reynolds said.

And Reynolds has "other reasons."

"A lot of it is because of his Muslim upbringing," said Reynolds, who planned to take down the sign Wednesday or today because the sale has ended. "I'm not saying he's Muslim now. Of course, I have my doubts, my suspicions."

Kent Salazar, a hunter and former president of New Mexico Wildlife Federation, a hunting and fishing lobby, called Reynolds' comments "a bunch of hooey."

Salazar said he supports Obama because the candidate has said he will protect his right to bear firearms, said Salazar, who also is a member of the National Rifle Association.

"As far as a guy trying to make money selling some rifles with a silly sign, I mean, that's kind of humorous to me," he added.

Nancy Walsh, a gun owner who lives in Gilbert, Ariz., said the sign promotes fear of the candidates. Bradford told her about the sign.

"There's no reason to cause fear or hate among the community in order to get your point across," she said.

Tennille Burns, an undecided voter who lives in Kirtland, said the sign irritated her. She called the sign a "crude gesture."

"It's disturbing," she said.

Reynolds also bought an Obama mask on which he put a turban. He displays the mask in his store.

Reynolds said he supports Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, but only because "he's the lesser of two evils."

Reynolds said his disdain for Obama has nothing to do with race. He would have voted for Alan Keyes or Condoleezza Rice " if they were in the presidential race.

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