The story of Rick Perry dispatching a coyote that threatened him and his daughter’s lab pup with his trusty Ruger has become a part of Texas legend. The incident will almost surely come up again in his presidential campaign, where opponents will likely use it to portray him as a typical wacko gun-packin’ Texas cow poke, too violent and unilateralist for polite politics. Whatever. The fact is, as David Kopel details, we’ve had presidents carry guns while in office before, including both Roosevelts and even the highly independent Eleanor. And those are just the ones we know about. Tom Coburn doesn’t seem to trust himself to have a piece on the Senate floor, given the opinion he has of some of his fellow legislators. But the question at the heart of Kopel’s piece is, given DC’s ridiculously restrictive carry laws, would a hypothetical President Perry be able to carry, if he wants to?
President Perry could ask the D.C. police to deputize him, in order to take advantage of the D.C. law allowing the police to carry guns, but President Perry would have no practical need to ask the D.C. police to use their discretion to grant him the ability to do something he can do without their permission anyway.
And why not? Sure, whomever occupies the oval office has the benefit of those guys with the earpieces and the mirrored shades watching out for him. But as has been demonstrated too many times, they’re certainly not perfect. Not that anyone could expect them to be given the CINC’s need and desire to shake hands and kiss babies. With President Obama exploring the wilds of Martha’s Vineyard this week, what would he do if confronted by his own killer rabbit? Everyone, even “the most powerful man in the world,” is responsible for their own self defense. At least to some degree. So…should the POTUS pack heat?