An Oregon lawmaker, who is also a conservative talk radio host, has crossed the line from being an advocate for unlimited gun sales to an unethical, inappropriate harasser that could endanger clergymen who oppose his NRA-style politics.
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The Oregonian reports that Oregon State Rep. Bill Post of Keizer took to Facebook to post the phone numbers and home addresses of three clergymen who are backing an initiative to ban sales of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines in the state. Post urged his supporters to personally contact them.
“Should anyone want to make a phone call or send a note,” Post wrote on Wednesday above a phone number with the personal information of three of those who have petitioned to get the initiative on the state ballot, “feel free to right click and save the picture and then share everywhere.”
Post described the proposed initiative as a “gun confiscation ballot measure” on the Facebook group page of The Heirs of Patrick Hendry, Northwest, using a typical NRA lie to fire up the 1,000 or so gun owners who subscribe to the page even though the initiative would not take away their guns.
During a phone interview today with the Oregonian, Post said he did it because “knowledge is power.” He added that he called all three but declined to specify what he said because it was “between me and them.”
The behavior is inexcusable. It’s one thing to provide a business contact or even a Facebook link, but Post gave out their personal cell phone numbers as well as the residences of their families, which opens the door to some gun owner deciding to take an action that could jeopardize innocents.
Those Oregon clergy who Post exposed to this dangerous situation are Rev. Alcena Boozer of St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Pastor W. J. Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church, and Rabbi Michael Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel.
Rabbi Cahana told the Oregonian that he was surprised to have received “quite a number of calls on my cell phone.” He said they were mostly from polite callers who “certainly shared their views” on the firearms proposal.
However, he said other comments sent via email and Facebook were “not so polite.”
So far the proposal to ban the sale of assault weapons in the state is in the early stages. It still requires at least 88,000 signatures by July 6 from registered Oregon voters to get on the November ballot.
Curiously, Post said he wanted to see it get on the ballot, apparently because he believes that would fire up the base of gun owners and lead to more activism, donations, and rallies.
“Please put it on the ballot,” Post told the newspaper, “It will be the greatest red wave in Oregon’s history.”
Post has continued his two-decade broadcast career on an AM station even while serving in the legislature, where he was first elected in 2014. His followers attended a rally in 2015 to protest the first major gun control bill in the state in fourteen years, which required background checks for private gun sales.
Despite their protests and a vigorous campaign to defeat it mounted by the NRA, the bill passed and was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown. An attempt to recall that law was also a failure.
Oregon has a progressive population who have passed some of the strongest laws concerning gay rights, allowing abortion and other things conservatives oppose, so there is no assurance Post and his fellow gun promoters would win this battle either.
However, it probably would pump up his radio ratings, help him in his next election and give him even more celebrity, which is probably what really fuels his nasty, inappropriate behavior.