As 2012 approaches, answers that would-be candidates on both sides of the aisle give to even the most random questions matter. And that’s because those answers – especially to random, unpredictable questions – don’t spring from briefings with staff as much as from raw conviction.
We were reminded of this on Monday as Gov. Rick Perry sat in front of group of South Carolina citizens and was asked: “Are you for gun control?”
The audience howled with laughter that the question was even asked, but Perry answered dutifully: “I am actually for gun control.” (At this point you could hear the laughter nervously diminish.) Then Perry added, “Use both hands.”
Ah, the howling of laughter and thunderous applause returned.
While it was obvious that Gov. Perry enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate again his absolute love of the 2nd Amendment, something we should all be noticing by now is that Perry loves freedom – period. His love of freedom is not an extension of his love for guns rather, his love for guns an extension of his love for freedom.
I’m not trying to over-parse things here. I just can’t help but notice how Gov. Perry’s unmistakable defense of the 10th Amendment over the last few years has already given him the reputation of a defender of something bigger than the 2nd Amendment alone. In other words, he’s literally been a defender of freedom itself.
Since Obama took office, Perry has been on the gubernatorial front lines, firing volley after volley at DC and reminding them that the 10th Amendment draws a line in the sand the federal government is not to cross. Perry has fought Obamacare on 10th Amendment grounds, has hinted secession on 10th Amendment grounds, and has furthered, in Texas, an atmosphere of freedom from government that has resulted in an influx of thousands upon thousands of new citizens to that state. (These are citizens and businesses trading taxation and regulation for freedom.)
And through all this, on those same 10th Amendment grounds, Gov. Perry has defended the inherent right other states possess to choose a path that differs from the one Texas has taken.
It just seems that Gov. Perry not only loves freedom but understands it. Thus we see the 2nd and 10th Amendments so clearly coalesced in him.
Therefore, it was natural for him to look at the Tea Partiers Big Sis had maligned in 2009 and say: “I’m just not real sure you’re a bunch of right-wing extremists. But if you are, we’re with you.” And it was equally as natural for him to look out at that audience in South Carolina on Monday and tell them gun control means using both hands.
It’s all part of being free.