Posted on | March 12, 2013 | No Comments
by Luke Goldstein
A small town in Maine was set to vote last night on a largely symbolic measure requiring every resident in the town to own a firearm. The idea was brought up in response to the national conversation on new gun legislation in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. It’s not the only place to come up with it either, Georgia already has it in one town (but unenforced) and another one looking to propose it. This particular idea is what happens when people take an important and necessary discussion and turn it into a ridiculous spectacle.
First off, you could never under any guise of legality force people to buy a gun and have it in their home. The freedoms these supporters are supposedly protecting include the freedom to not own a gun, among many others. Also, as mentioned earlier, the vote is completely meaningless in terms of the law since municipalities in Maine are not allowed to create laws about guns. So there you have it, pure theatre, right?
Not quite. It does serve to make a point about people’s opinions about their second amendment rights and whether or not they should be infringed upon. Yet the over-the-top nature of this idea was only born out of the unfounded hyperbolic fear mongering about the government coming to take everyone’s guns away. That straw man argument is driving this debate over a cliff, along with driving the sales of handguns and AR-15′s through the roof. You can make up your own mind if those two things are connected.
I fully appreciate that there are many people out there who love their guns, are responsible gun owners and are not likely to end up in yet another nightly news story detailing another meaningless gun death, yet a number of studies have shown that the same responsible crowd actually supports reasonable gun legislation like universal background checks (which at one point held a record 97% approval rating). So the real question becomes why could something so popular with the mass population of the country still look like it is on its dying breath in the congress?
Do you think any new legislation will get through? If so, which ones?