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Kerry Blames Aides in Assault Rifle
John Kerry is denying he ever told a magazine interviewer
that he owned a Communist Chinese assault rifle, blaming the comment instead
on campaign aides who, he insists, made the story up.
"My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew
in Vietnam," Kerry is quoted as saying in the October issue of Outdoor
Life. "I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders
of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."
It turns out, however, that the gun quotes weren't Kerry's
at all - or so he maintains, claiming now that those words were actually
written by his staff, who never checked with him.
Kerry aide Michael Meehan explained to the New
York Times that his boss's interview with the sports magazine consisted
of a four-page written account of his hunting experience, which, the Times
noted, included "long conversational answers using first-person pronouns."
Meehan said Kerry's Chinese assault rifle was actually
a single-bolt-action military rifle that he "keeps as a relic"
and has never fired.
If it's a relic he took home from Vietnam, however, the
top Democrat may still not be off the hook.
"If Kerry brought the gun home from the war as a
souvenir he could be subject to court-martial," NRA spokesman Andrew
Arulanandam told the Times.
So, why did Kerry staffers impersonate Kerry for the interview?
And how did they know that he had saved a gun - relic or no - from his
Meehan didn't say.
A spokesman for Outdoor Life did not respond to a Times
request for comment.
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