This was the week that Dr. Kidglove performed his most thrilling stunt: stepping into a phone booth, ripping off his street clothes, and emerging as Captain Courageous.
Staring the NRA bully straight in the rifle-scope, he told Congress to pass legislation banning so-called assault weapons and limiting the size of gun magazines to no more than ten rounds. Then he issued 23 presidential declarations intended to militate against further mass slaying in public places in this country.
We do applaud his noble goals. Now let us see if he achieves them -- or if he reverts to mild-mannered, easily -intimidated Dr. Kidglove the next time House Republicans say "Boo!" The Casper Milquetoast Democrats in Congress have already warned that the laws Capt. Courageous demanded might be very hard to pass. Poor dears.
Some in the media have praised Capt. Courageous for offering the boldest effort ever to control gun violence in the United States. That's a matter of perspective. Ten-round magazines would mean that school shooters could kill only ten youngsters, max, considerably fewer than the shooters at Newtown or Blacksburg. If numbers are all you care about, this would be progress.
I hope the round-heeled crowd in Washington gets behind Capt. Courageous on this one. Putting the entire Obama agenda into law would be a good first step toward sanity regarding armed citizens in the U.S.
Generously conceding moral neutrality to the practice of hunting wild game in a modern, civilized nation, the rest of the NRA gun crowd are, as the New York Post put it, nut cases.
From its inception, after all, the Second Amendment was a sop to slave owners, hardly the most admirable segment of the inchoate nation that became the United States of America. Brilliant as they were, prescient as they were in writing most of the document that is our Constitution, even James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were large-scale slave-owners. And "the militia" whose maintenance justifies the ironclad right of "citizens" to bear arms was in fact the militias of the southern states whose sole mission was to suppress any attempt at insurrection by slaves who outnumbered whites in broad swaths of the south, and to run down escaped slaves and bring them back to the lessons of the lash. The NRA's precious "right" to its private arsenals is writ in human blood.
Capt. Courageous, legal scholar and history buff, surely is aware of all of this. What irony, what travesty, if the nation's first black president were to cave on these issues, betraying the legacy of his forefathers.
Americans are buying guns at a near-record rate since Newtown. They're falling over themselves to join the NRA. They're nut cases.
It is time for government to save them from themselves. Keep on being Capt. Courageous, Barack Obama. Kidglove has has already caved to our lesser angels far too often. This isn't about budgets; it's about lives.