‘Joke’ Bill in S.D. Would Force Residents to Buy Guns
February 1, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)— Much like their Republican counterparts in Congress emboldened by legislative gains made in the November elections, right-wing state lawmakers across this great land are wasting the taxpayers’ time by dreaming up idiotic stunt bills to appeal to their extremist tea party base. From birther bills to measures denying birthright citizenship for “anchor babies,” and bills making it harder for poor women to obtain abortions, Republican lawmakers have shown they have no intention to responsibly govern. A handful of Republican lawmakers in South Dakota have taken their buffoonery one step further, by sponsoring a joke bill of sorts, intended to mock the health reform law’s individual mandate by requiring residents, 21 and older to purchase guns for self defense. But the joke is on these clowns, because as part of George Washington’s Militia Act of 1792, he signed into law, a mandate requiring male citizens to purchase firearms.
The South Dakota GOPers reason that an individual mandate to purchase health insurance is the same thing as a government mandate to purchase firearms. Of course this is a ridiculous comparison. But the five state lawmakers and their tea party supporters, who worship our Founders, may want to Google the Militia Act of 1792.
“The measure is known as an act “to provide for an individual mandate to adult citizens to provide for the self defense of themselves and others.”’
“Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.”
“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,” he said.
Political Correction’s Matt Finkelstein points out the idiocy of the rationale behind the joke bill.
“For one thing, gun ownership doesn’t have the same direct connection to interstate commerce as health care costs. Furthermore, while conservatives maintain that mandated health insurance is unprecedented, the same can’t be said of gun ownership. Indeed, George Washington signed a law in 1792 that required every “able-bodied white male citizen” between 18 and 45 years old to “provide himself with a good musket or firelock” and other related equipment.”
The mind reels.
Photo Source: Illman Brothers from painting by E.L. Henry, Public Domain.