South Dakota, that lovely Midwestern state known for Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, and the beautiful Black Hills is proposing a new gun law making it mandatory for people to own a firearm.
The bill states, “Each citizen residing in the state of South Dakota who has attained the age of 21 years shall purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm suitable to their temperament, physical capacity and personal preference sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”
Sound crazy? Well, that’s what the co-sponsors of this bill want. They’re trying to prove the point that the new healthcare law is unconstitutional.
Hal Wick, a cosponsor of the proposed bill, said, “Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance.”
Oh, it gets better. Did you know that South Dakota doesn’t allow legal immigrants to carry concealed weapons, like the rest of the state’s population? Apparently, they’re working on that.
First, you should know that I agree with certain degrees of gun control; however, I also agree that everybody has the right to own a weapon. At the same time, though, can’t somebody abuse that right and disqualify themselves for legally possessing a firearm? For example, should a former felon convicted of a violent crime be allowed to purchase an assault rifle? I’d say probably not.
I tend to agree with conservative blogger Jazz Shaw when he writes, “It plays to the popular, media driven theme of ‘gun nuts’ versus responsible gun owners.” Shaw goes on to say, “It’s a question of steering the national discussion in response to such a provocative proposal…And if we’re going to draw up a parallel to focus a brighter spotlight on the Obamacare mandate, gun laws of any sort might not be the best path, particularly at this juncture in history.”
Shaw was referring to the timing of this bill and the tragic Gabrielle Giffords shooting that took place at a political rally in Arizona.
The right to own a firearm is written in the 2nd Amendment plain as day. To interpret it any other way is foolish, and various federal court decisions agree with this perspective. Gun control is an issue that needs to be discussed. We can’t ignore the fact that America is by far the world’s leader in homicides. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s something that needs to be addressed.
But the bill really isn’t about a mandatory gun law, it’s about healthcare. South Dakota’s mandatory firearm proposal won’t fail because the federal government doesn’t have the power to enact such a clause, but because it doesn’t make sense. What is the benefit to everybody owning a firearm?
Okay, I might agree with you, but show me proof. Where is a study that supports that opinion? What do police departments across the nation have to say about regular citizens owning firearms? Is it helpful? What about training? Is the federal government going to provide everybody firearm training now?
The only thing that comes to mind when I hear about the majority of the population carrying concealed firearms is Wyatt Earp and the O.K. Corral. And for the record, I don’t think the “Wild West” worked out too well.
Unlike the proposed gun law, the healthcare law provides an extraordinary amount of proven benefits. Among those benefits is that the law:
- Bars insurers from denying coverage for preexisting conditions;
- Children are able to stay on their parent’s insurance plan until age 26;
- Eliminates lifetime caps on coverage;
- Provides subsidiaries for small businesses and individuals to obtain insurance;
- Covers preventative care; and
- Creates an appeals process for those who feel they were unfairly denied coverage.
Furthermore, The Congressional Budget Office, which is non-partisan, found that $143 billion in net savings would occur over the 2010-2019 period. Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that the previous healthcare system was broken and that something needed to be done. The healthcare law that was passed, in fact, was an idea (and essentially is) of Bob Dole’s from the 1990s. The fact that the Republican Party continues to move farther right on the political spectrum, and that the Democrats in office really didn’t listen to their objections, has created mess of healthcare reform that was sorely needed – and one that should have been celebrated.
Healthcare has become accessible to everybody, increasing the standard of living, while ultimately reducing the nation’s debt. How can Republican’s cry for deficit reduction when they don’t support this bill?
I understand that the House and Senate Republicans feel that it is an intrusion of the federal government in their constituents’ lives; however, what is the difference from paying into federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which we already do? What is the difference between paying for an uninsured person who shows up to the emergency room (America did that through existing taxes) rather than through the healthcare law that streamlines the process while saving the nation money and providing a better, more efficient service.
I don’t see any proposals from the Republican Party; all I read is how they want to cut funding for certain aspects of the law while saying, “No,” without any helpful, constructive revisions. If America is entering an age of socialism ushered in by President Obama through the healthcare law, well, I’d say that that ship sailed long before. Doe the 1930s ring a bell?
Since I know that not all of you agree with my view on the healthcare law, I found a helpful debate between law professors online. Both sides of the issue are fairly represented, and it’s very interesting. Ultimately, the Supreme Court will decide the validity of this law. The Midwest Man would like to hear your thoughts first, though.