U.S. State Department photo.
An endorsement for president from a former presidential nominee of your party should mean something. This time, however, former Sen. John Kerry’s endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden (D) only gave us this amusing gaffe: “You heard from Joe about the things he did with the NRA, that took courage. Delaware’s a tough state. I’m a hunter. I’m a gun owner. Been that all my life,” said Kerry before saying, “but I got news for you, there is not a veteran here that would take an AR-16 [sic] with a long clip out to go out and shoot a deer or to shoot anything.”
Oh my, where was the teleprompter for the former Secretary of State?
Clearly, Kerry must have meant “AR-15,” and he must have meant “magazine” not “clip,” but just as clearly, he has no idea what he is talking about.
Kerry said this a few days before the Iowa Caucus at a campaign event in North Liberty, Iowa. If Biden was hoping for a bump in the polls before Iowans got together to advocate for their first-choice candidates in the caucuses, all Kerry gave him was a reminder of how ill-informed Kerry’s and Biden’s statements and policies on guns have been.
For example, in 2004 I was then an editor at Outdoor Life magazine when I asked Kerry if he was a gun owner and, if so, what was his favorite gun. Kerry’s reply would lead to scorn even from The New York Times.
“My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don’t own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle,” said Kerry.
It was unclear whether this “Communist Chinese assault rifle” was a Chinese-made SKS carbine or something else, but given that he said this just as the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was being allowed to expire by then President George W. Bush, many mainstream-media outlets criticized him a few months before the presidential election.
Kerry, however, was hardly finished with making a fool of himself.
“I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach. I track and move and decoy and play games and try to outsmart them. You know, you kind of play the wind. That’s hunting,” said Kerry about a month later.
This had hunters laughing, because, sorry Kerry, that’s not what hunting is like—well, outside of maybe a classic cartoon starring Elmer Fudd. If Iowans remembered that absurd quote—and it did get a lot of attention in 2004—it couldn’t have helped Biden get votes in what is one of the top states for whitetail deer hunting.
Kerry, meanwhile, did also say that Biden would “do something” about guns. Some of Biden’s most-absurd quotes on guns can tell us what doing something would mean for Biden:
“You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun,” Biden said in a town hall event.
Biden is wrong, of course. An AR-15 is easy to aim and use. It’s quick, accurate and, in a worst-case scenario, who is to say how many rounds you’ll need?
During an interview with Field and Stream, Biden gave this advice to those who want to stop would-be intruders: “Just fire the shotgun through the door.”
On so-called “smart guns,” Biden said, “A lot could change, for example, if every gun could only be fired by the person who purchased it.”
A “smart-gun” mandate, of course, would be a total gun ban of all the popular and reliable makes and models of firearms now on the market.
Plenty more can be said about Biden’s view of your freedom, but that’s enough for now.