Detroit News opinion editor Nolan Finley is usually a check-the-boxes conservative, but occasionally he likes to let his freak flag fly with a column that, shall we say, goes against conventional right-wing wisdom.
Today was one of those occasions, when the libertarian came out against open-carrying guns in the state Capitol.
The news peg is a vote, a few days ago, by the Michigan Capitol Commission, the body that maintains the buildings and grounds and sets the rules for what happens there. After the state made national -- hell, international -- news in April with photos of heavily armed demonstrators looming menacingly in the visitors gallery, the MCC took up the matter of whether allowing such displays is the wisest way to conduct business there.
But the commission could not reach a consensus, and so: Come on in, gun toters, no need to leave your weaponry in the car.
Finley, as is customary in these cases, lays out his bona fides first:
I say that as a Second Amendment true believer, a hunter and lifelong gun owner. My parents gave me a shotgun for my 12th birthday, and I gave my son a rifle for his high school graduation.
Still, I strongly object to allowing armed citizens to stand in the balcony of a legislative chamber, their weapons on full display, while lawmakers are debating policy. How could a reasonable person view that as anything other than intimidation?
Open-carry in the place where policy is made puts too heavy a burden on security guards, he continues, and anyway, frightened legislators are more likely to make overly enthusiastic anti-gun policy, a feat of rhetorical jujitsu we have to tip our hats to.