Bob Barr

Bob Barr (Board Member)

Bob Barr - NRA Board Member
Former United States Representative (R – GA), Lobbyist for Liberty Strategies

Bob Barr was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1948, but spent his childhood living in a number of countries around the world. He initially joined the College Democrats while a student at the University of Southern California, but was persuaded by his parents to join the Republican Party. Barr attended graduate and law school in Washington D.C. and worked as a CIA analyst before becoming active in Republican politics. In 1986, Barr was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia by President Ronald Reagan. Barr was first elected to office in 1994 as a Congressman for Georgia’s 7th district. Barr left the House after succumbing to a primary challenger, John Linder, in 2002. While known as a Social Conservative in Congress, Barr joined the Libertarian Party in 2006 and ran for president on the party’s ticket in 2008.

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

Bob Barr (Board Member)

On November 19, 2013, Barr spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C. which called for a “Second American Revolution,” involving a coup to oust President [Barack] Obama. The rally was organized by Larry Klayman, a conservative attorney and outspoken Birther. Barr stated, “Be it remembered that it started here today, November 19, 2013, that Americans for generations to come will look back and say, ‘Yes, good and faithful servants, you did your duty. We thank you and we will carry that torch forever into the future.’”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Political Violence

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In a July 9, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Barr wrote about a January 2012 report issued by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) entitled “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008.” Barr claimed that the report provides “an insidious analysis of Americans who happen to hold certain philosophical or political views,” stating, “Americans who ‘believe that one’s personal and/or national way of life is under attack’ or who are ‘nationalists, anti-global, [or] suspicious of centralized federal authority, [and] reverent of individual liberty,’ are painted in a negative light.” He complained, “And though the report is meant to document acts of terrorism inside the United States, there is only a passing mention of 9/11 and Islamic extremism … It is deeply disturbing that the executive branch of our federal government continues to demonize and delegitimize political beliefs, particularly those challenging the ‘conventional wisdom’ or the status quo. It is even more distressing that neither the U.S. House of Representatives nor the Senate has moved to put a stop to such efforts, which they could if their members possessed the understanding and the backbone to do so.” START asserts that the report qualifies individuals and groups as terrorists because they have actually carried out or attempted to carry out violent attacks in the United States, not based on their ideological orientation. The report breaks violent perpetrators into ideological categories, including extreme left-wing, extreme right-wing, religious, ethnonationalist/separatist, and single issue. START asserts that “descriptions of these categories in the report do not suggest that an individual or group with one or more of these characteristics is likely to be a terrorist.”

Conspiracy Theory | Political Violence

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In a June 20, 2012 op-ed for the Marietta Daily Journal, Barr wrote, “I am a real fan of handguns manufactured by Glock. And, for many years I have known Paul Jannuzzo.” Paul Jannuzzo, former CEO of Glock, Inc., a firearms manufacturer, fled the country first to Mexico, and then Amsterdam amid allegations of embezzlement. He was arrested in Amsterdam and extradited to the United States. In March 2012, Jannuzzo was convicted for racketeering and theft. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and thirteen on probation. Barr also stated that he wrote a letter of support for Jannuzzo prior to his sentencing.

Criminal Activity | Gun Industry |

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In a May 28, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Barr wrote about what he called the “demonization of George Zimmerman and the deification of Trayvon Martin.” Barr was referring to the February 26, 2012 shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Barr stated, “Much like the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s fable, Alice in Wonderland, many would just as soon sentence Zimmerman first and try him later, if at all.” Barr also criticized the Florida prosecutor, Angela Corey, who brought charges against Zimmerman, stating that she “based her decision on some of the flimsiest evidence and legal analysis I have ever seen.” The “latest absurd development,” wrote Barr, occurred at Malcom X Elementary School in the District of Columbia which hosted “Trayvon Martin Day.” He referred to the program as dealing with “some manufactured problem about an already highly politicized legal case in Florida … Perhaps the program honoring Trayvon Martin was accompanied by a chorus of ‘Kumbaya’ to help foster a ‘happy spirit.’”

Race

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In a November 2, 2011 op-ed for The Daily Caller, Barr defended GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain against allegations of sexual harassment, asking, “What exactly does ‘sexual harassment’ mean, anyway?” Barr also complained that, “During a 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate, then-Rep. Jack Ryan (R-IL) had his campaign completely derailed by salacious claims made by his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.” Jeri Ryan has alleged in child custody proceedings that on multiple occasions her then-husband took her to “sex clubs” and attempted to make her perform sex acts on him in front of other people.

Women’s Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In a September 12, 2011 op-ed for The Daily Caller entitled “Get Off Mike Vick’s Ass,” Barr defended Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick—who served nearly two years in federal prison for his involvement with a dog fighting ring—against continued criticism. He also said of Vick, who signed a $100 million contract with the Eagles in 2011, “It is not as if Vick is on Easy Street. In addition to being on the NFL commissioner’s watch list, Vick’s financial situation is not exactly assured, and he continues to pay heavily for his past legal transgressions. He reportedly still owes creditors $19 million.”

Animal Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

Barr expressed his belief that bullying is “a natural rite of passage” for schoolchildren and worried that anti-bullying initiatives in schools would encourage to students to “snitch on each other” in a September 2, 2011 op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He also complained about the impetus for anti-bullying measures by writing, “Much like ‘hate crimes’ laws long-favored by liberals, New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights was passed as a reactionary measure nearly a year after a gay college student tragically committed suicide.”

