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The New Hope of Gun Control Advocates

The self-hating gun owner:

Other gun owners interviewed for this article expressed similar reservations, citing their enjoyment of hunting or of introducing family members to the sport while expressing support for stricter gun control legislation. Mr. Kundu, for instance, supports a ban on the kind of assault weapon that he owns, a rifle manufactured by Panther Arms.

Yes, AR-15 owners who think AR-15s ought to be banned. Does the New York Times really believe this is a deep well gun control folks can tap in order to get support? This times piece strains credulity.

Kundu claims to be a master marksman in Washington State. The governing body for that kind of shooting is the NRA or WSRPA. Most competitive shooters will have match results online somewhere, especially at that level. So I decided I would start digging. If he is truly ranked Master in high-power, someone should have heard of him, or shot with him, and there should be a record. When you do that kind of competition, and are ranked highly, you’ve shot with an awful lot of people in an awful lot of matches. I couldn’t find any match results indicating this guy is a serious competitor, but what I did find destroys the whole NYT narrative. Michael Kundu, who the New York Times claims is the new “middle ground” in the gun control debate, is neither an ordinary gun owner, or any kind of moderate voice.

This is not the first time Kundu has been in the media pitching himself as a self-hating, anti-hunting gun owner. CNN has taken the bait too. So who is Michael Kundu? Well, he was School Board President for Marysville School District who ended up in hot water in the past for writing a racist e-mail as a school board president. Also, as School Board President, he attempted to censor dissenting viewpoints on global warming from being discussed in schools.

Perhaps more telling, Kundu’s associated with Sea Shepherd, who were recently declared pirates by the 9th Circuit:

Johnston’s 1997 stock donation included shares of a company named Northern Development Associates, a for-profit business which is now 100-percent owned by Sea Shepherd.

Corporate records show that the company’s officers include Watson’s ex-wife Lisa DiStefano and longtime associate Michael Kundu.

Sea Shepherd’s own web site says he was Pacific Northwest coordinator for the group in 1997. You can see a profile of him here. Additionally, his activities have earned him the ire of native Americans.

How stupid does the New York Times think we all are? And are we to believe that no one at CNN, or the New York Times, are aware that the new, moderate voice of gun ownership is in fact a radical activist with a group that has been accused of engaging in piracy on the high seas? There is nothing ordinary or moderate about this guy.

44 Responses to “The New Hope of Gun Control Advocates”

  1. Oakenheart says:

    Marksman? Fake, more like it. Could this be him? Look at the lefty associations. Hm.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~projseawolf/michael.htm

    Most people with that kind of story are fakes, or idiots. No one should make public policy based on either fakery or idiocy.

  2. Oakenheart says:

    Yup, here’s more info, same guy.

    • Sebastian says:

      That link just takes me to a search page.

      • Oakenheart says:

        Hm. Link works for me – Here’s the content:
        Tuesday, September 2, 2003 – Page updated at 12:00 AM

        E-mail article Print
        A. Michael Kundu – Marysville School District Dist. 5
        A. Michael Kundu A. Michael Kundu

        Age: 39

        Residence: Marysville

        Occupation: Communications specialist

        Education: B.A., media and fine arts, Ryerson University; master’s in corporate communications, Seneca College

        Community/political experience: Founding chair, Marysville Arts Commission (elected position); executive-committee member, Washington state Sierra Club (elected position); international director, Project SeaWolf; northwest director, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

        Campaign Web site: none

        Questions:

        1. How will you address your top three priorities for the position?
        Reducing the School Board’s and superintendent’s budgets; improving relationships between parents and the district; and establishing concrete, pro-active strategies to improve learning. I will not allow the continued waste of valuable time, dollars and resources in this district.

        2. Why should people vote for you?
        I will reduce the board’s budget, limit out-of-state travel for upper-level administrators and expose and end this district’s outrageous spending habits. I will restore integrity and honesty to the board, or step down if I fail. Your child’s teacher will be voting for me; I hope you will, too.

  3. HappyWarrior6 says:

    Looks like a comtemptible whack job.

  4. ExurbanKevin says:

    Excellent investigative journalism, Sebastian. Here’s hoping other sites aroun the dextrosphere pick up on this potential fraud and show the New York Times once again to be a bunch of left-wing idiots who print anything they WANT to be true, regardless of the facts.

