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Molly Ivins Takes on Texas Guns

The Quip as Concealed Weapon

Molly Ivins is a columnist for the Dallas Times Herald. Whenever I see a column she has written or have a chance to see her on television, I take advantage of the opportunity because she always has something compelling to say, and always says it with charm and humor. Her Texas drawl seems wonderfully conservative, so when you hear what she actually has to say, it can be quite surprising. Let's just say she's probably not George Bush's or Ross Perot's favorite political pundit!

Molly Ivins appeared recently on ABC's Nightline program hosted by Ted Koppel. Other guests were Jerry Patterson, a Texas State Senator and sponsor of a bill to permit Texas citizens to carry concealed handguns, and David Gold, a conservative radio talk show host. It was set up as such shows typically are, with two sides opposing each other, each trying to get their points across no matter what the points the opposition raises, regardless of the truth. Molly didn't really play along, raising only a few factual issues, particularly the fact that most people killed by handguns are family members and friends, not criminals. Even playing that role, she got off the best line of the evening, paraphrased as follows:

I think that's what we need. More people carrying weapons. I support the legislation but I'd like to propose one small amendment. Everyone should be able to carry a concealed weapon. But everyone who carries a weapon should be required to wear one of those little beanies on their head with a little propeller on it so the rest of us can see them coming! (emphasis added)

I recall the phrase "pointy headed liberals", but the religious zeal of "beanie wearing conservatives" makes me want to see them wearing the real thing. Why, if I were a cartoonist, I'd include a drawing of Senator and Presidential-hopeful Phil Gramm wearing a beanie, maybe showing that the propeller on Newt Gingrich's beanie is rotating so quickly that his feet have already left the ground! You'll just have to imagine it until Meanderings hires an illustrator!!

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Meanderings 2.02 -- February 1995