Dionne’s Brilliant Proposal

Dionne’s Brilliant Proposal July 27, 2009

You hear some talk about the opponents of health care reform forcing members of Congress to abide by it. Clearly, those who make the claim do not understand the basics of the reform — the health exchanges would be barred to those under large company insurance schemes, at least for a few years. Indeed, the worst outcomes of the reform would be no change for most people, especially those receiving insurance through employers, as not enough is being done to curb the power of the insurance companies in these schemes.

But what about the gun nuts in Congress? Just recently, these same gun nuts tried to force through a measure that would allow gun owners to carry weapons into other jurisdictions without heed for tighter regulations relating to carrying weapons in those jurisdictions. Thank God this piece of anti-life lunacy was defeated. But now EJ Dionne has a great proposal — let the gun nuts in Congress put their money where their mouth is. He asks: 

“Isn’t it time to dismantle the metal detectors, send the guards at the doors away and allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by being free to carry their firearms into the nation’s Capitol?

I’ve been studying the deep thoughts of senators who regularly express their undying loyalty to the National Rifle Association, and I have decided that they should practice what they preach. They tell us that the best defense against crime is an armed citizenry and that laws restricting guns do nothing to stop violence.

If they believe that, why don’t they live by it?

Why would freedom-loving lawmakers want to hide behind guards and metal detectors? Shouldn’t NRA members be outraged that Second Amendment rights mean nothing in the very seat of our democracy?

Congress seems to think that gun restrictions are for wimps. It voted this year to allow people to bring their weapons into national parks, and pro-gun legislators have pushed for the right to carry in taverns, colleges and workplaces. Shouldn’t Congress set an example in its own workplace?”

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kurt

    Go E.J.!

  • Blackadder

    As I recall one of Ted Kennedy’s bodyguards was arrested a few years back for carrying an unregistered handgun, two machine guns, and 146 rounds of ammunition while at the U.S. Capitol building. He’s not the only Democratic Senator, as I recall, who has had this sort of thing happen.

    My guess is that a lot of Republican Senators would be happy to be able to bring their guns with them to the Senate chambers. And maybe some Democrats would be happy to hire someone to do it for them.

  • phosphorious

    My guess is that a lot of Republican Senators would be happy to be able to bring their guns with them to the Senate chambers. And maybe some Democrats would be happy to hire someone to do it for them.

    Then what’s the hold up?

  • awakaman

    MM I totally agree with you and Mr. Dione.

    First, Congress should not be passing any laws infringing on the rights of states and local communities to pass laws involving the right to carry and bear arms. The Bill of Rights was designed to restrict the actions of the Federal government and not that of the states. It was only with the passage of the 14th Amendment and its subsequent faulty interpretation by the federal courts that the Bill of Rights was alleged to apply to state and local governments.

    Secondly, you and Mr. Dione obviously agree with the great Mr. Jefferson:

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

  • MM:

    It’s a nice turn on the gun issue, but what about health care reform? Do you think the health care package ought to apply to Congress?

  • Michael– yes, why not? But what would change exactly?

  • Matt Talbot

    Michael Denton – MM can answer for himself, but my answer would be to turn the question around: Why not give everyone the same coverage our Congressional representatives have?

    If it is good enough for those who represent us, it is good enough for those who they represent.

  • Matt Talbot

    Michael Denton – MM can answer for himself, but my answer would be to turn the question around: Why not give everyone the same coverage our Congressional representatives have?

    If it is good enough for those who represent us, it is good enough for those who they represent.

  • Matt Talbot

    Michael Denton – MM can answer for himself, but my answer would be to turn the question around: Why not give everyone the same coverage our Congressional representatives have?

    If it is good enough for those who represent us, it is good enough for those who they represent.

  • standmickey

    Matt: I like that way of thinking about it. After all, “no servant is greater than his master,” and since they work for us…

    At the very least, I’d be interested to see what kind of reform would take place if they got yanked off their current plan and had to endure HMOs for a few months. I wonder how many would still be talking about how we supposedly have “the greatest health care system in the world.”

