This year we will hold a contest for the dumbest thing that anyone says about guns. Believe me, there will be plenty of candidates and I invite all my readers to submit any candidates for the award. In the meantime, I’m going to start off with the first nomination: State Legislator Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) who “accidentally” shot off a gun in her State House office. “I didn’t want to use it any more,” she explained, “so I thought that I would just put that sucker away.”
Want to make sure a gun is empty before putting that ‘sucker’ away? Just pull the trigger and if the sucker goes off, at least you know that the round in the chamber is no longer there. Of course another round could now be in the chamber but what the hell, as Representative Combs explained to the media, “I’m a gun owner, it happens.” Duhhh.
Actually, Leslie Combs has to share this week’s Dumb award with someone else, namely, Tracey Goodlett, head of the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense which just last week came together with Mike Blooomberg’s organization to form one big, happy coalition to help rid America of the scourge of guns. Ms. Goodlett and her organization called for the “immediate resignation” of Representative Combs because her behavior not only endangered her own life but the life of another legislator who happened to be standing in her office when the little sucker went off. The Moms press release went on to say that “Rep. Combs’ actions set a poor example for those who hold her in high regard, including Kentucky’s children.”
I don’t know whether the citizens of the Blue Grass State hold Leslie Combs in high regard or not, but it seems to me that if anyone calls for her resignation it should be because she’s too dumb to hold elected office and certainly too dumb to own a gun. Oops! The 2nd Amendment doesn’t qualify the right to bear arms based on IQ, so I guess we’ll have to let that one fly. On the other hand, the whole point of owning and carrying a gun is that what happened in Leslie Combs’s office shouldn’t happen and her comment, “it happens” because she owns a gun gets the first Dumb Award of 2014. After all, would it have happened if she didn’t own a gun?
The NRA has three basic rules that every person must follow when they pick up a gun: (1). Always point it in a safe direction; (2). Don’t touch the trigger until you’re ready to shoot; (3). Make sure the gun isn’t loaded unless Rules #1 and #2 are in effect. Virtually every gun accident occurs when one or a combination of those three rules aren’t followed and Leslie Combs has no doubt been taught those rules as well. The issue isn’t whether Rep. Combs was careless and forgot how to deal safely with her gun. The real issue is whether anyone should be walking around with an item where the briefest lapse can result in terrible harm. Leslie Combs can afford to downplay the seriousness of that ‘sucker’ going off because neither she nor her legislative colleague took a bullet in the leg. But what if the gun had been pointed up instead of down and the round ended up going through her head?
Unfortunately, the hysterical-nonsensical comments from the Moms organization don’t clarify the problem but simply make it more difficult to figure out what, if anything, we should do. I really wish the Moms and all the other gun control advocacy groups would stop pretending that they support the 2nd Amendment because the truth is that from their point of view, safety doesn’t begin with everyone carrying a gun, it begins when guns are no longer around. So let’s drop the false pretenses and have an honest debate. The novelist Walter Mosley put it this way: “If you carry a gun around, it’s going to go off sooner or later.” Is he right or is he wrong? That’s really what the gun debate is all about.