The late Ohio Republican congressman Buz Lukens once arrrived at Akron-Canton airport for a press conference that would fashion another  lesson on the imperatives of true conservatism.

But before he blazed  into the room to address a handful of reporters, a couple of his aides entered with an American flag as the congressman’s ever-present stage prop  for Americanism. It was a struggle because the mast was several inches too tall for the room and was finally tilted slightly  to unfurl the flag.  The congressman, an aide explained, was never without his patriotic loyalties.

I later asked Lukens, a rapid-fire speaker with a shining grin permeated with sincerity, when he moved out to a college campus:  How can you be so liberal-sounding to college kids and conservative at a Greek church the night before?  Buz was ready for it:  “I fuzz it up a bit,” he admitted with a twinkle.

Sen. Howard Metzenbaum often arrived in Cleveland from Washington with a tennis racquet under his arm to make him seem younger than his years.  And Jim Rhodes sheepishly feigned a sore ankle when an older woman at an ethnic reception  asked him to dance with her, an example of his quick-exit experience in getting out of awkward situations.

Political reporting was a lot simpler in those days.  The ruses were easy to explain and quite harmless and the pols were never without inventing a new one or two.

Today, it’s always something much more complicated .  The fiscal cliff drags on,  propped up only by endless speculation on where it will go each day,  and it’s doubtful that the average American really understands the consequences other than they could  be  bad.  The right-to-work issue, like the GOP’s earlier voter repression handiwork, is filled with so much misformation-as-fact  about states going out of business under the burden of unions that Ohio’s editorial writers have been largely silent (excepting the Toledo Blade) in taking a clear position – a sign that the corporate media would never see the value of opposing  it .

And now, Newtown and 20 murdered children.  I can count on six hands the gun control opponents who are against any tightening of gun ownership.  Virginia Gov.  Bob McDonnell, one of the prettier faces in statehouses today, says “more facts” are needed  before any action is taken.  More facts than 20 kids mercilessly executed?  Or the imbecilic notion that teachers should be armed in the classroom?  With what?   A handgun in the desk  against a madman with a 30-bullet clip?  As someone pointed out, the shootings at Ft. Hood (13 dead, 29 wounded) occurred in a place where the whole base was armed.

In Ohio, where Gov. Kasich is battle- ready for a reelection campaign, he has already declared that he is a friend of the Second Amerndment and can’t change.  Has he read the Second Amendment?  Did they really have concealed automatic weapons in colonial times?  Do people really believe they must be armed to fight off, if it comes to that, the greatest military force in the world?

Kasich also has signed a bill permitting legislators to stash their handguns in the Statehouse parking garage.  But as in some other states, you can take the firearms into churches,  bars and other public places but not into a legislative hall filled with the politicians themselves. At some point will priests be equipped  like Pope Julius II, known as “the Fearsome Pope,” as he marched off to battle in full military dress to oppose the  sinful enemies?

Sound crazy?  Crazier than what’s happening today?

Evangelize!
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  • http://twitter.com/MadisonProj Maggi Cook

    Just a brief note– soldiers,like sailors on shipboard, are unarmed while on base unless at target range. This is what made the incident so horrific, he was shooting at a 100% defenseless group.

  • dmoore2222

    This does not make a case for arming school employees or even military personnel on base. It’s not hard to imagine how mistaken circumstances or identity could result in a shoot out where innocent people get killed. And lots of them. Most of the people commenting in the Congress, media or on blogs have never been in a firefight or anything close to it. They simply don’t realize the utter shock
    and awe that happens when guns start going off. Unless you are HIGHLY trained in either militry combat or SWAT you’ll simply be overcome by the resulting chaos. We have to give up this TV fantasyland notion of self defense and come to realize teachers and administrators are not equipped to confront an assault rifle toting mad man.

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