Gun-Crazed or Gutless? Lunatics, Legislators and Liberty’s Limits
The headline in the Feb. 21, 2013, edition of the Plaindealer, the local paper published in Ridgway, Colorado, read, "Four gun safety bills pass state House of Representatives". It's short enough to speak for itself without editing or ellipsis, but the real story here is all about what the headline doesn't say:
Denver, Colorado – Four bills introduced just over a week ago passed out of the Colorado House of Representatives on Monday. The bill requiring background checks for all gun transfers, including between individuals, passed by a vote of 36-29; and the bill ending the taxpayer subsidy for the cost of background checks and requiring payment by the transferee passed 33-32. A limit on magazines containing more than 15 bullets or eight shotgun shells passed 34-31. The prohibition on concealed carrying of firearms at public colleges and universities passed 34-31. According to a press release from the House Democrats, no Republican voted for any of the bills. The bills now go to the Colorado Senate for consideration.
Astonishing, not a single Republican in the Colorado House of Representatives saw fit to vote for a bill to outlaw magazines containing more than 15 BULLETS or EIGHT SHOTGUN SHELLS. Not a single Republic in the Colorado House voted to ban concealed firearms at colleges and universities. Not one. In a state that epitomizes the dangers inherent in a mindless abhorrence of gun laws, a state where the Aurora movie theater massacre last summer preceded the Columbine school massacre of 1999.
What hunter needs 15 bullets to bring down a deer or eight shells to pop a partridge? Assault weapons have nothing to do with the Constitution: when the Second Amendment was passed they were still using muskets and powder horns. So anyone who argues there was "original intent" to allow citizens to possess lethal weapons that did not exist when the Bill of Rights was drafted is:
c) barking mad;
e) all of the above.
The virus infecting the politic body is highly contagious. In Montana, Rep. Steve Lavin, a Republican, has introduced a bill (House Bill No. 486) giving corporations the right to vote. After all, didn't Mitt Romney say, "corporations are people, my friend?" Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, no doubt agrees, but keep in mind he also believes President Obama's re-election by defeating Romney is "the most radical" President in U.S. history and darkly insinuates Obama is a Communist. Cruz recently visited a rifle and firearms accessory manufacturer and declared Obama's gun control efforts to be "cynical, political, and wrong."
And then there is Missouri, where a cretin disguised as Rep. Mike Leara has filed legislation that would make it illegal to introduce legislation restricting gun rights. The bill reads as follows: "Any member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, shall be guilty of a class D felony." In Missouri, a class D felony is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. That would be for daring to speak on behalf of all the sane people in Missouri.
As if that's not crazy enough, Wyoming, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee all announced plans to make it a crime for state employees to enforce federal gun control measures.
If you live in New England or anywhere east of the Mississippi and north of the Old South, you're probably thinking, "Who cares," but think again.
As political scientist G. Ross Stephens pointed out in a recent post, "small states control the U.S. Senate. The 26 smallest states [mostly in the Midwest and far West] where less than 18 percent of the population have a majority of the votes, controls its committees and legislative procedures. Nine states with a majority of the population have only 18 percent of the votes." And, as Al Gore learned the hard way, the electoral college can award presidency to a candidate who loses the popular vote.
Meanwhile, the NRA, ALEC, and the gun-crazed extremists, who back and bankroll them, would have us believing that placing any limits whatsoever on gun ownership is the first step toward tyranny; that the right to amass a private arsenal of deadly weapons is absolute. Only fools believe a civilized society can exist without laws, especially laws aimed at protecting innocent lives.
Liberty without limits is anarchy. Let's vote accordingly. Let's kick the lunatics out of our legislatures. And keep them out.