The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, September 27, 2004

The Kerry campaign's 'assault rifle' snafu: worse than we thought!

In a piece on September 26, I mentioned the difficulty the Kerry campaign was having in explaining Kerry's ownership of a Chinese assault rifle - as told to Outdoor Life magazine.

Now, in a follow-up to her earlier piece, Jodi Wilgoren (it would have to be...) now reveals that Kerry does not own an assault rifle. Not according to...the Kerry campaign, in the person of its apparently ineffectual spokesman Michael Meehan (last reported having gone to ground).

Apparently, the weapon concerned is
a single-bolt-action military rifle...

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.

How, the bemused civilian might ask, does one of Kerry's staff know more about the firearms in the Kerry collection than Kerry does himself?

Because that interview in the mag was a phoney! (Pause for fits of vapours and general harumphing.) An interview to most of us conjures up the image of a journo sitting down with one or two subjects for some Q & A. This was not that:
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.

Candidates (and celebrities, if there's a difference) are busy people - and whilst rimming the NRA tendency with, say, West Virginia in mind might be on Kerry's list of goals, if it can be done in absentia, so much the better.

The MO, therefore, is not in the least shocking. What is just a little disappointing is that the campaign didn't think that admitting on Kerry's behalf to owning an assault rifle was something they ought to check out.

Just to take a wild guess, by asking the candidate...

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