John McCaslin

Quote of the week

"It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit."

— White House press secretary Tony Snow, writing of his brave battle against cancer in Christianity Today, saying that when faith flags, God throws reminders our way. Read the entire commentary at


"All A-OK," relays former Washington Post and Washingtonian columnist and investigative reporter Rudy Maxa, who when not taping travel segments for both public television and radio makes his home in St. Paul, Minn., site of Wednesday's deadly bridge collapse.

"Weird, weird catastrophe," is how Mr. Maxa describes it.

Saint and dean

Daniel Polsby, the dean of the George Mason University School of Law, has been awarded the St. Gabriel Possenti Society's Medallion of Honor for his commitment to society principles — which aren't what one might expect, liturgically speaking.

"His dedication to legal support for the right of law-abiding citizens to obtain and use handguns and other firearms for defense of human life places him squarely in the forefront of individuals eligible for this distinction," society chairman John Snyder says. "As dean, he has maintained and developed on faculty the most distinguished and high-powered group of Second Amendment legal scholars in the country."

Mr. Polsby recently joined with a number of other legal scholars in a Brandeis Brief calling for the dismissal of the District's gun-ban statute as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. In Parker v. District of Columbia, an appellate court agreed that the D.C. law prohibiting handgun possession is unconstitutional.

As for the holy saint, he was a 19th-century sharpshooting Catholic seminarian who resorted to a handgun to rescue Italian villagers from a gang of terrorizing renegade soldiers.

Elk expense

Speaking of guns, it's dubbed the Teddy Roosevelt Bring Back Our Public Lands Act, and if a Republican congressman gets his way, Uncle Sam will one day reclaim control of hunting privileges on federal lands.

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California recalls that it was nearly 100 years ago, in 1909, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the last piece of legislation that created more than 42 million acres of national forest, which became an "estate" for the average American.

"A carpenter in Indiana or Iowa could saddle up the old Chevy pickup and take his sons elk or deer hunting on a long weekend in Colorado," Mr. Hunter said. "Not anymore."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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