What Cubin Meant: Reader Entries
They did better than Cubin herself.
Reader submissions tended to demonstrate tighter logic. Chatterbox categorized them by hypothesis, and then selected the best (or those submitted earliest). Please note that anything nasty that's said about Rep. Cubin or her sons in what follows is intended to be fanciful and/or humorous, and is understood not to be truthful. Our readers are not trying to figure out what Rep. Cubin's home life is like. They are merely attempting to impose logic where none exists.
Hypothesis No. 1: Cubin is racist. From reader Nye Thomas:
" ... or does that mean because my nanny is Mexican, you could not sell a gun to her? What kind of a world is it where the government bans gun sales to entire ethnic groups just because the majority of them are drug addicts? This is stereotyping at its worst."
Chatterbox rules this out of order because it is racist. (It is not true that a majority of blacks, or a majority of Mexicans, are drug addicts.)
Hypothesis No. 2: Cubin is insane. From reader Tim Carvell:
" ... or does that mean because my Balogna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R, my Balogna has a—[points dreamily into middle distance] Look! A Unicorn!" [She passes out, later pleads both exhaustion and dehydration, and asks innocently, "Did I say anything weird right before I fainted?"]
Chatterbox rules this out of order because anyone this crazy would get more coverage than Cubin has.
Hypothesis No. 3: Cubin is saying the "no drug dealer" provision is arbitrary and unfair. From reader Rick Kirkham:
" ... or does that mean because my sons are white, you cannot sell a gun to any white person, or does that mean because my mother is ill with rheumatism, you cannot sell a gun to a person with rheumatism, or does that mean because a person is under drug treatment you cannot sell a gun to such a person? I know it only explicitly says the latter, but once we start profiling and discriminating on the basis of stereotypes, where do we stop? All such profiling is wrong. It is just as wrong to stereotype a drug user as someone who cannot handle a gun safely as it would be to stereotype a black person as someone who cannot handle a gun safely."
The internal logic here is very good. James Taranto offered this same hypothesis on OpinionJournal.com. When you think seriously, though, about what she would be saying here—i.e., it's as wrong to make assumptions about drug abusers as it is to make assumptions about black people—it makes no sense at all. We have laws to prevent discrimination based on race. We do not have laws—and never will have laws—to prevent discrimination based on whether somebody abuses drugs.
Hypothesis No. 4: Cubin is demonstrating the law's random absurdity. From reader Dea Henrich:
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.