Staff Editorial: Focus on votes, not guns this election season

In hopes of revitalizing their conservative base, Republicans in New Hampshire are coming up with unorthodox methods in getting the word out: hands-on experience with military-style weapons.

The Manchester Republican Committee has invited party members and their families to a "Machine Gun Shoot" where, for $25, attendants have the opportunity to spend the day firing off automatic weapons, such as an Uzi submachine guns and M-16 rifles, Reuters reported.

"The family day," as the event’s organizer has called it, was created to promote gun ownership advocacy in this battleground state.

All 2008 Republican presidential candidates were invited, but turned down the invitation.

And nobody could blame them. After the shocking incidents that transpired earlier this year at Virginia Tech, gun ownership advocacy is probably one of the few things Republicans want their name attached to.

And to add another level of disturbance regarding the event: There has been a spike in violent crimes in the area the event will be held.

The right to bear arms has always been a hot-button topic for both sides of the aisles. It has recently come to the forefront again after the acts of a mentally disturbed young adult caused much grief for this nation.

In New Hampshire, whose motto is "Live Free or Die," buying a gun is relatively easy: a handgun license and safety training aren’t necessary for purchasing a gun.

Tact should always be at the top of the list for Republicans, especially when dealing with an issue that could polarize the country even more. Somebody could think they’re glorifying the use of machine guns for political gains.

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