- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 31, 2000

You don't say?

We couldn't believe our eyes.

A newspaper clipping from the State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., quoting Carl T. Rowan Sr., the nationally syndicated columnist and one of Washington's original left-leaning talking heads, as saying that participants of the recent Million Mom March "don't know guns from grapefruit."

"In fact, it is a slick production by the same professional gun-control radicals who have been after your guns for decades," Mr. Rowan told the eighth annual Mid-Carolina Friends of the National Rifle Association banquet, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Columbia.

Good grief, Mr. Rowan, is NRA President Charlton Heston holding his musket to your head, or what?

"We don't need the federal government to tell us how to safely secure our weapons," continued Mr. Rowan, who, brandishing an unregistered handgun on June 14, 1988, shot a teen-ager taking an uninvited dip in the columnist's backyard lap pool.

"We don't need to be told how to raise our children or protect our homes," said Mr. Rowan, his smiling picture published right there next to his unprecedented remarks on firearms.

"No one will mount a massive march on Washington for safer cigarette lighters," Mr. Rowan pointed out, "despite the fact that five times more kids under 5 years old die each year from the misuse of lighters than from gun accidents."

No sooner did we finish reading the article than we phoned Mr. Rowan's pool house. The columnist's secretary, it turns out, was just as flabbergasted as we were. Mr. Rowan wasn't in South Carolina that day, she insisted: "He was in Minneapolis."

More importantly, she stressed, Mr. Rowan wouldn't be caught dead preaching at an NRA event.

We called the newspaper reporter whose byline appeared above the article, his name being Pat Robertson (no relation that we know of).

"A headline writer did that to us," complained the reporter, who no doubt should lay some of the blame on the photo editor, too.

Instead, Mr. Robertson corrected, it was Carl T. Rowan Jr., a gun collector, competitive shooter, former FBI agent, member of the NRA's board of directors and the columnist's son who was in South Carolina blasting everybody from the marching soccer moms to their organizer, President Clinton.

Heavy-metal bishop

Speaking of newspapers that sometimes get their facts mixed up, we have to laugh at The Washington Post's take on the most recent "Fox News Sunday." Among the show's guests were John Shelby Spong, the controversial retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, N.J., and Metallica band member Lars Ulrich.

Or, as the Post reported, "Metallica band members Lars Ulrich and Spong."

Pass the Hollandaise

Members of the University Club near the White House are wondering why Juan Miguel Gonzalez, father of 6-year-old Cuban castaway Elian Gonzalez, was breakfasting with a table full of lawyers and bankers last Friday.

Certainly, the membership roster of the elegant wood-paneled club on 16th Street NW has its share of lawyers and bankers. But what the interest of the latter bunch is in the Cuban dad is anybody's guess.

"At least three members of the staff" confirmed it was Elian's dad, one member of the club told us yesterday after he and another member inquired.

Just last week, Mr. Gonzalez, his son, and their entourage, protected by a million-dollar-plus security detail paid for by Uncle Sam's nieces and nephews, moved into an upscale home in Washington's high-rent district.

Bill's beacon, cont.

Our item yesterday about Paul Abramson, of Berkeley, Calif., being "aurally assaulted" while walking past the White House with his son generated considerable response.

Mr. Abramson contends that while walking past a group of protesters, "I felt like my ears were hurting inside," even though he'd not heard any discernible loud noise.

He feels foolish for asking, but questions whether the White House is using some kind of "silent" microwave emission to dissuade protesters, inflicting incidental damage.

"I have heard of such things, such as silent energy fields while at NASA during the '60s. They protected security vaults," says one reader. "Would this thing warrant an investigation report since it is directed at the public?"

Adds a medical doctor, who similarly asks not to be identified: "A loud subwoofer or tweeter can be played at frequencies outside the human range of hearing at volumes that will cause permanent damage and/or discomfort while still not being 'audible.' But surely our compassionate president wouldn't …"

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