Watts attacks Gore on gun-control

Monday, May 22nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts said Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore is using fear and deception to push a gun-control agenda.

"Vice President Al Gore is the type of politician where nothing is sacred, that will say and do anything to preserve their own political future," Watts told members of the National Rifle Association in a keynote speech at the group's annual convention in North Carolina.

The Republican from Norman said Gore's motives are to "in still fear in Americans as he talks about illegal guns."

Watts blamed gun violence, especially incidents involving children, on a national emergency caused by weakened parental rights, easy divorce, missing fathers, liberal abortion laws, marginalized religion and Hollywood.

Watts called filmmakers "cultural polluters" who are bombarding American children with epics of blood, sex and alcoholism, the Tulsa World's Washington bureau reported.

He also said more violent films are linked to school shootings.

"The time has come for some in Hollywood to admit that while it can inspire people to do good, it can also inspire people to do evil," Watts said.

He did not mention likely Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush in his speech. He was an early supporter of Bush.

The GOP has reportedly become uncomfortable with any link between the NRA and Bush after a video was made public showing an NRA official saying the group would be operating out of a Bush White House.

Watts has said he supports stepped up enforcement of federal gun laws already on the books.

He has focused on "Project Exile," which calls for federal prosecutors to take over certain gun cases that normally would have been handled by the states.