District 12 House candidate Mike Knudson makes room for four position statements on his campaign Issues webpage. He says the following on Hunting and Fishing:

I fully support 2nd Amendment rights for South Dakotans. Our Game, Fish and Parks Department does a good job of protecting and promoting hunting and fishing rights for South Dakota. I plan to work hard to increase the sporting opportunities for the average South Dakota hunter and fisherman [Mike Knudson, "Issues," Knudson for House campaign website, retrieved 2012.07.08].

I'm not sure Knudson has made any other major campaign statement on hunting or gun issues, but "I fully support" seems a pretty categorical statement on the Second Amendment.

Apparently that statement isn't enough for Ed Randazzo, who graffitifies Knudson's Facebook campaign page with the following blast:

I can see that you are just as much a gun grabber as your Dad. Hunting issues have NOTHING to do with 2nd Amendment rights. SDGO buried your Dad when he ran for governor and we'll be there for you now [Ed Randazzo, Facebook comment, 2012.07.07].

SDGO—that's South Dakota Gun Owners, the strong-arm gun lobby who would have you believe the National Rifle Association is a tool of anti-gun liberal elites.

Knudson doesn't take Randazzo's baloney lying down. He rebuts the Rapid City radical hard in a conversation spanning late Saturday night and Sunday. Note the guest appearance from a District 9 incumbent who may be sitting across the aisle from Knudson in Pierre come January:


  • Knudson for House Eddie — One of my goals is to be a successful legislator like my father was and to make South Dakota a better place. It is disappointing to hear you OPPOSE South Dakota hunters.

  • Ed Randazzo I do not oppose hunters. I oppose anyone who would limit my 2nd Amendment rights. Hiding behind support for hunters and sportsmen anti-gunners vote against bills like Constitutional Carry. Anti-gunners like your Dad vote against bills in committee to prohibit locally instituted orders that create gun-free zones in obvious defiance of SD laws. Then they claim to be "pro-gun." That sort of disingenuous crap enrages me. If you are anti-gun, then stand up and say so. My Constitutional rights are about self-defense and taking responsibility for my safety and my family's safety, not hunting. I'm fine with hunting and hunters, you use hunters as a shield to confuse the issue. That dog wont hunt with me.

  • Knudson for House Sorry to hear you oppose hunting. I'm proud to pay my property taxes on time and support South Dakota hunters, it's too bad you don't.

  • Ed Randazzo The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.......WHAT DIDN'T YOU UNDERSTAND??? I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTERS, HUNTING OR SPORTSMEN'S RIGHTS!!! I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTERS, HUNTING OR SPORTSMEN'S RIGHTS!!! I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTERS, HUNTING OR SPORTSMEN'S RIGHTS!!! Did you get it this time? Your snide remarks about property taxes mean nothing to me. I pay my property taxes on time too. Check it out. Now be a man and retract your baseless charge or I will print this exchange and mail it to your entire district.

  • Steve Hickey Your tactics Ed are horrific. Shame on you.

  • Knudson for House Dear Ed, I have enjoyed our spirited exchange, but I am afraid that this will have to be my last response to you as further discussion is not likely to change our opinions. I'm glad we both pay our property taxes on time as all good citizens should do. We agree on this point.However, on the hunting issue, we do disagree. The everyday hunter in South Dakota is in a tough place and needs all the help he or she can get. It is harder and harder to find good, free public hunting opportunities in South Dakota. Fewer and fewer people are taking up hunting. More and more, our state seems to cater to the out-of-state hunters who are willing to pay more than the average South Dakotan can afford to enjoy what is, in essence, private hunting. There are many people and some legislators who want to repeal the open fields doctrine which is critical to enforcement of the hunting regulations and limits to which the everyday, average South Dakotan hunter subscribes and understands are important to game management in our state.When people like you call a legislative candidate a "gun grabber" for the sole reason that he says he SUPPORTS hunter's rights, you do hunters no good. No one proposes to take people's guns. It is just plain foolish to think supporting hunter's rights is the same as "grabbing guns." The average South Dakota hunter needs all the legislative support he/she can get, and I intend to provide that solid support to them. I support open fields, greater public hunting opportunities, and any other proposals which will benefit the ordinary citizen of Sioux Falls and the rest of South Dakota who wants to maintain our state's great tradition of hunting. Calling pro-hunting people like me "gun grabbers" is #1 an out and out lie and #2 harmful to the interests of the average hunter. Saying you support hunter's rights three times in capital letters doesn't change that.

    If you do send a copy of our exchange to every voter in District 12, please include all of it including this final response by me.

    Mike Knudson
    South Dakota House Candidate for District 12

Well said, Mike! Fellow Democrat Susan Randall should have no problem joining Knudson in calling out Randazzo's gun hysteria. One would hope their incumbent Republican opponents, Manny Steele and Hal Wick, would find the intellectual honesty displayed by Rep. Hickey in rejecting SDGO's aggressive deceit. Alas, Wick is likely in Randazzo's camp; remember, Wick thinks the Second Amendment isn't just a right, but an obligation.