Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tom Coburn: Gun-control Moderate

Sen. Tom Coburn is catching flac for having said "It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor," as if there was something inflammatory (or explosive?) about that kind of talk.   No flac from me.  No; I'm impresssed that Coburn has done something that the serious gun nuts will never do, ever.  He's actually acknowledged that there may be some limit to second-amendment rights.

I have often wondered how far the "arms" part of the "right to bear arms" extends.  The proton pack?  Slimerizer?  A fully configured nuclear submarine?  I don't recall that I've ever heard the gun nuts ever admit to any limit of any sort.   It's a bit like the Republicans who won't entertain the possibility of a ten-to-one ratio of cuts to taxes.  You get the sense they'd say the same thing to 100 to one, or 1,000 to one or--anyway,  Coburn has done the unthinkable in suggesting as to weapons, there might actually be a limit.

Of course, Coburn didn't go so far as to say say that he actually approved of a limit on the packing of Senatorial heat.  And why should he?  Is there anything in the second amendment that that actually says a senator should not be allowed to carry his gat, his persuader, his rod, his piece into the chamber if he damn well pleases?

I suppose the nearest thing to a good argument you could advance is from pre-Constitutional tradition: as I recall the conventional definition of the "aisle" in a legislative chamber is that it should be wide enough that swords cannot reach across it.  I suppose we could adapt the same principle to modern times by letting the Republicans sit in Virginia, the Democrats in  Maryland.  Or, if we are using fully configured proton packs, maybe New Jersey.

3 comments:

marcel said...

Well, canes traditionally have been permitted. At least they were in 1856.

New York Crank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New York Crank said...

I wonder if some Coburn fan would be good enough to please – oh please! – try carrying a gun into the U.S. Supreme Court, which put the latest hard-and-fast spin on the "right to bear arms."

I think a lawyer arguing a case before the Supremes with a loaded shotgun on the table in front of him and a pistol on his belt would alter the court's interpretation of the Second Amendment faster than you can say "strict construction."

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank