- The Washington Times - Friday, June 9, 2000

Litigious society

"I brought my lawyer with me this morning in case you had questions about Microsoft."

Attorney General Janet Reno, appearing at a news conference Thursday, one day after a federal judge ordered Microsoft Corp. to split into two companies as punishment for breaking U.S. antitrust laws.

Jason McCulley, et al.

As they vowed to do in the wake of the Million Mom March, Democrats on Capitol Hill begin each day by rattling off the names of gunshot victims taking swipes at Republicans and the National Rifle Association in the process.

Among this week's Hill criers: Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat and mother-in-law of Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother Anthony Rodham.

So what do Republicans have to say for themselves?

Following each Democratic death roll, the Republicans are reading the names of Americans who, thanks to guns, are alive today: Shawnra Pence, a mother in Sequim, Wash., to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Horn, of Cumberland, Tenn.

"We can come up with 2.5 million crimes thwarted every year when someone used a gun in defense of themselves or their property," says Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho Republican. "In many cases, armed citizens not only thwarted crime, but they held the suspect until the authorities arrived."

Yet Americans using their Second Amendment rights to save lives isn't news in America. "It isn't hot," Mr. Craig explains.

One day, the senator expects, Democrats will get around to reading the name of Jason McCulley, another unlucky gunshot victim.

"I doubt they will tell you how he died, however, because it doesn't advance their goal of destroying the Second Amendment."

How did he die?

The same couple mentioned before, Mr. and Mrs. Horn of Tennessee, were going about their lives when McCulley broke into their home and tied them up at knife-point, demanding money.

"While Mrs. Horn was directing the robber," says the senator, "Mr. Horn wriggled free from his restraints, retrieved his handgun, shot the intruder, and then called the police."

McCulley subsequently died.

Or, as Mr. Craig puts it: "If some senators on the other side of the aisle had their way, perhaps the Horns would have been killed and Jason McCulley would have walked away."

Good morning, Vietnam

Washington communications lawyer Adrian Cronauer will be master of ceremonies for the Fifth Congressional Flag Day celebration and concert Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

And who, might you ask, is Mr. Cronauer?

Does "Good Morning, Vietnam" sound familiar?

Mr. Cronauer was the popular wartime disc jockey who inspired the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam," starring Robin Williams.

"I still get phone calls from people wanting to do interviews," says Mr. Cronauer, who tells this column he got his broadcasting start at age 12 over the old DuMont Network. He went on to make television commercials and worked as a radio announcer until the mid-1980s in cities like New York and Philadelphia before his drastic career change.

Gesture returned

It was only fitting that Rep. Bill Goodling, Pennsylvania Republican, stood on the floor of the House in support of a resolution to designate the Washington Opera as the National Opera.

Under the stewardship of Artistic Director Placido Domingo, he observed, the Washington Opera has achieved the stature of a world-class company, playing to standing-room-only audiences at the Kennedy Center's Opera House and Eisenhower Theater.

And from class, he added, comes class.

"When my daughter [Jenni], at 17, was playing the professional [tennis] tour, I did not have the money to send a coach or anybody in the family, so I gave her a lot of advice about not paying too much attention to anybody particularly men as she moved from the Italian Open to the Swiss Open to the German Open and then to the French Open," the congressman recalled.

It was while traveling between two of the opens, he said, that his daughter's luggage was lost, and she was "standing there in tears and this gentleman asked her what was her problem."

"And she said, 'Well, my luggage went the other way and I have to play the first round of the French Open as soon as I get to Paris.'

"The gentleman said, 'Well, the first thing we have to do is put you in first class, because you cannot be cramped up back there and then go play tennis.'

"When she got to Paris," Mr. Goodling continued, "the gentleman gave her a hundred dollars. And she said, 'Well, I cannot take that.'

"And he said, 'Well, how will you play? You only have your racket and your sneakers. You will have to buy clothing.'

"When she came back [home] and we were sitting there as a family watching television, Placido Domingo [appeared], and she said, 'Dad, that is the man that put me in first class and that is the man who gave me the $100!'

"And it was Placido Domingo," said the congressman. "And I understand that is typical of him."

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