A shot in the foot

by Michael O. Allen on May 5, 2008

Ben Smith, the irrepressible Politico.com blogger, has been paying attention. The details of Hillary Rodham Clinton latest mailings don’t quite add up.

In a piece titled Clinton mailing’s gun gaffe, points out

Clinton’s mailing attacking Sen. Barack Obama’s record on guns appears to include a striking visual gaffe: The image of the gun pictured on the face of the mailing is reversed, making it a nonexistent left-handed model of the Mauser 66 rifle.

To make matters worse, a prominent gun dealer said, it’s an expensive German gun with customized features that make it clearly European.

“The gun in the photo does not exist,” said Val Forgett III, president of Navy Arms in Martinsburg, W.Va. Forgett’s company was Mauser’s agent in the United States when the gun was released, and it sold Mauser guns here again in the 1990s. “The bolt is facing to the left side of the receiver, making it a left-handed bolt action rifle, indicating whoever constructed and approved the mailer did not recognize the image has been reversed.”

Forgett said the error would be obvious to sportsmen.

“I find it laughable on its face,” he said. “It’s like a picture of Babe Ruth hitting right-handed.”

Here’s the question I want to raise about the mailings: Sen. Barack Obama got Secret Service protection quicker than anyone else running for president because of specific threats against his life. I know Clinton wants the nomination really, really bad, but do we really want to send out mailings showing a gun, fake or no fake, pointing at his head?

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