Sorry, hell. Feeling the heat last week, the N.R.A. backed off its phenomenally successful recent fund-raising letter, the one blasting federal cops as "jackbooted government thugs . who, in Clinton's Administration . have the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens."

"If anyone thought [our] intention was to paint all federal law-enforcement officials with the same broad brush, I'm sorry," said Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.'s executive vice president.

Hear LaPierre carefully. He didn't say "Sorry about all that." He said "Sorry about some of that." Left standing as the N.R.A.'s chief enemy, which the association continues to demonize in...

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