John Kerry: No One Needs “AR-16 With A Long Clip” To Hunt

At a campaign event for Joe Biden in Iowa over the weekend, former Secretary of State John Kerry let loose with a high-powered political gaffe when he talked about his disdain for so-called “assault weapons.”

“You heard from Joe about the things he did with the NRA,” the former Massachusetts senator said. “That took courage. Delaware is a tough state. I’m a hunter. I’m a gun owner. I’ve been one all my life. There’s not a veteran here who would take an AR-16 with a long clip to go out and shoot a deer or shoot anything. There is no business — Joe led the fight to get those things off the street.”

Hoo boy. If you want a ban a gun, shouldn’t you at least know what it’s called? And why is it that so many “lifelong gun owners” who love gun control talk about firearms like someone speaking a foreign language?

I’ve been covering Second Amendment issues long enough to have made fun of John Kerry during his 2004 presidential campaign when he went along on a goose hunt in Ohio in an ill-fated attempt to pretend to be a hunter and sportsman.

John Kerry yesterday got his gun – and his hands – bloody in an Ohio goose hunt that was elaborately staged for 35 photographers in a bid to hunt rural votes by portraying him as a down-to-earth kind of guy.

Kerry – clad in a new camouflage outfit with his left hand bloody as he emerged from a field of cornstalks toting a 12-gauge shotgun – said he’d bagged one Canada goose but he let someone else carry it for the cameras.

“I’m too lazy,” the wannabe commander in chief quipped. “I’m still giddy over the Red Sox. It was hard to focus.”

The photo shoot seven miles south of Youngstown left nothing to chance – before Kerry emerged after a 7-9 a.m. hunt, an aide instructed the waiting fotogs: “He’s going to walk down that line of corn. He’ll turn down there and walk up this way.”

Apparently, he’s learned nothing about firearms or the Second Amendment, or even how to talk to gun owners in the 16 years since.

Kerry doesn’t sound “reasonable” here. He sounds ignorant, and not just about firearms. Kerry may have been correct about his audience not having any veterans who would use a semi-automatic rifle to hunt, but there are plenty of Americans who do. Gun control advocates like Kerry would rather pretend those gun owners don’t exist, because they have absolutely no interest in hearing what they have to say.

John Kerry starts from the position that any gun he doesn’t like should be banned, and builds his entire argument around that premise. As if that wasn’t lazy enough, he then tries to convince his audience that they should listen to his argument because of his own experience as a gun owner, while being almost aggressively ignorant about the subject at hand. Even if I were a gun control-loving Democrat, I’d be insulted by this idiotic argument.

As it so happens, I’m not a gun control-loving Democrat, and I’m not John Kerry’s target audience. He’s hoping that the people he talks to about guns are just as ignorant as he is. In fact, his argument depends on it.

The point of this isn’t to just mock Kerry for not knowing that it’s called an AR-15. The point is, if John Kerry can’t even get the name of the gun he wants to ban correct, what else is he wrong about when it comes to firearms? That’s the question we need to be asking those non-gun owners who take anti-gun statements like Kerry’s at face value. Ignorance is a treatable condition, and knowledge is the cure. John Kerry may be too far gone to expect any improvement, but I don’t believe the same is true for the American people.


Oct 20, 2021 5:30 PM ET