Hallway Duels?

I just want to say I’m sorry. I’ve been openly skeptical of public apologies in the past — most people are only sorry after getting caught. Hardly anyone who hasn’t been jailed or publicly shamed says they’re sorry.

So, before I’m jailed or publicly shamed, I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, but if I ever do, I’m sorry in advance.

Now I can do whatever I want. I’ve already apologized.

So on to our regularly scheduled column.

I have a new resolution that I’ll probably never need but I’m resolving it anyway: I’m never going to court in Mississippi.

I came to this decision after spotting a Supreme Court of Mississippi ruling that says people with “enhanced concealed-carry” licenses can carry guns in courthouses.

This might not have bothered me so much except for the fact that someone wanted to carry a gun in a courthouse so badly that he was willing to spend years litigating the issue.

That makes me very nervous. Why is it so important for this guy to carry a gun into a courthouse? Is he expecting a shootout? Does he know something about the metal detectors? Or does he want the option to use the gun there? Someone might want to check on this guy’s licensee status.

In case you’re wondering, “enhanced” licensing is granted in Mississippi to “individuals who have demonstrated that they are trained in the handling of weapons, are physically and mentally fit to possess and operate a firearm, and have proven that they have not committed a felony.”

At least not yet. I still don’t understand why this trained non-felon needs to hold onto his gun in the courthouse. Maybe he wants to be ready for duels with other trained gun owners.

What’s even weirder about this is that even though, according to the ruling, judges can’t bar enhanced-license gun bearers from their buildings, they can bar them from their courtrooms. So they may need metal detectors at each courtroom door.

If you must go to court in Mississippi, avoid guys with bulky jackets.


Good review. I know this is hard to believe, but I’m about to give a good review. I know it’s my job here to be snide and critical but every now and then I can’t help myself.

Chief Justice John Roberts — you get five stars.

I saw a USA Today headline that read: “Chief Justice John Roberts to high school graduates (and his daughter): ‘Beware the robots.’” This is going to be great mocking material, I immediately thought.

And then I watched the video of the entire speech.

It’s good! It’s really good. It’s even funny and to the point. Imagine my disappointment. How did this happen?

The cynical (and true-to-myself) part of me wants to assume someone wrote this speech for him, but whether that’s true or not, the chief justice read it and read it well. Even the robot thing made sense in context.

I won’t spoil it for you but I do want to highlight two things.

The biggest round of applause (at least until the end) came after this line: “You have a patriotic duty to be happy.” That’s a crowd pleaser.

And then there was this: “Acquiring more information is less important than thinking about the information you have.” I point this out because that’s my philosophy at the racetrack — spending hours handicapping almost never helps.

If you’re going to waste your money, you might as well not waste time as well.


Environmental What Agency? Here’s something that may surprise you: The Environmental Protection Agency is really busy.

I know this because a federal judge in Maryland the other day had to order the EPA to act by September on a request by the State of Maryland for a ruling on whether a bunch of electric generating units are violating federal law.

The agency got three months to do this even though federal law calls for a decision within 60 days. If you’re thinking that’s pretty close to 60 days, you haven’t read the ruling. It seems that the EPA got the request a year ago, still hasn’t done anything, and wanted to wait until the end of the year.

My guess is that the thinking is that there’s no point in cleaning things up now if they’re just going to be polluted again. I feel that way about making my bed.

The ruling describes at some length an agency official’s explanation about how busy they are. Who knew?

It’s nice to know they’re doing so much while not doing anything.

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