  • Matt:

    I think that’s the point of the question. That is, to point out that what’s being given isn’t all that great. If they really did believe in, then they could put themselves on it.

    Their hesitancy underlines the fact that the current reform is…we’ll say lacking.

  • At the very least, I’d be interested to see what kind of reform would take place if they got yanked off their current plan and had to endure HMOs for a few months. I wonder how many would still be talking about how we supposedly have “the greatest health care system in the world.”

    I can’t imagine there would be very much difference. For all their scary media reputation, most HMOs meet most people’s needs most of the time. I’ve had my family under various HMOs and PPOs for the last decade, and in some ways the HMOs were actually easier to deal with. Similarly, private insurance stood my father in good stead even through repeated bouts of cancer. (Nor is that merely a one-off finding — statistically people in the US have a much better life expectancy with cancer than in the health coverage paradises of Canada, France and the UK.)

    This is not to say that there are no problems. But the problems are not necessarily of the sort that being put on an HMO for a few months or even years would be much to “endure” for most people.

    On Dionne’s idea: It’s actually rather silly. Any number of work places already use their private property rights to outlaw the carrying of weapons on the premises. Even here in gun slingin’ Texas, which has a fairly open concealed carry law, the company that I work for has banned carry on company property and there are signs at all entrances indicating this. That there are metal detectors to enforce this at the Capitol is merely a reflection of there being more people who might want to disobey that rule than at an ordinary workplace.

  • Blackadder

    Why not give everyone the same coverage our Congressional representatives have?

    Cost, among other things.

  • Well, yes, nearly everybody in private insurance has to deal with HMOs and PPOs these days. Rememeber, the Clinton healthcare plan was all about managed care, but done in a way that would regulate the insurance sector. But of course, this was shot down for ideological reasons, and what happened? We got managed care anyway, with nothing to stop insurance company abuse.

    And Darwin is being a little disingenious — the cancer survivla rates don’t differ much between the US and Europe, and different cancers have different records (the US is good on some, weaker on others). But really, this isn’t the pertinent question. The pertinent question is what Americans get in return for paying twice as much as the average European for healthcare. The answer — not much. While people obsess about the implications on the public sector balance sheet, what is happening in reality is a giant transfer from worker’s wages to profits in insurance companies, drug companies, and healthcare practioners. This is neither efficient nor equitable.

  • jh

    This is a brilliant proposal.?As a Person that supported immigration reform this is the same hackery that said Bush if he opposed a fence at the border should get rid of the fence at the White House. Or the same stupidity that the Vatican(which also supported it) needed to to bring down their wall

    Yeah Brilliant (sarc)

    Most folsk are not affected by a FENCE. It appears many people including my older parents will be very effected by Health Care reform. I really suspect this jouirnalist will not

  • TeutonicTim

    I think it’s a great idea. At the same time we should take most of the anti-gun senators at their word and not allow them to have their SWAT security teams, or their personal CCW permits that they need for protection due to their situation.

  • ockraz

    Just an observation about word use:

    Did you notice that EJ used to term ‘pro-gun’ legislator? I am not an apologist, for the NRA, but I think that this is a common inconsistency in the media at large. People who have strong feelings about the 2nd Amendment and want to stop restrictions on people’s freedom to own and carry guns are ‘pro-gun’. Why aren’t they called ‘pro-choice’? They don’t want to force people to carry or own guns, do they?

    They’re called ‘pro-gun’ because the media on the whole is comfortable portraying them that way and less comfortable portraying them as people who are defending a constitutional right (which at least is in the constitution and not ‘penumbras’).

    PS: I would not be opposed to a constitutional amendment authorizing states or municipalities to make whatever laws restricting gun ownership or use that they saw fit- so don’t think I’m a 2nd Amendment ‘pro-choicer’ when I’m not.