Home / Robert Farley / “He Wasn’t Rabid!”

“He Wasn’t Rabid!”


If this doesn’t find its way into the Top Gun 2 script, I’m gonna cry:

Former Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif., who in 2005 pleaded guilty to accepting more and larger bribes than any other member of Congress in history, has appealed to the judge who sentenced him to help him regain his gun rights when he leaves prison.

In a remarkable May 2 letter to U.S. District Judge Larry Burns in San Diego, Cunningham said he needs guns for the ex-con life he plans in a secluded cabin in the Ozarks—far away from Southern California and Washington, where his corruption made history. He said he will use the guns for hunting and fishing to feed himself. He also claimed he needs firearms to make money in sporting competitions and to protect himself from rabid cougars.

“I plan to live in a small cabin near Greer’s Lake and write my books, several I have finished in prison,” he wrote in the rambling letter, adding, “I competed nationally in trap, sheet [sic] and sporting clays would rather be in the woods hunting and fishing than anything else. I will live in a very remote part of Arkansas and not much threat from people but they do have a lot of black bears, cougars, and history of rabies.” Greers Ferry Lake, in the foothills of the Ozarks, is noted for its large walleye and striped bass and its duck and waterfowl hunting…

He also made a pointed reference to his former status as a naval aviator and the only Navy ace in the Vietnam War. In arguing he should be allowed to carry guns when he is out of prison, Cunningham wrote: “I flew aircraft that could disintegrate your building with a half second burst and now can’t carry a 22 cal. Pls help me your honor. I don’t have much left but this little thing is a big thing for me.”

Imagine Maverick, Ice, and a rehabilitated Cougar seeking wisdom at a scary backwoods cabin inhabited by a scraggly, heavily armed Tom Skerritt. Things go well until Viper goes crazy and blows Cougar away with a shotgun. “He wasn’t rabid!” cries Maverick, as Cougar dies in his arms.

This stuff writes itself.

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  • UberMitch

    “Your ego is writing checks your shotgun can’t cash!”

  • Charlie Sweatpants

    Yeah, but is it a backwoods cabin in a state where Ice and Maverick can get married?

  • Hogan

    This source doesn’t mention it, but the judge pointed out to Cunningham that federal judges aren’t authorized to restore gun ownership rights; only ATF can do that, and since 1997 Congress has refused to provide any money for ATF to investigate applications from convicted felons.

    Shoulda thought of that when you were, you know, IN CONGRESS.

    • Charlie Sweatpants

      The judge’s letter is great from start to finish (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2012/05/judge-larry-alan-burns-letter-to-randall-cunningham.php?page=1), but this is a multi-branch clusterfuck:

      “And the United States Supreme Court has ruled that inaction by the ATF does not amount to “denial” of the application within the meaning of section 925(c). United States v. Bean, 537 U.S. 71, 75 (2002).”

      • wjts

        Cunningham’s original letter is a gem, too. My favorite part: “The IRS has me poor for the rest of my life and they and DOJ has taken my home, savings, congressional retirement, TSP, Navy Federal Credit Union savings and my military retirement. Don’t guess we can do to much for our veterans after all.”

        • DrDick

          I think that qualifies in the killing your parents and pleading for mercy because you are an orphan territory.

        • Barry Freed

          I like how he scrawled at the bottom “I will also want to supliment my food” I swear if you flipped the thing over you’d read where he wrote “preznit give me turkee”

  • Holden Pattern

    I think that the phrase “hoist on your own petard” was coined for precisely this situation.

    • TT

      Maybe one reason the Duke turned into a corrupt POS congressman was because he was a corrupt POS naval officer. He committed various felonies, including burglary and breaking-and-entering, while stationed at Top Gun in the ’70s. But rather than court-martial him, a craven Navy leadership kept promoting his sorry hide–it apparently outweighed the embarrassment of having their only ACE from the Viet Nam War end up in Leavenworth. I guess the Duke took that lesson to heart.

      • In the good old days would have been incarcerated in Portsmouth Naval Prison. The Last Detail is still one of my favorite movies.

        • Hogan

          If I was a Marine, I wouldn’t have to fuck with no thirteen buttons. I’d just take my hat off.

  • Most likely “Top Gun 2” will be about button-down computer operators sitting in an office blasting people to bits with drones, while a president and his re-election advisor sit in an office choosing which military aged men will be the next to be terminated.

    • Malaclypse

      You left out the part where a kindly old white-supremacist, woman-hating ex-OB/GYN congresscritter rises up to challenge the nameless bureaucrats and restore Democracy. I’m picturing Dean Stockwell in the role. I’m telling you, this will be box-office gold (and that matters, as gold will be the only recognized currency by the end of the film).

      • What the hell does Ron Paul have to do with this?

        • Malaclypse

          Did I mention Ron Paul? No, sir, I mentioned a white-supremacist, woman-hating ex-OB/GYN congresscritter. You merely assumed I was referring to Ron Paul. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

        • BigHank53

          Oh, that’s gotta smart.

    • Kal

      Nah, I’m seeing a plot where the plucky, can-do fighter pilot proves that an old-fashioned American hero can do just as good a job at blowing up defenseless military age males as any soulless robot, dammit! The audience cheers as American manhood is redeemed.

      • The audience cheers, or babbles endlessly on about Ron Paul to distract themselves from their own party’s creeping descent into fascism. Six of one…

        • Kal

          “creeping descent into fascism”

          Not seeing it. The Democrats are just as committed to imperialism as the Republicans, of course, but that’s not the same as fascism (although read). There’s nothing new about liberal imperialism, in the US or elsewhere, and to say that when Democratic politicians kill foreigners, they’re creeping toward fascism, is just to let them off the hook for their own history and politics.

