No matter how you parse it, most Americans want reasonable solutions to gun violence. Most Americans (88% according to Quinnipac’s latest poll support universal background checks.
By a smaller margin of 54% a different Quinnipiac poll shows that the majority of Americans support an assault weapon ban and limits on high capacity ammunition magazines.
That’s because most Americans understand that a policy to keep guns away from convicted felons, people we don’t trust to go on an airplane and people with certain mental health problems makes sense. Most people recognize the difference between restrictions on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines and the universal ban that was never on the table.
Most Americans recognize that keeping guns away from people who are more likely to be a danger to society is not the same thing as keeping guns away from all people.
Still, there are some special people in America. In the name of opposing this imaginary ban, they are passing gun ownership and gun training mandates. Somehow compelling people to have guns is “necessary” for people who decry healthcare mandates as the end of freedom. Granted, for the most part, the gun mandate enthusiasts acknowledge that their ordinances are symbolic.
In Nelson City, Georgia Councilman Duane Cronic argues his gun mandate is necessary because people don’t have enough protection during the sixteen hours each night there is no officer patrolling the community. This is a deterrent ordinance and nothing more,” councilman Duane Cronic, who proposed the law, told POLITICO. “I liken it to putting a security sign up in your yard.”
Right, forcing people to own a gun is exactly like putting a security sign in your yard.
Under Cronic’s mandate, ”heads of households” who suffer from physical or mental disability” are exempt. Also exempt are “heads of households” who are “paupers”, a convicted felon or oppose gun ownership on religious grounds or belief.
The three members of Byron, Maine’s Board of Selectman voted for mandatory gun ownership, which is subject to approval at a town hall meeting scheduled for March 11. The stated intent behind this ordinance is to “pre-emptively block gun-control laws” despite the fact that Maine has a law barring municipalities from adopting firearms regulations. Moreover, the ordinance exempts the same people from mandatory gun ownership who wouldn’t be allowed to own a gun under existing and proposed federal laws. The exception is people who oppose gun ownership for religious or other reasons. It’s also likely that this, like a similar proposal in Sabattus, will be struck down.
Even if these ordinances pass, the mandate enthusiasts acknowledge that they are unenforceable.
Some communities like Spring City, Virgin in Utah and Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania aren’t calling it a mandate – but rather are using the language “strongly recommend” or something similar. Greenleaf, Idaho “encourages” residents who “don’t objection on religious or other reasons” to keep a gun and seek firearms training.
Others have a different approach, like forcing first graders to undergo gun training in school because gosh darn it, mandated gun ownership and gun training is necessary as the good Senator explained:
“I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate.”
Besides, the NRA is willing to fund school programs to teach kids how to use a gun. Granted, the NRA isn’t willing to fund the mandatory training for teachers (also proposed in Brown’s law.) Since forcing teachers to take gun training is much more important than books, or school lunch programs, Republicans will find a way to pay for this all important mandate.
The irony lies in the fact that the gun mandaters acknowledge that certain people shouldn’t have guns. As noted above, the proposed ordinances exempt the very people that would be precluded from owning or buying a gun under the President’s universal background check proposal that an overwhelming majority of Americans support. Even if the ordinances do pass, they also acknowledge that gun ownership mandates are unenforceable.
At best, the ordinances that can pass are unenforceable and, in reality, recognize the validity of Federal laws that in some cases, they are “preemptively” trying to block. At worst, programs to mandate gun training for six-year- olds seems odd in a state that is simultaneously seeking to cut its education budget.
For people who claim to be so concerned about wasting tax payers’ money, these lawmakers have a funny way of showing it by spending time (and money) passing symbolic ordinances that can’t be enforced and coincide with the idea that certain people shouldn’t have guns
Welcome to Republican “logic!”
Image: Occupy The NRA