News and Tribune


April 1, 2013

HOWEY: Political gun battle comes to Indiana



In 1991, Coats voted for the Brady Bill and background checks, according to the “OnTheIssues” website.

Can a New York City mayor sell these reforms to Hoosier voters?

The ads come to Indiana after Bloomberg dropped $2.2 million in the Illinois 2nd congressional district special election earlier this year on Democrat Robin Kelly to replace U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. That district borders just to the west of the Indiana state line. Much of that money was spent in the sprawling Chicago TV market, which covers the northwestern corner of Indiana.

U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee's Second Amendment Initiative, responded to Mayor Bloomberg's television ads by saying, “Here in Indiana, responsible gun owners value the Second Amendment and know that Mayor Bloomberg's knee-jerk reactions on everything from sodas to firearms aren't going to solve the problem.”

Former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke, who headed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence from 2006 to 2011 and is now a professor at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington, told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “If Congressman Stutzman and others would be actually willing to discuss the issue and have an open mind on the issue and learn about the issue, then it could be positive.”

Helmke still owns a home in Stutzman's 3rd congressional district.

The political gun battles here have just begun.


— The columnist publishes at Find him on Twitter @hwypol.

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