BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Reacting to an assertion by his defense attorney that accused gun runner and former neo-Nazi Keith Gilbert â€“ on trial in Seattle for illegal gun trafficking â€“ is â€œa Second Amendment guy,â€ the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms this morning called that claim â€œhogwash.â€
â€œFor Gilbert to claim some kind of martyr status in this case is simply ludicrous,â€ said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. â€œHis argument that he somehow engineered his arrest so that he could use his criminal trial as a forum to challenge gun control laws is not going to gain any traction at all with genuine firearms rights activists.â€
Gilbertâ€™s attorney, Walter Palmer, was quoted by a Seattle newspaper Tuesday morning, insisting that his client is no longer a white supremacist, but â€œa Second Amendment guy.â€
â€œThat kind of remark is an insult to every genuine, law-abiding gun rights activist and gun owner in the Pacific Northwest, if not the country,â€ Waldron stated. â€œGilbert is a convicted felon, who once admitted to a plot to murder Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with stolen dynamite. For him to now contend he got himself arrested so his grandchildren will remember him as some sort of gun rights crusader is outrageous beyond words.â€
Gilbertâ€™s history includes an allegiance to the Aryan Nations in northern Idaho before he founded his own neo-Nazi organization. He also spent time in an Idaho prison for intimidating black children and for welfare fraud prior to living in Seattle, where he was something of a landlord before his arrest in February of last year on the gun trafficking charges.
â€œThis is just the kind of stereotyping that the gun control crowd loves to engage in,â€ Waldron observed. â€œKeith Gilbert no more represents the gun rights community than Enron represented corporate responsibility. Why his attorney suggested this is simply astonishing.
â€œAs it stands, Mr. Gilbert has been tried for involvement in a criminal enterprise,â€ Waldron said, â€œand his case is in the hands of a jury. Law-abiding gun rights activists, and average gun owners, do not engage in illegal gun trafficking, nor are they white supremacists or would-be assassins. People may say a lot of things about Mr. Gilbert, but calling him a â€˜Second Amendment guyâ€™ doesnâ€™t pass the smell test.â€