Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but the headline and lede of this story at really annoy me:

Cheney opens door to tighter gun restrictions

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a staunch gun advocate, says tighter weapons regulations might be "appropriate" to prevent another tragedy like the Arizona mass shootings that left six people dead and a congresswoman seriously wounded.

Cheney, an avid hunter, said he is "willing to listen to ideas" on how to better control the purchase and use of firearms.

"Whether or not there's some measure there in terms of limiting the size of the magazine that you can buy to go with a semiautomatic weapon -- we’ve had that in place before. Maybe it's appropriate to re-establish that kind of thing, but I think you do have to be careful obviously," Cheney told NBC's Jamie Gangel, national correspondent for "TODAY." ...

After George W. Bush had been in office a number of years, Bill Clinton and Al Gore did weigh in on some issues -- but even when that was taking place, I can't imagine a news organization using the headline "Clinton Opens Door to Surge in Iraq" or "Gore Opens Door to Tax Cuts on Wealthy," as if they had some say in what the government does. They didn't -- and Cheney doesn't now. He can't "open [the] door to" any policy change -- he's a private citizen.

But, on a subconscious level, that's not how the press feels. The press feels that Republicans, even those who no longer hold office, have some sort of moral veto, especially on issues that have to do with violence (foreign policy, crime, gun control, anti-terrorism, and other manly areas of interest). Taxes, too, now that I think of it.

So I guess we're allowed to consider banning high-capacity magazines now that we have Cheney's permission -- just as we'd be allowed to consider, say, trying Guantanamo prisoners in the U.S. if we had Rudy Giuliani's permission (or Newt Gingrich's or Sarah Palin's). Gee, thanks, Dick -- and thanks, NBC.

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