Now the senator came down here/Showing everyone his gun…
— Bob Dylan, “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”
This guy isn’t a senator. He’s Rep. Ralph Norman, and he is fast, fast on the draw. So fast that he made the news last week by whipping out a loaded handgun while having “coffee with constituents” at a restaurant in Rock Hill, SC.
“I don’t mind dying, but whoever shoots me better shoot well or I’m shooting back,” he later said.
“I don’t mind dying” is a line from Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” The narrator of the song is a boastful young rowdy looking to impress a girl named Arlene. Norman is a middle-aged Republican drone who’s also looking to impress Arlene, I guess.
The congressman told his coffee mates that he’d protect them with his gun. He vowed to not end up like Gabby Giffords, the ex-congresswoman who was shot in the head by some hombre while meeting with constituents in Arizona back in 2011.
But what if some bad guy had walked over to the table, picked up the gun, pointed it at Norman, and said “Who you gonna protect now, cowboy?”
Norman told reporters his intent was to demonstrate that “guns don’t shoot people; people shoot guns.”
One of them should have replied, “Anyone who would say something that stupid shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun, or hold public office.”