Michelle Malkin is attractive so I usually give her the benefit of a doubt by just looking at her picture and passing by the column next to it. But occasionally I read it and her words remind me that she’s outstandingly nuts even in a business not noted for its steadiness.
Here’s her recent column on the Democratic CNN/YouTube debate. As you might expect, Malkin doesn’t have a lot of good to say about any of the candidates involved. But even so, her views on this subject seem a little out on the fringe.
For the record, here’s my view on gun control. The Second Amendment gives people a clear and unambigous right to own fire-arms. And that’s a really dumb idea. As far as I’m concerned, unlimited gun ownership ranks just below slavery and just ahead of the original method of picking the Vice President as proof that the founding fathers were as fallible as any politician of today. I’d like to see the Second Amendment repealed so we can have some effective gun control in this country (although I wouldn’t favor a complete ban) and lessen the chance that some idiot will shoot me someday.
Obviously, I’m on the left on this issue. But I realize there’s a broad spectrum of views on the subject. Ms Malkin, however, does not. She apparently sees that there is One True Answer.
Here’s a link to the YouTube video that was shown to the candidates. Jered Townsend likes his guns - he refers to them as his “babies” and wants to know if his babies are safe. He then pulls up a AR-15 into camera view and introduces it as his baby.
In response to this, Bill Richardson says his policy is “Nobody who has a criminal background or is mentally ill should be able to get a weapon.” Now Richardson actually has a fairly pro-gun voting record and the NRA has endorsed him. So Malkin was shocked by Richardson’s response - not defending the rights of criminals and lunatics to own guns? How Un-American is that? Next you’ll be saying imprisoned convicts shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.
Joe Biden answered next and Malkin was expecting nothing good from him. Biden was asked “Are you going to be able to keep his ‘baby’ safe?” and answered, “I’ll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help.”
Okay, it was a cheap shot but it got a laugh. Biden went on to say that he also would like to restrict gun sales to people who are “either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record.”
Malkin by now is foaming at the mouth. (Okay, I don’t really know that she was literally foaming at the mouth but she wrote like she was.) Not only had Biden also rejected the Holy Text of the Second Amendment but he had mocked the mentally ill as well. She compared the abused Jered Townsend to Paris Hilton and the way she talks about her Chihuahua, to Brad Pitt and the way he talks about his Ducati motorcycle, to Al Gore and the way he talks about his Priuses and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Actually, I’m pretty sure neither Pitt or Gore have ever referred to these objects as their babies. Which I guess reduces Malkin’s argument to Jered Townsend being no crazier than Paris Hilton. It’s probably not a comparison you’d want to bring with you to a competency hearing.
All kidding aside, I don’t think Townsend is anything out of the ordinary - the man likes his gun and that doesn’t make him crazy. But there are other people out there who really are crazy. And I think a lot of people aren’t completely comfortable with the idea of these people having an AR-15 and access to a crowd.
I figure that hard-core Second Amendment supporters feel about this issue the same way that hard-core First Amendment supporters feel about flag burning or animal sacrifice - they thinks it’s important to uphold the principle but they’re not comfortable about the reality and they secretly wish that some of the people they’re defending would just disappear.
So, who’s in the mainstream here? Is it Bill Richardson and Joe Biden and myself who believe that criminals and mentally ill people should have restrictions on their gun ownership rights? Or are we out of touch and most people agree with Malkin that the founding fathers meant everyone should own a gun? Personally, I’m thinking somebody should have pulled Madison aside and asked him, *“How about Larry the Village Idiot, James, do you think he should be able to carry a loaded musket around town? What about Bill the Town Drunk when he’s three sheets in the wind? Do you want him shooting up Main Street? What about Mean Harvey? They say he shot four people and the only reason he got away was he threatened to shoot anyone on the jury who called him guilty. Or how about the Indians, James, do they have the right to own guns? Do your slaves have the right to own guns?” *