Advocates on both sides of gun issue weigh in on elections

In the political gun wars, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has endorsed two Democratic congressional incumbents from Minnesota.  They are 4th District Rep. Betty McCollum and 5th District Rep. Keith Ellison. The group says its endorsement is built around the premise of “common-sense gun laws.”

At the other end of the gun dispute, the National Rifle Association has endorsed Republican presidential nominee John McCain, as well as an array of Minnesota congressional incumbents and challengers.

The NRA is backing Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and three Republican congressional candidates: 2nd District incumbent John Kline, 3rd District candidate Erik Paulsen and 6th District incumbent Michele Bachmann.

Three Democratic incumbents got the NRA blessing, too: 1st District Rep. Tim Walz, 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson and 8th District Rep. Jim Oberstar.

It should be noted that Bachmann’s challenger, El Tinklenberg, received a “qualified” A grade (AQ) from the NRA based on his answers to the organization’s questionnaire. The group notes, however, that he has no 2nd Amendment voting record.  Despite the AQ rating, the NRA will send out mailings supporting Bachmann but not Tinklenberg.

Three other congressional candidates have received AQs: Republicans Brian Davis in the 1st District, Glen Menze in the 7th and Michael Cummins in the 8th.

McCollum and Ellison received F grades from the NRA.

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