Curry Todd has redefined irony.
How very convenient for the state representative — arrested earlier this week and charged with DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence — to not admit that he personally, and unwittingly, demonstrated that a bill he sponsored has been rendered sheer folly.
After all, it was Todd who spearheaded the 2009 legislation that allowed people with handgun permits to carry their weapons into establishments that serve alcohol — naïvely assuming they wouldn't drink. Even though police and prosecutors opposed the bill, it passed and survived then-Gov. Phil Bredesen’s veto.
During the debate over the bill in the Tennessee State Legislature, Todd assured his fellow lawmakers that the burden would not be on restaurant owners but, rather, on individuals. Todd’s reasoning was that gun carriers would be extra cautious and conscientious, knowing that if they were caught, they would lose their gun permits permanently.
But it seems the bill's sponsor wildly overestimated the personal ethics of inebriated individuals, including himself. It turns out that people who drink excessively — duh! — don't generally exercise good judgment. We must ask: Will Todd now give up his handguns forever, or is that just another pipe dream?
Todd posted bail of $3,000 and was released from jail Wednesday morning. He then released the following predictable statement:
"Let me begin by saying I am deeply sorry for the events of last evening. On the advice of legal counsel, I have decided not to make any public comments about the situation at this time."
Todd first drew national attention last year when he compared pregnant illegal immigrants to “reproducing rats.” Not surprisingly, the comment caught the attention of late-night comedians, who had a field day by skewering the man for his offensive and simpleton-like utterance. Once again, those comics are bound to have a good laugh at the expense of Tennesseans.
But as long as we keep electing politicians like Curry Todd, what should we expect? Cheers?
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.