The kerfuffle over Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn’s statement “It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor” continues, with all the predictability of a Swiss train. Today’s the day that professional gun violence victims and gun grabbing orgs expressions of shock and horror hit the net (hey it’s summer). Needless to say, New York Congressional Representative Carolyn “Ban the Shoulder Thingie” McCarthy is the leader of the pity pack. “‘What Sen. Coburn said is absolutely outrageous and unconscionable,’ McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son critically injured in a 1993 mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road, told POLITICO.” Need some more salt for that wound Senator Cobuyrn? Sure ya do . . .
“Words matter and I don’t think any person who has been or knows a victim of gun violence would find this a laughing matter. Mr. Coburn should issue an apology immediately and be more conscious of the effect the things we say can have on the public,” she added.
Our man Zimmerman said pretty much all there is to say about this storm in a teacup. But not everything. First, I disagree with Senator Coburn: I don’t think it’s a good thing that he can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.
All joking aside (and Coburn’s remark was a joke), our elected representatives should have the same right to armed self-defense as any other law-abiding, majority age citizen of the United States. Making the Senate floor a gun-free zone, depending on Capitol police for their protection, is just asking for trouble. From terrorists, assassins and . . . fellow politicians. To wit Wikipedia:
Preston Smith Brooks (August 5, 1819 – January 27, 1857) was a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina. Brooks is primarily remembered for his severe beating of Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate with a gutta-percha cane, delivered in response to an anti-slavery speech in which Sumner compared Brooks’ relative, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, to a pimp, which Brooks interpreted as a humiliation laden with sexual innuendo. Brooks was cheered across the South, but the episode was used by Northerners to depict the Southerners as violent fanatics, thus pushing the nation a step closer to Civil War.
Second, Coburn should not apologize for his remark—other than echoing this debate-winning statement from presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Nope. Despite the tough talk, Coburn turns out to be just another po-faced back-pedaling pol with the letters CYA tattooed on his chest.
Coburn spokesman John Hart did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he told CBS News the Oklahoma Republican was “obviously joking” when he made the remarks during public appearances in Oklahoma on Wednesday. Hart said Coburn would “personally apologize to any of his colleagues who were offended.”
And after that he should personally apologize to the people who are offended by his personal apology to people who were offended by his remark. That is, after all, the politician’s way.