The National Quail Convention already had its speaker

Antonin Scalia, appeaing at a turkey-hunting conference, says guns have an image problem.

Published February 27, 2006 8:33PM (EST)

We are not making this up.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who famously sputtered out the words "quack quack" when asked about a hunting trip he took with Vice President Dick Cheney, traveled to Tennessee over the weekend to speak at the annual convention of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

We don't know whether Scalia said anything about his hunting trip with Cheney or the vice president's recent troubles, but we do know --- because the Associated Press tells us so -- that the justice reminisced about his youth as a gun-toting member of a high school rifle team. "I used to travel on the subway from Queens to Manhattan with a rifle," Scalia said. "Could you imagine doing that today in New York City?"

One might say that things have changed since the days of Scalia's youth. There's gang violence. There's the threat of international terrorism. But Scalia suggested that the problem of guns today is really just one of perception: "The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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