September 25, 2004


In Magazine Interview, Kerry Says He Owns Assault Rifle (JODI WILGOREN, 9/26/04, NY Times)

Senator John Kerry, a hunter who supported the recently expired assault weapons ban, frequently tells audiences he has never met anyone who wanted to use an AK-47 to shoot a deer. But it is not clear what Mr. Kerry does with the Chinese assault rifle he told Outdoor Life magazine he kept in his personal collection.

In interviews appearing in the October issue of Outdoor Life, Mr. Kerry and President Bush were asked whether they were gun owners, and, if so, to identify their favorite gun.

Mr. Bush named the Weatherby 20 gauge (although he gave a slightly different answer in a separate chat with Field and Stream magazine.) Mr. Kerry's answer was more complicated.

"My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam," Mr. Kerry told the magazine. "I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."

Mr. Kerry's campaign would not say what model rifle Mr. Kerry was referring to, where he got it and when, or how many guns he owned. A spokesman for the senator, Michael Meehan, said Mr. Kerry was a registered gun owner in Massachusetts. On Thursday morning, Mr. Meehan said he had not been able to ask Mr. Kerry about the rifle because of Mr. Kerry's hoarse voice; he did not respond to further inquiries.

Couldn't he scribble an answer on a piece of paper?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 25, 2004 7:55 PM

Well I'm no gun expert, but if it was a Chinese Communist assault rifle from the Vietnam War era it would pretty much have to be an AK-47, wouldn't it? I know that's not your point, but I'm curious anyway.

Posted by: Governor Breck at September 25, 2004 8:45 PM

Could be an SKS. But if he got it in Vietnam, it wouldn't just be an assault rifle, it'd be a machine gun, because it would be fully automatic.

Posted by: PapayaSF at September 25, 2004 9:36 PM

Aren't or weren't there regulations against taking war trophys? How did he get it home, by hiding it in the magic hat?

Posted by: Chris B at September 25, 2004 9:55 PM

As has been pointed out, Mr. Kerry can't answer any question without mentioning Vietnam.

Posted by: John Thacker at September 25, 2004 10:36 PM

Is there any reason to doubt that Kerry just made this story up, along with the Christmas in Cambodia story and the shrapnel in the leg?

Posted by: brian at September 26, 2004 4:00 AM

A piece of papaer? Do you mean 17x24?

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 26, 2004 8:30 AM