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It Was A Chinese Assault Rifle Before It Wasn't

Jodi Wilgoren in the the New York Times gets to the bottom of the "rifle controversy"

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."

I'm no rifle expert, but based on the description I believe they're talking about a Russian Mosin-Nagant.

Update: Much more on the story from Michelle Malkin.


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Comments (11)

At least he didn't say, "I ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

At least he didn't say, "I don't own a Chinese assualt rifle, the family does."

Speechwriters, Secret Servi... (Below threshold)
ER:

Speechwriters, Secret Service, and now form filling aids. The giving just keeps coming

- What is it with this dude... (Below threshold)
Hunter:

- What is it with this dude Kerry.... Is everything in his life in cipher....Everything is this before its that....was for before against....was there and then he wasn't....has a different answer for every issue and day of the week....

- How the hell can anyone want to vote for him when you can never figure out where he's been, what he's really done, who he really is, or what he stands for...You can't even get a straight answer on something a simple as his military discharge papers....

- Is this guy the the original "Magic Writer" candidate where he writes something and watches for his audiences reaction, and if it seems negative he just lifts the plastic sheet and writes something else....

- I'm reminded of that old Groucho Marx joke when people used to question his politics...He'd say..."I have my principles...If you don't like them well then I have others"... I just continue to be amazed that the liberals thought this guy would be a viable, electable candidate with the American majority...But then I watch that miserable flabby assed party hack Kennedy say something else to disgrace the memory of his brother and realize it all makes sense... who the hell do these "Intellectual morons" represent....

- Makes you wonder if, like his service action reports, he didn't nominate himself as the party candidate...nothing would suprise me at this point...

Well, the fact that Senator... (Below threshold)
gozorak:

Well, the fact that Senator Kerry defines a bolt action rifle as an assault weapon says it all.

Ah, Mosin-Nagant, immortali... (Below threshold)
BigFire:

Ah, Mosin-Nagant, immortalized by Vassili Zaitsev, the Hero of Stalingrad. Design and build like pretty much all Russian small arms, simple to operate and rugged.

Assuming Kerry actually sai... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Assuming Kerry actually said/confirmed what it is, I'm with gozorak; that he defined a five-shot bolt-action rifle as an assault weapon tells us exactly what he thinks.

Ah...well that would be a b... (Below threshold)
Blacknimbus:

Ah...well that would be a battle rifle...not an assault rifle.

He'll be happy to know that it's worth about 50 bucks. Still a decent gun, though.

I am a rifle expert,... (Below threshold)
Jim Patrick:

I am a rifle expert, and neither of the candidates has been perfectly candid about their personal firearms. Bush has changed his story about which is his favorite gun several times. In his defense (and it's germane to this subject) Bush remembers what calibers and models he owns. The Times' full article is here. But his opponent is another story.

Following the proactive script written at the "God, Guns, and Guts" Conference* in 2003, Kerry made personal ownership of firearms an issue. He published pictures of himself hunting, accepted a union gift of a shotgun, went trap-shooting at a gun club, and interviewed --the subject here-- with Outdoor Life magazine. Unfortunately Kerry's obligatory stance on the AWB sunset ended the charade, so Kerry dropped back on the conventional wisdom "to avoid mentioning gun issues altogether".

It's now obvious he 'mistookenly' said he had a "Communist Chinese assault rifle" but now possibly owns (and is legal to own in Massachusetts), an older Russian rifle. Beside being firearms, the guns have almost nothing in common except they were both extensively used by communist forces.

Certainly few gun owners thought Kerry owned a real assault rifle, they expected a lookalike or a commercial (semi-automatic) version of one. Some puffery's expected from a Massachusetts don. But this is the equivalent of claiming you own a 60's Ford muscle-car and saying you're in favor of "reasonable" sport car rallies; then the driving public finds you actually own a Trabant. It's good that Mr. Kerry's voice is hoarse lest he swallow his foot completely.

George Soros dropped a lot of money this time around, but the gun issue was one of his longer running and personal pet projects. Kerry just burned the last shred of it. My contention is that no candidate should fake their position and that no candidate can fake their position very much. This issue --innocuous or irrelevant to many people-- just dropped Kerry a point or two in some of his 'key' battleground states.


* Democratic Leadership Council & Americans for Gun Safety co-hosted the "God, Guns, and Guts: Seizing The Cultural Center" October 18-19 2003, Atlanta GA. An interesting read.

"I actually had a chinese a... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

"I actually had a chinese assault rifle before I didn't. Who among us does not love chinese assault rifles?"

I'm pretty sure John Kerry said that. Don't quote me though :)

The Mosin-Nagant is a prett... (Below threshold)
Waffle King:

The Mosin-Nagant is a pretty sweet rifle on Call of Duty - great for sniping those evil Nazis. Looks like Kerry's shot ricocheted and he sniped himself in the a##.

"My favorite gun is the M-1... (Below threshold)
Gavriel Raanan:

"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."

So we're supposed to believe now that this was a mistake by an aide? So in that case, the boilerplate viet-spew about the M-16 was also from the same aide? I guess his aides have been instructed that to answer any question for Mr. Kerry, they should invent something related to Vietnam service and write it down (of course without checking with Mr. Kerry on that either). We should be prepared to ignore anything the aides make up on his behalf, except the wholly truthful heroic Vietnam stuff.




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