Columns » Bob Lancaster

Gube heat?

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So is Bro.-Gov. Huckabee packing or not?

On the TV with Steve Barnes recently, he said he’d got a permit, and he endorsed a Florida law that invites minding-their-own-bidness packers to pretty much blow away anybody who messes with them. But he wouldn’t say much more. For instance, he gave no clue whether he was gatted up right there in the studio even as they spoke.

Nervous and furtive glances from Steve suggested he might have been scanning for suspicious bulges, and it would’ve made good TV if at that point, citing a neglected subsection of the state FOI statute, Steve had insisted on a frisk. Hands against the wall and spread ’em, Beanpole. Geraldo would’ve done it, but Steve isn’t the type, and even if he had been, don’t you reckon at that point that Jethrine would’ve burst upon the set and just beat the crap out of him?

Out of Steve, I mean.

And maybe out of the Bro.-Gov. too.

Handling them both might’ve taken her, oh, five seconds, with one hand tied back.

The Bro.-Gov. locked and loaded was a strange prospect, I thought. I mean, this is a preacher man, his hero and role model the Prince of Peace, whose scorn of weaponry was unqualified and absolute. Would Jesus have packed? No. Would he have countenanced packing? No. Guns are for pussies, he would’ve said. Show me some real grit. Turn the other cheek. Do only good to those who draw a bead on you with serious intent. If they force you at gunpoint to walk a mile with them, walk two miles with the whorehoppers.

That’s bold talk from the Son of Man, but J.C. wasn’t running for office. He wasn’t running for president and trying to snake-charm high-dollar campaign support from large moron blocs.

The Bro.-Gov. is doing exactly that, however. And if he’s been disappointing in the bro. role, he’s savvy enough in the gov. role to know that gun talk is the biggest of the big imbecile draws. It’ll fetch ’em like nothing else — abortion, praying at football games, fighting terrists. Firearm in one cold dead hand and campaign check in the other.

And sure as shooting, almost the next morning after that one little bit of TV gun whoopery, here came the outdoor columnist for the Republizette so ecstatic over the revelation that the Bro.-Gov. packs that he wanted to White House him by acclamation still three years out. First local-yokel wahoo of a coming mighty roar? Yeah, probably was, as these dillweeds are legion. Coast to coast.

The politics of all this is too stupid and too transparent to be of much interest to the rest of us, but the spectacle of scrawny little Bro.-Gov. lugging around some big old shootin’ arn isn’t easily dismissed. I’ve got some non-political questions about the piece itself.

• Could it be a phony, a campaign decoy just to honk in the NRA, perhaps a bar of soap carved and lampblacked as the convicts do it, or one of these Buster Keaton toy guns that when you shoot it pops out a little stick with a flag on the end that has the word Bang written on it?

• Will the F.L. limit him to just one bullet, and make him carry it in his shirt pocket, out of harm’s way, the way Andy did Barney?

• Has his target practice included a hand-held mirror and aiming back over his off shoulder Annie Oakley-style at some improbable landscape feature such as the iron cock atop the mansion weather vane? And did that result, as it always did with me and with all the gun-lovers I ever knew, in profuse apologies, exorbitant restitution, angry calls to the law, and dire threats of both litigation and putting it where the moon don’t shine?

• It’s not one of those popgun derringers like the riverboat gamblers used to carry, is it? Or a souvenir Luger that some old coot before he got to be an old coot brought back from the big war? Or one of those hip cannons that Marshal Dillon used to clear out the Long Branch? Or a Saturday night special and is it politically correct to say that anymore?

• Has he taken it into the General Assembly well, and patted on it knowingly there as a subtle way of saying he’s ready to clean House house, this in homage to the yore solons who used both dueling pistol and Bowie knife as a not-so-subtle way of adjusting vote counts?

• Does he take it into church, as the legislature authorized, and has any senior Sunday School temptress ever said to him, “Is that a gun under your coat there, Bro.-Gov., or are you just glad to see me?”

• And did Jethrine coldcock THAT huzzy?

• Has he ever in jest or just for practice pulled it on an aide, lobbyist or terrified pizza delivery boy and said, “Say hello to my leetle friend”?

• Or, “Let me whip this thing out”…

• Or “Go ahead, punk, make my day”…

• Or “Fill your hand, you son-of-a-bitch”…

• Or “How he got in my pajamas I have no idea.”

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