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Monday, December 17, 2012

Did Rush Limbaugh Breaks NYC Gun Laws?

On his show today, Rush Limbaugh told a story about attending a dinner party in New York City in the 1990s where Republican guests debated gun control. Limbaugh recounted telling a Nixon Administration official who favored gun control, “I'll give you my gun if you can promise me that when I leave this apartment tonight nobody else out there will have one either.” Limbaugh said he repeated the point: “Now, if you can promise me that nobody in Central Park is gonna have a gun tonight when I walk out of your apartment, then maybe we can talk."

But at that time (as it does now), New York City required a license to carry a concealed weapon, and it's virtually impossible to believe that a private citizen like Limbaugh would have qualified for the license. If he didn't have a license, then Limbaugh was breaking the law when he claims to have carried around a gun for self-protection on Fifth Avenue. So did Limbaugh just confess to being a law breaker?

Of course, it's entirely possible that Rush's gun story, like many of the things he says, was simply invented out of thin air. As I note in my book about Limbaugh, he often makes up stories (in addition to making up facts) to feed his enormous appetite for self-aggrandizement. Back in 2006 when Rush confessed to breaking the law by doctor-shopping for his massive pill addiction, he was banned from owning a firearm for 18 months. At the time, Rush indicated that this restriction on guns didn't bother him because he didn't own any.

Limbaugh loves to depict himself as a heroic gun-toting right-winger standing up against the “establishment Republicans.” The reality is that Limbaugh doesn't really care about guns. He cares only about attacking the liberals who want gun control in the face of yet another tragedy. So we may never know if Rush is a criminal who illegally carried a gun, or just a liar.

Crossposted at DailyKos.