          • “Not seeing it. ”

            There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

            “and to say that when Democratic politicians kill foreigners”

            Like that foreigner Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in the foreign country known as the United States of America?

            • Kal

              Ok. Democratic politicians also have a record of persecuting and sometimes killing Americans, and especially those who they can more easily get away with as treating as foreign. Remember Woodrow Wilson?

              Or whatevs, call me blind because even though I join you in opposing Obama’s wars, I won’t acknowledge your revealed apocalyptic truth. This is the Internet.

      • kth

        Yes, John Henry dying with a bomber joystick in his hand. Last bombing run won’t allow him to get back to the base to refuel, but he wants to beat that damned steam-powered killing machine (at killing) so badly he keeps going.

    • mark f

      One-note troll is monotonous, but not, we must never forget, as monotonous as the crashing of Hellfire missiles into the roofs of Yemeni SUVs.

      • Troll this.

        • Malaclypse

          I’s say “you first” but that seems superfluous.

    • The more important question is, why aren’t you at your post?

  • “I plan to live in a small cabin near Greer’s Lake and write my books, several I have finished in prison,” he wrote in the rambling letter,

    Clayton Bigsby: “I’ve written six books. They published four.” 2:08 of this clip: http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/7nnosh/chappelle-s-show-frontline—clayton-bigsby

    • wjts

      The Best Gun
      A Novel by Duke Cunningham

      Earl “King” Cottonham was the best fighter pilot the Navy had had ever had and then he was a Senator. But he was convicted falsely of a crime he didnt do and when he got out of prison he moved to Arkansas with his 99 year old mom brother and his family. He was poor now, because of the crime he didn’t do. Then one day the President came to see him.
      “Earl we need you’re help” said the President. “A judge named Larry Burns has stole an airplane and is going to use it to blow up a hospital.”
      “That is the judge that convicted me of false crime said Earl. “I won’t do it. OK, I’ll help you.” We need you to shoot down the judge’s plane, Duke.
      Earl got into a F-4J Phantom and his RIO was the best RIO who came out of retirement to hlep with one last mission. “But I’m retired” he said “But I need you” said Duke. “OK.” After a dogfight with the judge which Duke won Duke disintegrated the judge’s building and his house with two half second bursts and then landed on the Nimitz CVN-68.
      “Thank you, Duke” said the PResident “For saving the hospital and killing the judge. Before he died he confessed that he convicted you of a fasle crime. You can have your money back and be a senator again… SENATOR CUNNINGHAM!”

      The End.

      • firefall

        I think you need a few more grammatical errors – also, it may be too coherent

      • Some Guy

        That made me chuckle. It could use some Micheal bay helicopters at sunset, though.

      • Ecxellent! Suberb! I lovd it!

      • Warren Terra

        “SENATOR COTTONHAM”, obvs.

      • Mary Sue

        This is a very serious, thoughtful, story that has never been told in such detail or with such care.

      • Barry Freed

        Holy Shit I think I broke something laughing.

  • Some Guy

    “Dear Sir,
    Sucks to be you.

    In mildly related news, the last British ship to survive the Battle of Jutland is due to be scrapped.

    So that’s fun.

  • Tom

    “I flew aircraft that could disintegrate your building with a half second burst and now can’t carry a 22 cal.”

    Wow. Did he just threaten to blow up the judge?

    • Hogan

      I know, right? Really gives the judge some incentive.

      • “Dear Mr. President

        Please eliminate one state, we have too many


        Abraham “Grandpa” Simpson

  • I don’t have much left but this little thing is a big thing for me.

    Here’s hoping he was clothed.

  • wengler

    Learn how to use a bow and arrow, Top Gun.

  • Bart

    No need to place a [sic] after his reference to competing in “sheet” – he refers to standing around the campfire wearing one and holding a cross.

  • Margarita


    To women and adults? Well, that is something.

    • Where’s that from?

      • wjts

        Cunningham’s original letter to the judge.

        • Malaclypse

          A shining credit to the greatest deliberative body in the world.

          • I like the “all” weapons too: wouldn’t want some child, woman, or adult not knowing how to handle the full range of phasers.

            • wjts

              Kids, ladies, and people: learn to shoot ballistae – the Duke Cunningham way!

              • Point that atlatl the other way, young lady.

    • Barry Freed

      That’s very telling, that is.

  • Joel Patterson

    Somebody should tell Duke Cunningham about Craven’s Hillcrest Foods, a nice little grocery store on the hill above Greer’s Ferry Lake.
    There’s also plenty of grocery stores in Clinton, Arkansas, a short drive from Greer’s Ferry Lake.

    And if he really, really gets hungry, I’m sure the kind ladies at the Lutheran Church there will let him join the church potlucks.

    He can make do without a gun.

    • Warren Terra

      Well, sure, until the Islamists come calling.

      I mean, I encountered a winger blog commenter just this week claiming that the Sandanistas were a threat to America, as a justification for Iran-Contra. I’m aware for two precedents for this extraordinary claim: (1) Ronny Reagan pointing out Nicaragua was only a 24-hour drive from Texas; and (2) the movie Red Dawn. These people are consumed with fear; the boogeyman is under every bed, and the only answer is a lot of guns.

  • Halloween Jack

    From the Greer’s Ferry Lake tourism info page:

    Here, you can cast for bass or trout one day and hit the duck blinds the next. In season, of course.

    Yeah… nice way of advertising your intent to poach, Dukie.

  • witless chum

    That’s about the level of intelligence and good sense you’d expect from the guy who couldn’t figure out how to legally enrich himself off being a congressman.

  • Sounds like Cunningham’s headed toward the . . . danger zone.

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