Politics Under Fire from The American Spectator
posted by October 17 at 10:49 AMon
Looks like I have drawn the ire of The American Spectator.
The conservative magazine is pissed about the column I wrote for last week’s paper which got picked up by Atrios, AmericaBlog, and Andrew Sullivan.
You see, last week, I got a chance to ask former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani a few questions when he was at the Sheraton in downtown Seattle hosting a fundraising dinner for Mike McGavick. Giuliani was stumping on post-9/11 security issues—criticizing Cantwell as a wimp for voting against Bush’s military tribunals bill and hyping McGavick as a steward of homeland security.
So, I asked Giuliani—a supposedly vigilant homeland security advocate and a famous advocate for the assault weapons ban—what he thought about McGavick’s opposition to the assault weapons ban.
Giuliani, sacrificing his conviction (he once said that anyone who voted against the assault weapons ban was putting special interests over life or death issues), pooh-poohed the assualt weapons ban. He told me “the assault weapons ban is something I supported in the past” and that he “didn’t think it was one of the most critical issues right now.”
The Spectator applauds Giuliani for “backing off from his history of anti-gun demagoguery” and then takes me to task for calling AK-47s assault weapons.
Basically, the AK-47s you can get at Butch’s Gun Shop in Seattle are semi-automatic, not automatic, which—gun enthusiasts argue—mean they are not assault weapons. Never mind that semi-automatic weapons are more precise (deadly) than automatics and can easily be altered to function like automatics.
Furthermore, try explaining all that to al Qaeda, which actually published a manual (discovered by U.S. forces in Afghansitan) advising Qaeda recruits to take advantage of U.S. gun laws to get AK-47s. Al Qaeda doesn’t make any distinction between semi or auto, unlike the terrorist-huggers at the Spectator.
And that’s all beside the point, anyway. My column busted Giuliani for flip-flopping on the ban he supported (a ban he referenced as the assault weapons ban) in order to kiss GOP ass. The GOP was against flip-flopping (see: Kerry, 2004) before they were for it.