  5. Don Gwinn says:

    To be fair, do you think the author of that piece knows that “Master” is a competitive shooting title/division? Or is it more likely that they threw out “master marksman” as a nice, alliterative way of labeling him more than a casual shooter?

    It wouldn’t make a lot of difference–your point is still taken, especially when they specifically mention how important competitive shooting is to him later on–I’m just saying not to put too many eggs in the “he’s clearly not ranked Master in this or that competitive shooting discipline” basket. I’m not sure they meant to claim that.

  6. Don Gwinn says:

    Also, while we’re at it, let’s not forget this part:

    John Flores and Patricia Speed, a married couple in San Francisco, own two 9-millimeter handguns and a Winchester Model 70 rifle because they have recently come to enjoy shooting at ranges. They say they enjoy the concentration it takes to be a good marksman and find the practice relaxing.

    But as first-time gun owners, they say they were shocked by how easily they bought the guns and feel uncomfortable about storing them — even unloaded in a locked safe — in their home.

    “It freaked me out how easy it was to buy a gun,” said Ms. Speed, 30, a graphic designer. “I think it’s harder to get an iPhone than it is a gun. Now I’m a gun owner who believes there needs to be way more regulation.”

    In California? For a resident of San Francisco, it was easier to buy an iPhone than a gun?
    Do you have to buy an iPhone through a federally-licensed dealer?
    Is there a 10-day waiting period for iPhones in California now?
    Do you have to present proof of California residency to buy an iPhone in California nowadays?
    Ridiculous. If they think they can hang their hats on finding people who’ve gone through California’s gun-buying process three times and thought, “Man, that was way too easy,” they’re in trouble.

    • TS says:

      Bingo. Let’s also add the HSC, and registration to that list.

    • SPQR says:

      Yep, that story is just as unbelievable.

      The whole piece is a fraud.

    • DH says:

      Just to elaborate some more for those who live in Free America, here are the requirements to buy a handgun in California:

      1. Pay ~$25 to take a written handgun safety test, thereby earning your Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC). Renew your HSC every 5 years.

      2. Show a government-issued picture ID with your current address.

      3. Show a secondary proof of residence such as a utility bill.

      4. Fill out a form and pay ~25 for a background check.

      5. Pay for the gun.

      6. Wait a mandatory 10 days before you can pick up your gun.

      7. A maximum of one handgun purchase per every 30 days is allowed.

      I don’t own an iPhone, but I suspect the process of getting one is a bit easier than that.

      • DH says:

        P.S. I left out one additional step: In order to take home your gun, you must go through a step-by-step demonstration that you know how to use it and can handle it safely. (E.g., lock the slide back, load a dummy round in the magazine, chamber and then eject the round, etc.)

  7. ExurbanKevin says:

    No listings for him as a USPSA, IDPA or 3 gun shooter. If he’s a competitor, he’s shooting matches that don’t post scores.

  8. Andy B. says:

    “How stupid does the New York Times think we all are?”

    I think it’s more likely they are just incredibly lazy, and don’t look at all into most public personalities backgrounds. They leave that to such investigative journalists or bloggers as will make the effort. A spokesman is a spokesman is a spokesman as far as they’re concerned, at least at the top level of a story.

    And, I’ll probably get myself in hot water for saying this, but in the past it has appeared to me that phenomenon is largely independent of ideology, with equal credit being afforded to wackadoodles of the right as to wackadoodles of the left, as long as what they say makes a good story.

    • Don Gwinn says:

      I’ll jump into the hot water with you. I’ve noticed the same thing for a long time!

    • Oakenheart says:

      I found the data on him in less than 5 minutes with a google search. Lazy does not even qualify those skidmarks in the underwear of journalism. That’s not even an effort. They didn’t try at all.

      • Andy B. says:

        I agree that they should adhere to a higher standard as professional, high-profile journalists.

        But, that said, ask yourself how many people in our crowd will take any time to check out the backgrounds of someone being quoted in the media, as long as the person being cited is saying something we want to hear.

        Ask further if, were you to expose a dark underside that placed the credibility of that person in doubt, would most people prefer to kill you as the messenger, rather than thank you for exposing a piece of the truth?

