UCLA professor of public policy and self-proclaimed “hemperor,” Mark Kleiman is not afraid of controversy — but comments he made last spring to Guns.com go way too far.
A tweet from Max Fisher sums it up:
— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) September 18, 2013
Here’s Kleiman’s full comment in response to a question about his gun collection from Guns.com, March 16, 2013:
So far, I haven’t had the need to take out dozens of schoolchildren at once, but for that application you need something with manageable recoil and a decent rate of fire. I know it’s slightly unpatriotic, but I really prefer the Kalashnikov to any of the American designs. I’m not worried about a ban on high-capacity clips; I’ve already got a few.
We assume Kleiman was joking and only talking about what sort of gun would be used for shooting multiple people. No matter, it’s not cool to make light of shooting schoolchildren (only months after the Sandy Hook shooting), and especially not to give advice for “that application.”
Later Kleiman clarifies exactly what his real targets are, and his thoughts on potential gun laws:
I confine my hunting to two-legged varmints, so on the advice of my lawyer I don’t think I want to say any more in print. But let’s just say I take my Second Amendment rights seriously.
[In real life, I don’t own a firearm. I’ve been to the range a few times, and even got some real training back when I worked DoJ. I can get eight out of 10 in the target with a .38 auto at 25 yards, but no one’s going to mistake me for a marksman. Haven’t used a long gun since summer camp a million years ago, and I’ve never shot at anything that was breathing.]
If you’re Wayne LaPierre and you want to stand up for the rights of law-abiding gun-owners, you make a deal that sacrifices the non-law-abiding: universal background checks, better record-keeping and data analysis, stronger gun-tracing, tough penalties for scofflaw gun dealers and straw purchasers who knowingly arm criminals. But if you’re Wayne LaPierre and your job is making sure the dollars keep flowing from customers to your gun-manufacturer sponsors and from those sponsors to the NRA’s bank account (and your own), then you mount a national scare campaign to stimulate gun sales.
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