Monday, September 27, 2004
Kerry May or May Not Be an Assault Rifle Owner
Senator John Kerry's campaign said yesterday that Mr. Kerry did
not own a Chinese assault rifle, as he was quoted as saying in Outdoor Life
magazine, but a single-bolt-action military rifle, blaming aides who filled out
the magazine's questionnaire on his behalf for the error.
Michael Meehan, a spokesman for the campaign, said Mr. Kerry, the
Democratic presidential nominee, owns two guns, a double-barreled 12-gauge
shotgun and the rifle, which Mr. Meehan said Mr. Kerry "keeps as a relic" and
had never fired. Mr. Meehan said the gun had no make or model markings on it and
that Mr. Kerry "got it from a friend years ago," adding that such rifles were
first manufactured in Russia more than 100 years ago and were used by the North
Koreans and the Vietcong.
The clarification came in response to an
article yesterday in The New York Times quoting Mr. Kerry's response to a
question by Outdoor Life: "What is your favorite gun?"
"My favorite gun is
the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam," said Mr. Kerry, a
veteran, according to the October issue. "I don't own one of those now, but one
of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."
Though the comment was presented by Outdoor Life as part of an
"exclusive interview with the two presidential candidates," four pages that
included many long, conversational answers using first-person pronouns, Mr.
Meehan said Mr. Kerry's portions were written by his staff. A public relations
representative for Outdoor Life did not respond to a message seeking
I, too, often confuse the obscure Mosin-Nagant bolt gun with one of the most famous (infamous?) Evil Black Guns ever produced. I mean, they've both got barrels, some wooden stuff hanging off the back - kinda easy to confuse them.
Probably more telling than the flip-flop over what gun he owns is the fact that he let his staff fill out the questionare for an outdoors magazine, despite the fact that he's claiming to be such an avid outdoorsman himself.