A BuzzFlash News Analysis
Bush and The Bushmaster
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
It may come off to some Americans as a horribly tragic and tasteless pun that the assault weapon allegedly used by the assumed sniper in the Metro D.C. area was manufactured by a firearms firm called Bushmaster. After all, although BuzzFlash took Bush to task for toadying up to the NRA and opposing a measure that might have prevented serial shootings in the future, we would never accuse Bush of being associated with the gun company that manufactured the sniper's assault gun.
Yet, the odd thing is that there is a Bush connection to Bushmaster. It is a connection that is darkly symbolic of the White House's craven subservience to the gun lobby. You see, Richard E. Dyke, the owner of Bushmaster Firearms, was the chief fundraiser for Bush in Maine, where Bushmaster is located, until July of 1999.
Why would Bush have dropped money bags Bushmaster when both are locked-at-the-hip-and-lip-with-the-NRA? After all, Dyke's guns, touted as the most accurate assault weapons "sold today -- by a long shot." That should make him a hero in Bush's John Wayne inner circle.
But when Bush was running for President, he was trying a bait-and-switch on the gun issue, even though he had sponsored and signed a bill that allowed Texans to carry handguns into churches, hospitals and nursing homes. So, when a reporter asked why a man who manufactures assault weapons, pushing at the edge of the envelope when it comes to firearms laws, was Bush's chief fundraiser in Maine, Dyke stepped aside to avoid further questions.
Then, in the early summer of 1999, an AR-15 assault weapon was found in the van of Buford Furrow. If you're unfamiliar with Furrow, on an August day, he "walked into the North Valley Jewish Community Center in the San Fernando Valley and fired about 70 shots from an AR-15 Bushmaster. Incredibly, only one of the five people who were shot, a 5-year-old boy, was critically injured, with four bullets in his stomach and leg. Four others -- two boys, a 16-year-old student counselor and a 68-year-old staff member -- were treated for injuries and listed in good condition by Wednesday."
On Wednesday, October, 24, 2002, another Bushmaster assault weapon was found in a car. This time, the XM15 Bushmaster has turned out to be the assault weapon that was likely used to mercilessly shoot down 13 people in a serial sniper attack across two states and the District of Columbia.
In 1999, Salon.com uncovered the tragically resonant relationship between Bush and Bushmaster. The Salon article, entitled "Guns and Money," described Dyke's company:
"Bushmaster Firearms, currently in its 20th year, manufactures automatic rifles not unlike military M-16s. Bushmaster promotional materials brag that the company is 'producing the highest quality, most accurate AR15/M16 type firearms sold today -- by a long shot!' Bushmaster sells guns modified slightly so as to comply with the letter -- if not the spirit -- of the 1994 assault weapons ban.
"And as the ban only outlawed the manufacture and importation of certain assault weapons, and not the sale of such guns already manufactured, Bushmaster continues to sell banned weapons, like the one found in Furrow's van. Its catalog refers to the assault weapons ban as 'infamous.'
"Bushmaster Firearms was sued by Los Angeles police officer Martin Whitfield after he and several other officers were injured in a 1997 bank robbery shootout in which the LAPD was seriously outgunned by robbers packing assault weapons." (See: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/08/11/gun/print.html)
Mr. Bush's supporters, such as Dyke and the gun lobby, endanger the lives of everyday Americans and law enforcement officials. Bush opposes pro-law enforcement, crime prevention and crime solving legislation that could help curtail future sniper attacks because the gun lobby told him to. He hangs out with the likes of Mr. Bushmaster, and we assume, still accepts his blood money.
In a BuzzFlash editorial earlier today, we pointed out that one reason Bush barely commented on the sniper shootings was that he didn't want to alienate the gun lobby. Bush was AWOL, as usual, as the sniper took his toll with a Bushmaster. The "Commander in Chief" was too busy campaigning and raising money to try and create a one-party government that will last as long as his permanent war.
It is all too fitting -- and tragic for our nation -- that American citizens were victims of an internal terrorist attack carried out with a Bushmaster gun.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
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BuzzFlash's editorial on "Bush, Betrayal, Bowling for Columbine, the NRA, And the War for Our Lives" can be found at http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/2002/10/24_Sniper.html.
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