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Tucson Weekly Round And Round

Echoes In The Aftermath.

By Tom Danehy

MAY 3, 1999:  THE 10 STUPIDEST things uttered publicly in the aftermath of the shooting rampage in Colorado:

10. Unidentified caller on The Rush Limbaugh Show: "If only those poor kids who got killed had been armed. They could have had a fighting chance."

This bizarre logic was a recurring theme in the days following the massacre. Let's look at it this way: You've got an 18-year-old who still plays video games and makes Internet-recipe bombs in the garage. He's walking down the halls of his school, killing people because they're able to shoot a basket or catch a football (or maybe just because they're black). Obviously his 18 years on earth didn't make him wise and mature in the use of guns.

But this caller's solution is to give all the 15-, 16- and 17-year-old would-be victims guns of their own so that, should one of their nut-boy classmates snap because they're not allowed to sit at the "cool" table in the cafeteria, they can shoot back and hope to catch the Trench-Coat Dork in a crossfire.

The only trouble is: how do we know which kids are targets? Like, should a kid on the golf team be considered a jock?

9. Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura on MSNBC: "Maybe if some of the teachers or administrators had been carrying concealed weapons, the outcome would've been a little different."

To his credit, after the hangover wore off, he admitted he had been wrong to suggest that and offered that only law-enforcement personnel should be armed in such a situation.

8. Unidentified caller on Limbaugh: "Maybe this is the time for Congress to give serious consideration to school vouchers."

What the hell do 15 dead people have to do with your getting an undeserved tax break? And that's all the voucher system is: a tax break for sending your kid to Snobby White-Boy Prep.

Every American has the unfettered right to send his kids to a private school. If you can't afford it, life sucks. If you can afford it and you still want a tax break, you suck.

7. Unidentified caller on G. Gordon Liddy Show: "I think every kid in school these days should carry a gun."

Ah, see, that fills in all the gaping loopholes left by Loser No. 10. But what do they do, check them out when they arrive in the morning and hand them in when they leave? And what about when they shower after P.E.? (Not that many schools have P.E. anymore, and not that kids actually shower.)

And what kind of guns? They're not going to have a uniform code where everybody has to carry the same gun, are they? You know somebody would sue saying that it stifles his kid's individuality.

6. Phil Murphy in The Arizona Daily Star: "I'm disappointed."

My buddy Phil was pissed that Gov. Jane Dee Hull vetoed a bill which would have overridden the Tucson city law banning the carrying of firearms in city parks. He felt the Guv was bowing to the tiny pressure of learning that more than a dozen kids had been slaughtered by gun-toting Hitler Youth wannabes.

Phil heads a gun advocacy group call Crass Coots or something like that. He thinks we should all feel really comfortable in a park, knowing that shirtless Billy Jim Bob in the next ramada is guzzling beer at the rate of a six-pack-per-hour and packing heat.

5. Rush Limbaugh on his show: "Excellence in broadcasting." I don't know, that kills me every time.

4. Bruce Porter, pastor at funeral for one of the slain students, on CNN: "One good thing came out of this. Last Tuesday (at Columbine High), prayer returned to the public schools."

This is one of the most shockingly insensitive, self-serving, and misguided things I've ever heard from a person claiming to be a man of God. Is he counting "Oh Dear Lord, please don't let these lunatics end my life at the age of 16" as prayer? Or is he celebrating people mourning the loss of friends and praying for the repose of their souls as some sort of victory long denied by the satanic Supreme Court?

For shame, pastor. Using that poor girl's funeral as a platform to promote your un-American (and largely un-Christian) agenda. Prayer has its place, but not in public schools.

3. Charlton Heston, quoted on CNN: "I don't understand."

The long-ago screen star was befuddled when the City of Denver, to which Littleton is a suburb, let it be known that it would prefer that the nation's biggest gun-nut club, the NRA, not hold its national convention in Colorado this year, as scheduled.

2. Unidentified caller on The Eric & John Show (KNST): "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

I know it qualifies as free speech, but the only reason it's free is because nobody would ever pay to hear something that stupid.

I was going to call the guy and tell him that I read once where a guy came home from hunting and fishing and put his catch on the counter next to his shotgun. Well, the "dead" fish flopped around, triggered the gun and sent the sportsman off to meet his maker. So the saying should be, "People don't kill people; guns (and sometimes fish) kill people." Oh yeah, the guy died on November 22, 1963, the same day that the President of the United States, according to the NRA, wasn't killed by a gun.

1. Eric or John on the Eric & John Show: "Uh-huh," right after the aforementioned idiot said his piece. I know it sounded like what somebody says when they're bored and they just want the other guy to shut up, but one of y'all agreed with that moron, whether you meant to or not.

Guys, I like your show; I listen to you all the time. But, gee whiz. "Guns don't kill people..."? Guns killed 15 people just the other day.

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