It’s a well-worn mantra in politics to never let a crisis go to waste, so it comes as little surprise that public officials and the chattering class are wasting no time in dusting off some of their wilder ideas in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
With only a few days detached from the national tragedy, here’s the list of the top five most ridiculous proposals already floated by your national leaders and thinkers.
1. Encase the entire House and Senate floor with Plexiglass so the tourists can’t throw things at members of Congress
Tourists (who reportedly don’t smell very good during the warmer months) file into the congressional galleries every day to watch members wax poetic in front of empty chairs and bored teenage pages. To keep members safe, Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton will re-introduce a bill that would encase himself and his colleagues in “a transparent and substantial material.” Burton has called for Congress to be more like an inner-city 7-11 before, but this time, people are actually listening.
Just last week, a protester on a quest for President Obama’s birth certificate interrupted the reading of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor by shouting down the speaker. If Burton’s dream becomes reality, he will finally be protected from such outbursts by the unwashed masses.
(An investigative review of his campaign donations does not reveal any major contributions from the infamous Plexiglass lobby, which everyone knows really pulls the strings in this country.)
2. Impose a federal ban on carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of any “high-profile” public official
New York Republican Rep. Peter King, with full approval from New York City’s freedom-loving mayor Michael Bloomberg, has vowed to introduce a bill that keeps all guns at least 1,000 feet from from him at all times.
The call for thousands of constantly roving gun-free zones all over the country probably won’t pass constitutional muster and would be impossible to enforce. It would also effectively ban any member of Congress from all shooting ranges, which would be a shame, because rifles actually make Sen. Harry Reid, a fierce NRA supporter, look pretty awesome.
(Nevermind that at least two of King’s colleagues, Rep. Heath Shuler, North Carolina Democrat, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, have said they want a firearm within an inch of them at all times.)
3. Make it illegal to draw pictures of elected officials within crosshairs or say things that might be considered ‘threatening’ to lawmakers
Democrat Rep. Robert Brady of Pennsylvania wants to know what you’re photo-shopping to make sure you don’t draw a crosshair symbol (it’s a “surveyor symbol” officer, I swear!) on a map of his district.
“You can’t threaten the president with a bull’s-eye or a cross hair,” he said when describing the idea for his bill.
NEXT PAGE: Find out what else they want to ban.