        • Don Gwinn says:

          No need to hypothesize, really. The experiment has been run with John Lott, Ted Nugent . . . you can come up with some highly suspect and/or deranged stuff and still make a lot of money as a paragon of public gun-rights advocacy.

          That’s the way our system of public discourse works. I don’t love it, but I’ve never seen anyone’s top-down solution that I liked better. But, yeah, it does suck.

          • Andy B. says:

            I know the dangers of saying the same thing too many times, but I’ll say again: My problem is with too many parallel agendas polluting and diverting the gun rights agenda.

            I first became aware of John Lott’s, shall we say, problems, after having a run-in with him over the campaign for PA governor back in 2002. After Republican AG Mike Fisher had undercut the gun rights community countless times during his tenure, everyone who was anyone in the gun rights community in PA yet jumped on his bandwagon for governor in 2002. That of course extended to, concealing anything anti-gun he had done in the past, and in some cases the people covering for him were people who had wished him dead, only a few years before, because of the way Fisher was fighting them on gun rights.

            I got in a flame-war with Lott after he wrote an Op/Ed piece or two in the mainstream media that portrayed Fisher as being always to the right of Daniel Boone when it came to gun rights. When I first communicated with him, it was plain he didn’t know Jack Squat about Fisher or his history, and from that it was plain he was only acting as a mercenary for the Republicans. That seemed a bit unseemly for someone whose main value to the RKBA movement was his credibility as a dispassionate academic researcher.

            To try to be both fair and clear here, Fisher’s opponent was Ed Rendell, who won. So, it may be very legitimate for rank-and-file gunnies to have held their noses and supported Fisher as the evil of two lessers. But for a valued academic to squander his credibility and his value to us, by essentially lying in public, just to curry favor with a political faction, was a crushing disillusionment to me. As you can tell, it remains so to this day.

            But to condense the above even more: Rank-and-file gun owners were lied to, to further a raw and cynical political agenda. That was the “parallel agenda” at that time.

            It was after that that I first chose to look more into Lott’s history, and found what is there to be found.

          • Andy B. says:

            Here’s something down memory lane on the incident described above.

            I wrote at the time, “Something that is darkly amusing about the NRA’s national endorsement of a Pennsylvania candidate is that after proclaiming Fisher solidly pro-gun, they could not think of a single pro-gun thing he has ever done, to cite as an example. . .”

            I also wrote, presciently, “Back in the ’60s, they warned my generation that a variety of things, ranging from controlled substances to combat duty in Vietnam, would give us uncontrollable flashbacks for the rest of our lives. Someone should have warned us that involvement in the gun rights battle in Pennsylvania would be among those things. . .”

    • Patchy says:

      This has been the MO of the media for…ever, really. Get the most extreme outliers on either side and then claim ‘balance’ when someone dares to challenge their laziness.

    • richard40 says:

      I would amend that. If the source had something they did not want to hear I suspect they would have dug pretty deep. I would amend it to say they will take no efort to dig into any source who says something that fits into their preconceived biased prejudices.

  9. Thirdpower says:

    They don’t care what the guy’s past is, the NYT is pushing a political agenda and they and the other anti’s will repeat it ad nauseum. The facts don’t matter.

    • Dean Weingarten says:

      Exactly correct. The NYT is not worried about truth. They have been used to having an overwhelming control of what information gets to the public for so long, they are not worried about things like accuracy or fact.

      It is the agenda that is the most important to them, and it has been for decades. They are absolutely enraged that the “little people” are able to find out that they are being played for suckers.

  10. Mycroft says:

    Well, that explains why Gabby Gifford’s husband bought an AR15 after starting a gun control group to ban the sale of AR15s.

  11. JayF says:

    “Michael Kunda…suggests establishing a bullet registry as well as outlawing…Teflon bullets.”

    C’mon, folks. Anyone who suggests establishing a bullet registry as well as outlawing…Teflon bullets is quite indisputably an EXPERT on firearms and firearm issues.

    • SDN says:

      Oh, he’s an expert all right — ex as in has-been and spurt, a drip under pressure….

  12. Mollbot says:

    I grew up in Marysville, WA. My children attend school there now. I have met Mr. Kundu, once. Two things struck me upon meeting him. Firstly, I thought “I would never EVER buy a used car from this man.” He exudes sliminess. Secondly, no matter what you did in front of City Hall, he did it in front of the State Capitol, better.

