Gun rights supporters post video clip outside home of gun control supporter Sen. Ginny Burdick
SALEM, Mar 05, 2013 (The Oregonian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Sen. Ginny Burdick says she refuses to be intimidated after gun rights supporters posted online a video clip shot outside of her home Monday night, when she was scheduled to host a town hall event that she canceled last Wednesday.
The video at Watchdog Wire, a conservative citizen journalism website, was posted by Jeff Reynolds, editor of the site's Oregon edition and chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party.
The clip questions whether Burdick, D-Portland, had a scheduling conflict that she cited when she canceled her March 4 town hall at Portland State University. Reynolds, who was not there during the filming, speculates in his post that Burdick did not want to face gun owners upset with her gun control efforts. Reynolds declined to name the person who shot it.
The three-and-a-half-minute video spans more than two hours outside Burdick's home and includes footage of her driving home, hauling her recycling container into her garage and checking her mail. A person is shown knocking on her door around 7:30 p.m., though Burdick did not answer.
"It was clearly an attempt to intimidate me," Burdick said Tuesday morning. "It's a sad time when people feel they can intimidate people like that."
Oregon lawmakers are "citizen legislators," who often hold down other jobs and receive no special security in their private lives.
Burdick said she has received threatening e-mails and once received tar and feathers in the mail when she led a 2000 effort to require background checks at gun shows. She said she is "cautious" and has security at her house but remains concerned about her safety.
"I think it's a concern because these people are very angry and they're carrying guns," Burdick said. "It's not a good combination."
The clip showed the need for "reasonable gun laws so people who are mentally unstable or threatening" do not have access to guns, she said. She did not answer her door when the person in the video knocked because "something told me not to answer it."
"I don't get that many people knocking on my door at that hour," she said. "I'm glad I listened to my instinct."
Burdick, the Legislature's most prominent gun control supporter, has championed bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. Neither effort is expected to go far this session.
Burdick said she canceled her town hall because she feared gun owners would storm the event and be rude and disruptive. That has happened before, she said, and she wanted to ensure it didn't occur at the PSU town hall.
"I didn't want that to happen in a room full of students," she said. "Keeping my schedule would've been a conflict with common sense."
Rep. Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, was scheduled to co-host the town hall with Burdick. She said a subcommittee meeting in Salem Monday afternoon would have made it difficult for her to get to the town hall on time, so she didn't object to Burdick's cancellation.
The town hall will be rescheduled, Williamson said.
Reynolds, the Watchdog Wire editor, said the video clip was not an intimidation attempt as Burdick claimed. "This was an attempt to determine if she actually had a scheduling conflict, which was the reason she claimed when she canceled her town hall," Reynolds said.
Reynolds said he knows the person who shot the video "but I'm not at liberty to reveal their identity." The video is posted under the handle name "BareItOrBearIt."
"This isn't about the videographer," Reynolds said. "It's about Ginny Burdick ducking her public responsibilities."
-- Yuxing Zheng
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