On the Federal Page in Tuesday's Washington Post, Jeffrey Birnbaum, who covers lobbying, suggests it's not "genuine" for the National Rifle Association to sound the alarm on threats to gun rights at the moment: "No one expects gun legislation to pass this year." But in dismissing the "not-so-imminent threat" (as the article's headline describes it), Birnbaum goes too far:
The document is filled with sinister-looking caricatures of supposed anti-gun figures such as filmmaker Michael Moore, comedian Rosie O'Donnell, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) and CBS News anchor Katie Couric.
Supposed? Doesn't Birnbaum remember Rosie trying to wallop NRA spokesman Tom Selleck into submission? Obviously, he doesn't remember then-NBC host Katie Couric asking NRA chief Charlton Heston to admit to the need for gun control in a June 1998 interview:
-- "Speaking of gun safety and children Mr. Heston, as you well know and in fact as everyone in this country knows there has been a spate of school shootings recently that have been quite disturbing to all Americans. Given the fact that these seem to be happening with greater frequency has it caused you to rethink your philosophy about children and guns and the accessibility of guns for children?"
--"But Mr. Heston, don't you think that if deep, if children are deeply disturbed, there might be another way for them to deal with conflict if guns were not so readily available to them?"
-- "Getting back to kids and guns, if you will indulge me for a moment. You cannot think of any other position the NRA could take in terms of trying to decrease the number of school shootings? You feel like this is not your bailiwick, this is not your problem?"
Charlton Heston: "Not at all. As I told you the NRA spends more money, more time..."
Couric, cutting him off: "Other than education."
Heston: "Well what would you suppose? What would you suggest?"
Couric: "I don't know, perhaps greater restrictions."