    I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw my truck.

  13. egoist says:

    AR owner or not, marksman or not, I’ll give the NYT this much: they’re right that there’s a lot of self-hate in the culture. Its roots are altruism, its dominant exponent is environmentalism.

    Take, for example, the oil-haters. The condemn oil for every imagined problem from heat waves to snow storms, and blame it for losses in due-loot to the treasury (not sufficient to keep the welfare train running on time). Yet, these same people depend on that same oil for their food, their transport, the soles of their shoes, the plastic that makes up the body of their laptop / cell phone / LED TVs…

  14. John says:

    They want so badly for it to be true they stop looking as soon as they get someone with whom they agree. Its always the same with the unicorn crowd.

    Anyone that still reads the New York Slimes needs their head examined, they haven’t done actual journalism is 50 years or more.

  15. Shootin' Buddy says:

    He owns a fucking Panther. Just how into guns can he be?

  16. jim says:

    It’s called being a “Moby.”

    As in “I’ve been a lifelong Republican and rock-ribbed conservative, but I just can’t believe what these redneck Teatards are doing to my party!”

    • Pete says:

      “Teatards”? What, exactly, do you think they are doing to YOUR party? You, as a rock ribbed conservative, should throw your full support behind the Teaparty. Without them, the Republican party would be even more of a sellout than they are now. The Teaparty is a group of people trying to hold the republican party to their core values, which they have long dropped from their moral conviction. Not sure who YOUR republican party is, but if they are not Teaparty backed, they are not the republican party. There is a new term for YOUR republican party, RINO. Republican In Name Only. Find out what they stand for before you trash talk them.

  17. Slartibartfast says:

    Kundu works for FEMA? That’s rather amusing.

    Oddly, his email is given as “Amitava.M.Kundu@dhs.gov”

    His Linkedin page has about two decades unaccounted for. Maybe that’s when he became a master marksman.

  18. Lawrence Todd says:

    I feel much safer knowing that a organizer of a pirate and a most likely eco-terrorist organization is with associated with DHS/FEMA.

  19. Ash says:

    Just to pile on, his Project Seawolf page is taking tax deductible donations for his 501(c)3 (via a Paypal page).

    According to Charity Navigator, the group exists but has zero income.

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=911877519

  20. Chris Morton says:

    Of course all of this is old hat to those of us who frequent firearms related message boards.

    Every time there’s a big push on for repressive gun controls, “reasonable gun owners” with low post counts magically appear, calling for “sensible gun safety measures”… such as registrations, bans and confiscation. Oddly, these “pro-gun” people parrot EXACTLY the current party line from Brady, VPC, and MAIG.

    Some may remember the pathetic “American Hunters and Shooters Association” (AHSA) which was the “gun owners” equivalent of “Negroes for Jim Crow” or “Jews for the Nuremberg Laws”. Some of us even remember the even more contemptible “National Firearms Association” (NFA) from the ’90s.

    What all of these inept scams represent is a profound contempt for gun owners by those who wish our destruction. The Japanese and Germans thought of the United States in the same way during WWII. If I were a religous man, I’d pray to god that they keep on thinking we’re THAT dumb.

    • richard40 says:

      The problem though is given the results of the last election far too many voter really are that dumb. Hopefully this gun control lunacy will wake some of them up though.

  21. thebronze says:

    Good job!!

  22. Brad Ervin says:

    Just like the Nigerian email scam, they don’t care how smart or gullible you are. The story wasn’t aimed at you, or me. They are reaching the 80% of the people that don’t do research. Most of that 80% don’t read past the headline. Most of them read that even gun owners support stricter gun laws. Now, what’s wrong with you that even staunch gun competitors support stricter laws and you don’t? Survey says: “you need re-education.” [\sarcasm]

  23. Pete says:

    You could keep partially selling your rights to the communists until they are all gone. It is happening in new england were a lot of “sportsman” are willing to senselessly compromise there rights to achieve nothing except a show of good faith. “Good Faith” equates to less constitutionally guaranteed rights. Any gun legislation passed would not have save any of those children if they were enacted prior to this tragedy. Don’t sell your soul to try and prove to the communist left that you are “moderate”. You will moderate yourselves into serfdom. Stand and Fight! Who cares what the gun haters call you. STAND STRONG!

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