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Senator Leahy: “zombies” gun control

March 17, 2013

NPR weekend: “Talk Of Zombies Aside, Gun Bills Face Political Reality” by Ailsa Chang:

Maybe if zombies attacked, you might need a semiautomatic assault weapon for self-defense. That was one concession Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., was willing to make this week when the Senate Judiciary Committee was debating the assault weapons ban.


Pea shooters and zombies depict a scenario that seems almost a planet away from the murders in Newtown, Conn., that launched these legislative efforts.

zombie senator patrick leahy

Recall last week NYTime Gail Collins wondered, regarding the same gun control issue, if Senator Graham worries about zombies

The specific mention by Sen. Leahy, senior Senator from Vermont, to which Alisa Chang alludes is available in the C-span archives at around 20 minutes in this video at Gun Control Bills, Mar 14, 2013, Senate Judiciary Committee – The Senator says it (at least) twice:

I was thinking of some of the discussions what kind of firepower people need in their homes?
And one of the discussions sounded almost like somebody had been to one of these movies of these zombie takeovers ? need all kinds of firepower as they march on it?
I’ve always been perfectly satisfied with my .45 I have at home, and others too …

Sen. Cornyn says he won’t ask Sen. Leahy to list his weapon inventory which Sen. Leahy says will take some time and then Sen. Grassley interjects about the appropriate firepower based on who is attacking and Sen. Leahy again mumbles “zombie assault, that’s a different thing”, before turning back to Sen. Cornyn.

Note also from Sen. Leahy’s Wikipedia page:

A big fan of Batman comics, Leahy lent his voice in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Showdown” as the Governor of the Utah territory. He appeared in cameo roles in the 1997 film Batman and Robin, the 2008 film The Dark Knight, and the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.

Recall the connection of Batman and zombies in terms of legal transgression, and also recall the horror of neuroscience student James Holmes mass-shooting at the Dark Knight movie theater.

Batman would surely favor gun control. His entire crime fighting career is premised on the murder of his parents by a gun – an assault but not with an assault weapon – similar to the gun that killed Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk just doors away from the now Senator Feinstein. Yes, Batman would favor gun control but he’s never really been opposed to limiting civil liberties to fight violence.

Psychologically, Batman is trying to save his dead parents – or at least make their deaths mean something. As Bruce Wayne he works to uphold his father’s name – literally emblazoning it on tall building. As Batman he violates the letter of the law to uphold some part of it’s spirit. There are many similarities in the gun debate. Surely some psychological part of Sen. Diane Feinstein is trying to make dead friends come back to life – or at least effect change for them. Which makes her impassioned breakdown at Sen. Cruz naive questioning is understandable but still just a terrible answer from a tired person answering a useless question:

Recall Sen. Cruz thinks Critical Theory is Communism. He also didn’t get an answer to his question. The proper answer is that the bill of rights are no unrestricted rights the way he describes them. Could Congress ban book? Sen. Feinstein says “the answer is obvious, no” – but that answer is wrong and she gets help and covers up with obscenity restrictions – Senator Durbin assists on point with the right answer and some legal some precedent.


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