Barbara Bush said Friday that guns scare her and she doesn't own one because "I'm too afraid I'd shoot the wrong person." She said military assault rifles like the one used in a California rampage that left five children dead should be outlawed.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the first lady said she did not want to discuss the "politics and policies" surrounding handgun ownership. Her husband, President Bush, opposes new federal handgun controls and is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association."I myself do not own a gun," she said, urging an interviewer to talk with her husband about his position on handguns. "I choose not to get into that. I am afraid of them (guns). I'm too afraid I'd shoot the wrong person."
Nancy Reagan, before moving to Washington eight years ago, revealed she had owned "a tiny little gun" that she kept by her bed for protection while her husband was away. In her first White House interview in 1981, Mrs. Reagan said she had gotten rid of the weapon.
Marking the end of her second week in the White House, Mrs. Bush spent part of Friday afternoon giving her first interviews since her husband became president. "I feel at home here," she said, sitting on a couch, bathed in light from an arched window behind her.
In a town torn by debate over a 51 percent pay increase for members of Congress, Mrs. Bush was asked if she had been able to live on her husband's salary when he was a House member from Houston in the 1960s. "No," she replied, saying that they had relied on money he earned as an oilman in Texas.
"Could we have lived on it? We probably could have," she said. However, she said, they would have had a very different lifestyle and would not have been able to maintain two homes or send their children to private schools.
Asked if her husband had changed in any way since becoming president, she replied, "I don't see a difference with him." Pointing to several people in the room, she said, "I see a difference in you and you and you. Not me. I mean it's just different when you're president. Everybody treats you differently when you're president."