The gun debate, like politics, makes strange bedfellows.
And those alliances can’t get much stranger than this one:
Al Cannon and Madonna are now on the same side.
More on “The Material Girl” later.
As for our local “Lawman with a Law Degree,” he’s sticking to his guns (pun intended, with more to come) with a fresh warning that he will refuse to enforce any new gun control laws he deems unconstitutional.
No, he’s not Judge Cannon. He’s Charleston County Sheriff Cannon.
Still, 10 other S.C. sheriffs have issued similar notices since December’s shooting massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., triggered clamor for tighter gun restrictions.
Our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to assure “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Then again, when that guarantee was ratified in 1791, “the people” had a far better shot in shootouts with the government.
In 2013, even with a right to keep and bear AR-15s (for now), “the people” are severely overmatched.
That didn’t stop Cannon, in Andrew Knapp’s Monday story on our front page, from reprising an obsolete refrain:
“Nothing has occurred since (colonial times) that suggests we need to be any less concerned about a central government that’s too powerful. The Second Amendment is a fail-safe that protects the country from that government.”
So how would that “fail-safe” protect those who “keep and bear arms” from helicopter gunships, tanks or drone-delivered air strikes?
Guns as self-defense against criminals?
Guns as self-defense against government’s awesome arsenal?
Hail to the chief
Cannon comes much closer to a rational bulls-eye when he points to a PoliceOne.com survey showing that 95 percent of the officers polled didn’t think limiting the number of rounds in high-capacity magazines would reduce the crime rate.
In that same story, though, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen backed tougher gun laws, citing support for them by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Mullen also kept his job’s proper function in his sights:
“In any laws are passed, ultimately the Supreme Court will determine whether or not they should be enforced. I don’t think that’s a decision that law enforcement should make.”
But Madonna’s got a job to do, too. A few weeks ago, she was pressed by interviewer Elizabeth Vargas on ABC’s “Good Morning America” about why she didn’t heed calls to remove firearm follies from her documentary of last year’s MDNA tour.
She defended her “art,” in part, with this golden National Rifle Association oldie: “I mean the thing is, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Madonna’s right about her right to use guns in her act.
Yet lots of folks on both extremes of the gun fight are wrong to fire logic blanks.
Charles Hill, principal of Stobridge Elementary in Hayward, Calif., staged a “Toy Gun Exchange” last month.
His overwrought aim: Sparing students from the “desensitizing” of this traditional kid stuff.
Whoa. Can’t we all at least agree that children ought to be able to play with toy guns — and not get in trouble for drawing guns or eating pastries baked in the shapes of guns?
Can’t we also at least agree to extend background checks on firearms purchases to gun shows?
Back to Madonna’s recent counter-fire against critics of her tour’s gun play:
“That whole first section of the show is like an action movie, and I was playing a super vixen who wanted revenge.”
As her 55th birthday looms next month, though, that “super vixen” is losing an arms race of sorts against the calendar.
But hey, Father Time’s got us all outgunned.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.