Where Has Johnny Got His Gun?


"My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam," Senator John Kerry tells Outdoor Life magazine. "I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."

Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb shoots back: "Senator Kerry, where's the rifle? In which one of your mansions are you hiding that gun? Why should it be okay for you to have a Communist Chinese assault rifle when you think nobody else should have one? And if you don't have one, why would you intimate to Outdoor Life that you do?"

I've got a deeper suspicion about this story. I may have been misled by my boyhood readings of Michael Herr's Dispatches and William Turner Huggett's (scandalously out of print) Body Count, but I thought all real Vietnam veterans looked back on the jam-prone, unreliable M-16 (which of course is not a "gun" but a "rifle" or "weapon") with disgust, revulsion and bitterness.