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South Dakota Outlaws Guns?!

Alright, not really. But imagine the outcry if lawmakers did to gun laws what they've done to a woman's right to control her own body?
 
 
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A new proposal has been introduced in the South Dakota state legislature that would upend the Constitutionally protected right to bear arms. This complex and insidious scheme, if enacted, would virtually eliminate access to guns by law abiding citizens. Here are the hoops that the legislation would require honest South Dakotans to jump through:

  • Before being granted a permit, the purchaser would be required to listen to a legislature-written lecture on gun violence.
  • There would then be a 24 hour waiting period.
  • On returning to the permit office, there would be a mandatory viewing of photos and films of gun violence.
  • The purchaser would then have to visit a state-accredited weapons training center.
  • Then return to the permit office where there would be another lecture about the dangers of guns.
  • Then another two hour wait before a permit would be issued.

This process is grossly unfair and serves only to make access to guns unnecessarily difficult. What makes it even worse is that there are presently no state-accredited weapons training centers as stipulated in the law, so the conditions required for acquiring a permit are actually impossible to meet. This has the effect of making gun ownership itself impossible.

This would be an outrageous violation of the Constitution’s second amendment except for one thing: none of it is true. At least insofar as guns are concerned. However, another Constitutionally protected right is being violated in South Dakota in precisely the same way:

  • Before an abortion can be performed the patient would be required to listen to a legislature-written lecture on abortion.
  • There would then be a 24 hour waiting period.
  • On returning to the doctor’s office, there would be a mandatory viewing of a sonogram.
  • The patient would then have to visit a state-accredited crisis pregnancy counseling center.
  • Then return to the doctor’s office where there would be another lecture about alleged health dangers of abortion.
  • Then another two hour wait before the abortion could be performed.

And of course, there really are no state-accredited crisis pregnancy counseling centers in South Dakota, so the conditions required for getting an abortion are actually impossible to meet.

What I have to wonder is how these extremist Christian conservatives can lay claim to a philosophy of small government? How can they profess to desire a state that is prohibited from interfering in the private lives of citizens, especially when it violates their rights? How can they assert these principles when it comes to gun ownership, but completely abandon them when it comes to the most private medical decisions?

Is it just because men, for the most part, want their guns to play with, and are trusted to use them responsibly, but women cannot be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies?

Mark Howard is an artist and author and the publisher of News Corpse . His political and socially disruptive artwork has been displayed internationally.

 
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