Calamity Ann

Ann Coulter & Gun Control

by Vern Crisler

Copyright, 2007

In her April 25, 2007 column “Nuts in the Crosshairs,” Ann Coulter argues against a “mental illness” exception to the Second Amendment.  Far be it from me to disagree with Ann, but her argument—like astronauts wearing diapers—escapes my limited mental resources.


She is claiming that if certifiable people are not allowed to own guns, this would be comparable to preventing certifiable people from exercising their First Amendment rights.  Is this a correct summation?  If it is, I just don’t see that it provides a convincing analogy.


The elephant in the room, of course, is the level of physical damage that can be caused by a deranged gun buyer as opposed to (say) a moronic crooner recommending one piece of toilet paper per visit


“No one can be locked up permanently for being potentially dangerous,” says Ann.  But is this compatible with the “clear and present danger” doctrine?  Are temporary lockups for the potentially dangerous ok?  Ann doesn’t rule it out.  What if someone bought a tank and threatened to blow up all the Accounting majors?   Is that potentially or actually dangerous?  Would it bring a benefit to society?


Ann also claims that if we have a “mental illness” exception to the Second Amendment, we should also have a “Muslim exception.”  Instead of reacting negatively, I had to think about that for a moment.  What would be wrong with a Muslim exception to the First or Second Amendments?


Our founding fathers did not regard these rights as absolute.  They did have, after all, exceptions for “public order” and “licentiousness.”  Nowadays that would exclude quite a number of people, but in the meantime, maybe we could just start with crazy English majors.  I mean those who are really, really crazy.


Note: the name Calamity Ann is not a dig at Ann, but a (lame) attempt to be clever on my part.