Wooly Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen weighed in on the Tucson shooting that resulted in the death of U.S. District Judge John Roll and five others during a botched assassination attempt of Rep. Gabby Giffords. In a stunning feat of logical contortion, Cohen, who looks like the spawn of an unholy union between David Letterman and Wolf Blitzer, equates the tragedy to the discovery of America. America, he says, was not discovered by Columbus. It was discovered by the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. Really. I’m not kidding…
I had a teacher in college who used to ask, Who discovered America? He would offer some choices. They were Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus or the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. The answer he wanted was the three ships with which eventually someone would have discovered the New World and without which everyone would have remained in Spain.
It is no different with the tragedy in Tucson. Hate speech and madness were part of the mix, but it was the gun and our insane gun laws that resulted in six deaths. Until we come to grips with that, as a nation, we remain armed and dangerous.
Hmmm, I guess that means a petri dish discovered penicillin.
Maybe Cohen has a point. Maybe the gun brainwashed Jared Lee Loughner with fiery political rhetoric like a snake charmer’s pungi. The gun hypnotically played, “Kill her, she supported ObamaCare. Kill her, she’s a Jew.” And Loughner’s serpentine arm uncoiled like a cobra, gun in hand, spitting death. Poor Loughner, who will surely spend the rest of his pathetic days behind bars, was merely a victim of the gun like those whose bodies were torn apart by hot lead. Meanwhile, the Glock 19 will get off Scott free.
Cohen even admits that he almost fell sway to the influence of a handgun’s charms.
I have in the past admitted a sometime yen to have a handgun for protection — I have twice been burglarized, once while I was in the house
Have any of you ever “admitted a sometime yen?” Not me. I yearn. But that’s beside the point. Cohen was strong. He resisted.
[M]y own moderate paranoia cannot make me duck the obvious. Six people are dead and 14 wounded in Arizona not just because a man went crazy or just because political rhetoric has gotten too raw, but because they were shot. It’s the gun that did it.
Who knows what evil Cohen might have committed if he had yielded to the handgun’s siren song. Maybe he would have flown to Arizona and tried to kill Gabby Giffords himself. Maybe worse. Fortunately, Cohen resisted his yen long enough to warn us all: Beware! Ships discover. And guns kill.