. . . Monday July 19, 2004

The Shootist

In case you missed it, John Kerry is a sportsman and a hunter, a regular guy’s guy. In his life, he’s shot at animals and humans with a variety of weapons. Earlier this month, he stopped by a trap club in Wisconsin and with a Beretta 12-guage, he blew holes in about 17 clay pigeons (each of which, we can safely say, deserved it).

Maybe shooting these so-called pigeons is a Blue State thing, because I happen to be a disturbingly excellent shot. And about the only side-effect I’ve encountered from my rifle-toting outings is a rather palpable hatred for all objects made of clay. Once, after watching the unedited version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly I went out to my backyard and took out more than a half dozen Starbuck’s mugs.

But does being a hunter or supporting the right to bear arms or having many gun-related experiences get John Kerry out of a public gun battle with the NRA?

No chance. To get a free pass from that particular organization, Kerry would have to pull his support for almost all gun legislation from the logical (background checks for buyers at gun shows) to the obvious (regulating internet gun purchases) to the merely sane (supporting the ban on assault weapons and armor-piercing bullets). In fairness to the NRA, I have found most sportsmen unprepared for the day when a newly organized band of clay pigeons finally gets smart and starts wearing body armor (a scenario not specifically mentioned by the Founding Fathers but one they clearly implied).

So here come the ads from the NRA that will blast away at Kerry’s gun record. Yawn.

The tagline of the NRA televsion ads is: “How can you keep a straight face and talk out of both sides of your mouth?”

The simple answer to that riddle is:

Because a guy with an assault weapon shot me through the face.

Concentration is important!