Quote of the Day. But First, Cue the Banjos

John Pierce, a Bristol resident and gun-rights activist, stepped into an elevator in the Capitol complex Monday and overheard a remark by Sen. Richard Saslaw, D-Springfield, the senate majority leader. The Bristol Herald-Courier quotes Pierce as follows:

“He turns to his companion and says, ‘You can tell we’re debating a gun bill today. Half the cast of “Deliverance” is in town.’ “

According to Washingtonpost.com, Saslaw responded to questions with the remark, “How do they know I was referring to them and not the other side? … Some of those people must have one hell of an inferiority complex.”

Keep it up, Mr. Majority Leader, you’re digging yourself a deeper hole. Lucky for you, the people of Southwest Virginia don’t have a Rev. Al Sharpton to come down on you like he did on Don Imus. After a day or two of stories written by reporters who find the story more amusing than insulting, it’ll all die down and you’ll get a pass.

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  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    was anyone else in the elevator making pig squealing noises .. cuz you know that coulda influenced his remarks…


  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Jim, while I won’t defend what Saslaw said riddle me this.

    Have you ever been to the general assembly when the gun nuts (who he was refering to, NOT SW Virginians) are there?

    It is unbelievable. They all show up in force with their guns and bring them everywhere. They are complete wackos obsessed with guns.

    If you’d seen what Saslaw has seen year after year (and in Senate courts Monday and Weds) with these people I bet you’d see this differently.

    The gun nuts are not your average southwest Virginians.

  3. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Along the lines of Larry’s comment… As long as Saslaw didn’t say “Squeal like a pig…” you can’t get but so mad at him.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    We have James Dickey to blame for pig squealing and lots of other things.

    The true story behind Deliverance was that Dickey took a canoe trip in North Georgia, got into trouble and the mountain folk rescued him and treated him well.

    For the novel and the film, he twisted that around and turned them into in-bred, toothless rapists and murderers.

    Never trust an advertising guy!

    Peter Galuszka

  5. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    well.. he DID play the local Sheriff (Bullard) in the movie – and towards the end he darkly intoned to a departing Ned Beatty and Burt Reynolds “Don’t ever do nothin’ like this again. Don’t come back up here.

    Maybe that’s what Saslaw meant to say , instead… 🙂

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    “The gun nuts are not your average southwest Virginians.”

    Based on Anon 11:59’s description of “gun nuts”, this is certainly true. I moved back to SW VA from NoVA in 2002 and with the exception of law-enforcement personell, NOBODY down here wears guns. They may be carrying concealed, but the key word here is “concealed”. And I’m not referring just to Blacksburg.

    “a day or two of stories written by reporters who find the story more amusing than insulting”

    Saslaw’s choice of the “Deliverance” analogy was unfortunate. Suposed he’d said ‘You can tell we’re debating a Black History Month bill today. Half the cast of “Amos & Andy” is in town.’ Do you think the press would find this more amusing than insulting? They would have been appalled and rightly so. The characters in “Deliverance” are no more typical of gun owners than the characters in “Amos & Andy” are typical of supporters of Black History Month.

    Saslaw’s never been the brightest porch-light on the block; so I guess we SW Virginians shouldn’t attribute to malice what can be better explained by stupidity; but if this is the quality of leadership the Democratic majority in the VA Senate is satisfied with, it speaks volumes on their judgement.

    Deena Flinchum

  7. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: “concealed”


    All I can visualize is hundreds of students walking across the Va Tech Drill Field … all wearing holsters…. and talking about “upgrading” to Mac 10s or whatever.

    or.. everyone in the GA similarly attired… in the elevators… etc…

    I think “concealed” is basically “out of sight -out of mind”.


  8. Anonymous Avatar

    “I think “concealed” is basically “out of sight -out of mind”.



    First of all, those allowed to carry concealed have to pass a number of tests on gun use, safety, criminal background, etc. You don’t just walk in and get a carry concealed permit. There are next to no problems with folks who qualify for carry concealed permits breaking the law because breaking the law risks their losing the permit.

    Second, you must be 21 and most students at VT aren’t.

    Third, even if you are 21 and have qualified for a carry concealed permit, you can’t legally bring a gun onto VT campus. Didn’t stop Cho, of course, but most carry concealed permit holders are careful about obeying the law, including local laws or college rules.

    My point is that the so-called “gun culture” down here in SW VA is a lot less exteme than you might think, and nobody other than law enforcement personnel goes around wearing guns in holsters.

    You could get a better debate going over the best way to grow tomatoes or how best to cook venison than you’d get over “Mac-10’s or whatever”.

    Visit SW VA, Larry. I think you’d be surprised….

    Deena Flinchum

  9. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Oh I have Deena.

    but isn’t it legal to carry a gun in plain view without a permit?

    How would you feel if everywhere you went.. the mall, doctors offices, church.. there were holsters?

    Because isn’t that is what is being asserted as a basic right?

    don’t get me wrong. I’ve got multiple rounds of buckshot waiting for anyone who comes through my front door without a proper invite at 3 a.m. but I would not even consider walking into the Post Office slung on my back to get my mail.

    … the “right to bear arms” sounds like an absolute statement but we all know that it is not….


    do we really want it to be ..absolute .. any place, any time, any circumstance?

    If you agree there needs to be limits – we’re on the same side.. just need to find the “sweet spot”.

    and this is what I meant about the public display of holsters because indeed there are some folks who believe that the right IS absolute – period.

    In their mind – a 50 cal gun in the back of a pickup or a shoulder-launched weapon are ALL …”arms” – the intent of which is to have citizens always have the ability to go toe-to-toe with any government that turns dictatorial.

    9mm’s are no match for laser-guided bombs so we’re already outmatched – right?

  10. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Hey Deena.. ever been to a gun “show”?


  11. Anonymous Avatar


    As I’ve said, with the exception of law-enforcement personell, NOBODY down here WEARS guns. NOBODY.

    As for gun control, I happen to support background checks at gun shows, which was, I believe, the law that Saslaw was talking about. I support prohibiting persons with either criminal records or a history of certain mental illnesses such as Cho’s from purchasing guns ANYWHERE. I’d extend that ban to persons whose mental illness was being controlled by powerful drugs which they can forget or refuse to take.

    I think that people other than law-enforcement personell who feel that they have to go around wearing guns are a bit odd. I feel the same way about people over the age of about 30 who wear Spandex. Few such people can bring either off well.

    My issue is with Saslaw’s snide “Deliverance” quip because, as I said above, characters in “Deliverance” are no more typical of (largely white rural) gun owners than the characters in “Amos & Andy” are typical of supporters of Black History Month. If he’d made the “Amos & Andy” crack, the press would have hounded him until he resigned as SML. The “Deliverance” quip they apparently find amusing. Why?

    I don’t go to gun shows, Larry. But I do grow tomatoes and occasionally cook venison. Unarmed.

    Deena Flinchum

  12. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    ..”I feel the same way about people over the age of about 30 who wear Spandex.”

    well.. thanks.. I just covered my chest with coffee…



    I think his tongue got a little ahead of his attempt at humor…lucky for him.. he did not “star” on You_Tube .. right?


    the moral to this story is that just about everyone has at least one macaca moment… waiting on the tip of the tongue…and in the internet age.. we sometimes take no prisoners unless you are an “official” pundit.

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