Gun debate brings out the 
looniest bits of legislation

To those folks who thought government resolutions to support the Second Amendment were frivolous, the news this week might change that opinion.

Granted, we’re living in exceptional times, normally Constitution bashing types are more surreptitious, so we should be pleased they are being flushed into the open by this gun rights debate.

Here are some of the things various public officials feel are reasonable constraints on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

In Washington State, some Democrat legislators think it a good idea to have the sheriff come by once year to inspect gun owners’ homes to make sure things are being stored properly. Kind of like the way a parole officer can come to a felon’s place to make sure things are running smoothly.

In Missouri some Democrats think it a swell plan if, at some point, so-called assault weapons could be confiscated.

In Wisconsin some other Democrats think it would be Jim Dandy if they did away with hollow point ammunition and many other types commonly associated with self-defense.

Oh, and don’t forget the wonderful police superintendent in Chicago, who this week was quoted by the Illinois State Rifle Association as remarking on a radio program that gun rights groups were showing “corruption” by lobbying against gun control, and he feels the Second Amendment supports compulsory liability insurance for firearms owners and mandatory application of GPS tracking devices on firearms.

He also reportedly believes that the Second Amendment limits citizens to owning smoothbore muskets.

You’ve got to give the guy a break; he’s catching heat for having a city that had more homicides last year then casualties in our armed forces in Afghanistan — with some the strictest gun laws in America.

Sadly, closer to home we’ve had equally, if not more dimwitted, statements from our own state legislators this week. To wit:

Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar was caught on the floor of the House meandering on about why women don’t need concealed-weapons permits on college campuses because they may not know if someone’s going to rape them or to be more exact, “And you don’t know if you feel like you’re going to be raped.”

Democrat Rep. Paul Rosenthal suggested that women don’t need firearms for protection but they should employ a “Buddy System” or “Judo or what have you.”

These fellows might be interested to know that a University of Chicago study found that concealed-carry practices reduce the rate of rape and, moreover, that “Using cross-sectional time series data for U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992, we find that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes, without increasing accidental deaths.”

I’m not sure if any studies were done on women’s abilities to detect actual rape or the effectiveness of judo, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest judo was less successful and women know when they’re being attacked.

Then there are folks like newly elected Rep. Mike McLachlan of Durango, who was quoted in The Daily Sentinel as saying, “No constitutional right, even the Second Amendment, is absolute.” True enough, but as the representative must know, any statute must be reasonably related to a legitimate government purpose and its prohibitions must actually advance that purpose.

Not to get picky here, but little of the gun legislation proposed in Colorado is likely to have any measurable effect on crime or the terrible mass murders Second Amendment antagonists are exploiting this legislative session.

In January even the Obama administration’s Department of Justice said, “Assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime.”

McLachlan seems to be feeling pretty frisky for being in his first term and winning his election by 9/10 of 1 percent.

He’s been getting calls from Vice President Joe Biden, urging his vote on firearms restrictions, but one wonders where Biden will be for McLachlan come November 2014.

Let’s be honest. Gun violence is not the most compelling reason progressives want such legislation. They dislike what gun ownership symbolizes — self-reliance and refusing to allow government to monopolize force. Progressives see gun ownership like a tell in poker — it says something about how you think and they’re not crazy about it.

Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, the War on Wrong.


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