Richard Cohen ... not that bright

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 1, 2007

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Cohen wrote a column yesterday arguing against people having guns -- especially young adults -- except for him.

According to [Fred] Thompson, the horrible massacre at Virginia Tech ( 32 dead) proved not that the shooter should have been in some sort of tightly controlled mental-health program or that it was too easy in Virginia for a nut to buy semiautomatic weapons, but -- incredibly enough -- that there were too few guns on campus. If the university did not prohibit guns, students would have been able "to protect themselves" -- presumably by reaching into their backpacks and gunning down the shooter.

Marshal Dillon begs to differ. He might point out that young people -- especially young men -- sometimes drink too much and have hormonal surges that compare, on a mild day, to Vesuvius on Aug. 24 of the year 79. (Goodbye, Pompeii.) To think that a university president in his or her right mind would permit students to carry guns on campus so stretches the term "right mind" that it loses all meaning.

Cohen might have a point. Too many college students aren't nearly as bright as the high school grads of the same age that are in this nation's military.

But once you get old and gray, having a gun is OK.

Mind you, while I subscribe to the Marshal Dillon Rule, I am on record as being sympathetic to those who like to keep a gun in the house. This is because I was burglarized one very dark night by a klutz of a thief who burst though my back door and ran around the first floor making so much noise that I was certain he was coming for me. (This was before the deranged had recourse to e-mail.) I very much wanted a gun -- not to whack the intruder but merely to protect my life.

I'm curious as to how Cohen thought he was going to protect his life with the gun if he wasn't willing to "whack the intruder." Maybe it was a really big gun and he was going to hide behind it. Is field artillery legal in Washington, D.C.?

Cohen also proves he just doesn't get it when it comes to global warming.

As if to make my point, Thompson suggested in a separate piece that scientists who believe in global warming could be likened to those -- the papacy, actually -- who suppressed Galileo. The metaphor is a bit tortured, but Thompson managed to mock scientists by saying that other planetary bodies -- "Mars and Jupiter, non-signatories to the Kyoto treaty" -- are also warming up. That may be the case, but it does not mean that little ol' Earth is not also warming up -- and since we live here it is best that something be done.

Cohen, you "non-thinker," if Jupiter and Mars are also warming -- and there aren't any humans on those planets -- then just maybe Earth's warming isn't our fault and there's nothing really to be done about it. Unless Cohen wants us to load up a bunch of rockets with water and shoot them towards the sun to cool the thing down.

Of course, the only way Cohen might understand this is if you wrap it around the end of a javelin and poke him with it -- then he might get the point.


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August 2007



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