Education | Gay Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In an August 26, 2011 op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barr wrote that, “We can only hope Obama resists the urge to send in American ‘peace-keeping’ forces to help rebuild the country; Afghanistan and Iraq provide clear examples of why such a policy invariably becomes an expensive tar baby.” The phrase “tar baby” is considered by many to be a racial epithet, and earlier that month a Republican Congressman sent President Obama a letter of apology after using the phrase while discussing the president’s policies.

Race

Bob Barr (Board Member)

On February 2, 2011, Barr weighed into a controversy concerning for-profit schools accused of using deceptive marketing techniques in a Politico editorial. Barr opined that, “Judging by the level of vitriol being directed against for-profit schools, one would be justified in concluding critics suspect them of harboring terrorist cells and offering instruction in improvised explosive devices.” Barr failed to mention his employment with John Marshall Law School, a for-profit institution.

Education

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In January 2011, Barr began serving as an advisor to former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. Barr was consulted by Duvalier as he attempted to recover $5.7 million in assets frozen by the Swiss government. The assets were frozen following charges that Duvalier had embezzled $300 million from the Haitian government during his 15-year rule. Duvalier was also accused of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and murder. Human Rights Watch claims that Duvalier’s Tonton Macoutes Militia was responsible for up to 30,000 civilian deaths. Barr dismissed these allegations against Duvalier, saying, “I deal with allegations all the time. They are the cheapest commodity on the market.” Previously, Barr had visited Haiti to help Duvalier’s brother-in-law fight drug smuggling charges.

Repressive Regimes |

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In July 2008, Barr called former Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC)—who famously and fiercely opposed the creation of a national Martin Luther King Jr. Day—“one of the finest, most courageous and deeply principled men to ever serve in the United States Congress.”

Republican Party (GOP) | Race

Bob Barr (Board Member)

Barr’s immigration platform during his 2008 presidential run included support for eliminating the guarantee of birthright citizenship. While the Fourteenth Amendment currently confers citizenship upon any individual born in the United States, Barr proposed that children of illegal immigrants, even if they are born in the United States, should not automatically qualify for citizenship.

Immigration

Bob Barr (Board Member)

Barr authored a March 7, 2007 op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lauding proposed legislation to prevent employers from prohibiting guns on company property as “extremely modest.” Both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Newnan-Peachtree City Area Employer Committee criticized the legislation as “dangerous.”

Labor | Property Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

Barr accidentally discharged a pistol that was handed to him by a supporter at a campaign event in 2002. The bullet struck a glass door—no one was injured in the incident. One of Barr’s sons later attacked a man dressed as Yosemite Sam who showed up at a campaign event to mock the then-Congressman over the incident.

Gun Accidents | Republican Party (GOP) |

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In 2001, three airport security guards filed a complaint against Barr, alleging that he used racial slurs against them during a dispute over access to a private parking lot. Barr reportedly asked the supervising guard, “When are you going to open the gate you stupid black idiot?”

Race

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In August 1999, Barr paid a $28,000 fine to settle charges by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that he accepted nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions during the 1994 and 1996 elections.

Political Corruption |

Bob Barr (Board Member)

On July 29, 1999, Barr voted in favor of an amendment to the yearly District of Columbia appropriations bill that would have banned adoption by gay parents in the District. The amendment failed 215-213.

Gay Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In June 1999, Barr attempted to attach an amendment to a defense spending authorization bill to ban the practice of the Wiccan religion. Barr described his opposition to active duty soldiers being allowed to practice the Wiccan religion as follows: “I think it brings disrepute to the military and ought not to be allowed as something on par with the Judeo-Christian beliefs on which our country was founded.”

Religion

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In March 1999, Barr opposed expanding the federal definition of a hate crime to include crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, calling proposed legislation “a backdoor way to obtain protected status for sexual orientation and sexual deviancy.”

Gay Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In January 1999, Barr’s second wife, Gail, swore in an affidavit that she was convinced that Barr had an affair with a woman who would become his third wife while he was still married to her. Barr did not deny the affair when asked about it repeatedly during divorce proceedings. The affidavit was released to the public while Barr served as a manager during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. Impeachment managers were Congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee who functioned as prosecutors during the proceedings. Clinton was impeached after he was accused of lying about an extra-marital affair.

Republican Party (GOP) | Sexual Scandals |

Bob Barr (Board Member)

Barr gave the keynote speech at a white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) national convention in 1998. The event featured fellow speakers Jared Taylor, publisher of the racist American Renaissance magazine (“when blacks are left entirely to their own devices…civilization disappears”) and Brent Nelson, author of the anti-immigrant book America Balkanized. CCC has claimed that blacks are genetically inferior to whites and has also advocated homophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic ideas. The organization frequently publishes racial commentary on current events, and once blamed journalist Daniel Pearl for his own murder due to his choice to enter into an interracial marriage. When confronted with the overtly racist nature of the organization, Barr claimed he had “no idea” what CCC advocated. According to CCC chief executive Gordon Lee Baum, however, Barr “knew what we were all about before he spoke to us. We don't invite people and let them walk into the dark on us.”

Race

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In 1996, Barr was the author and sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Under DOMA, states are not obligated to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages performed in other states. Furthermore, the bill prohibited the federal government from providing benefits received by married couples to individuals in same-sex partnerships. During floor debate, Barr said the bill was needed because “the flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundations of our society, the family unit.

Gay Rights

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In 1996, Bob Barr voted in favor of legislation that would allow states to ban children of illegal immigrants from attending public schools.

Education | Immigration

Bob Barr (Board Member)

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