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South Dakota Wingnuts Propose Mandate for Gun Ownership; End Up Supporting Health-Care Reform

 
 
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 Taegan Goddard's on wingnut watch:

"Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm "sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense," the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

The bill would give people six months to acquire a firearm -- "suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference" -- after turning 21.

Rep. Hal Wick (R) "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."

These people are so confused.

As I wrote last week, what they're proposing was in fact the law of the land in the early days of the republic.

In 1792, none other than George Washington signed the Uniform Militia Act, a law requiring every white male citizen to purchase a whole basket of items – “a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein” – from private companies.

Many of the Founders served in the 2nd Congress, yet no Constitutional issues were raised at the time.

Conservatives have dismissed the relevance of that law to the current health-care debate because it was passed under the auspices of the Constitution's militia clauses, not, like the ACA, under the Commerce Clause.

So along comes these yahoos to show, yet again, that they haven't the slightest grasp of either American history or what the Constitution does and does not permit the government to do. Because either mandating that citizens buy a gun is irrelevant to today's debate as it doesn't fall under the Commerce Clause, or, if the opposite is true, it discredits their whole argument against the insurance reforms.

AlterNet / By Joshua Holland

Posted at February 1, 2011, 6:49am

 
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