Crazier and Crazier

Apparently, a new reading of the Second Amendment in South Dakota requires you to own a firearm, even if you don’t want one:

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 bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

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.

I’m not sure how exactly that proves his point, but I’m not a wingnut, so wingnut logic doesn’t work on me.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






132 replies
  1. 1
    wobblybits says:

    I give up, I just don’t understand people anymore.

  2. 2
    Egypt Steve says:

    Sounds like an unconstitutional individual mandate.

  3. 3
    Dan says:

    So. The government CAN’T force you to buy health insurance, but it CAN force you to buy a weapon. OK.

  4. 4
    Fargus says:

    Can someone explain to me how I can provide for the self defense of others?

  5. 5
    New Yorker says:

    Fine. I’ll buy a BB Gun on eBay for $5. Then can I have my healthcare reform?

  6. 6
    iLarynx says:

    Um, isn’t this where the “America is #1 when it comes to our firearms distribution system. We don’t need government interference mucking it all up” argument comes in?

    Firearm ownership is already mandatory for homeowners in Kennesaw, GA.

    USA! USA! USA!

  7. 7
    Dennis SGMM says:

    So if you’re blind do you just buy a shotgun?

  8. 8
    Penon says:

    Don’t you see? They’re making a point. Clever.

  9. 9
    Dan says:

    nunchuks?

  10. 10
    gypsy howell says:

    The jerkoffs at the NRA will pressure them to pass it. Will they require everyone to buy bullets too?

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    The constitutionality of a state health care mandate is unaffected by the question of whether or not it is constitutional to have a health care mandate at the federal level. You might recall that Romneycare has an individual mandate, and guess what, no one has tried to claim that it’s unconstitutional.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @iLarynx: Mitt said that only states can mandate. The Federal Government can’t. How come the Federal Government can mandate companies to provide Cobra for their employees or mandate hospitals to treat those who can’t afford treatment. EDIT..Scotus..already ruled that corps are people also, too

    BTW…Kennesaw Ga mandates gun ownership and I don’t think it depends on temperament.

  13. 13
    Sentient Puddle says:

    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.

    I too am also failing to see his point, but more because the federal government in the early years did in fact pass a similar law.

    But nobody tell him. Otherwise we’ll have to endure some of the “The founders intended for every citizen to be armed to the teeth!” nonsense.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    Does his bill offer subsidies for people who can’t afford to buy their own handgun? Guarantee that nobody who wants to buy a handgun will be turned down due to preexisting conditions in their background?

    Analogy FAIL.

    dms

  15. 15
    Captain Haddock says:

    Well, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, I know where I’ll be headed.

  16. 16
    Observer says:

    Actually, this is a surprising creative response from those Repubs.

    If the gov’t can force you to buy private insurance, the natural question is what other private transactions can the gov’t force you to to. They can say either it’s all unconstitutional or it’s all ok.

    This could catch on.

  17. 17
    horatius says:

    @gypsy howell: Yes, with high capacity magazines.

  18. 18
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @dmsilev:

    Does his bill offer subsidies for people who can’t afford to buy their own handgun?

    They’re adding a rider to the bill mandating that the SoDak National Guard give away all of its old 105mm howitzers, bazookas and recoilless rifles to qualifying citizens at no cost.

  19. 19
    Tom65 says:

    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.

    Nice. The only point he’s proving is that he can be a collosal asshat and waste everyones time.

  20. 20
    SRW1 says:

    Spoof, to make the reverse argument that Dan at #3 made:

    So. The government CAN’T force you to buy a weapon, but it CAN force you to buy health insurance.

  21. 21
    guster says:

    If Jane Hamsher hadn’t scuttled the private option, the wingnuts would be passing laws mandating publicly-funded armories where you check out weapons like books from a library.

  22. 22
    maya says:

    There may be an even more cunning plan behind this. If I were North Dakota I would prepare for invasion.

  23. 23
    Breezeblock says:

    If you fall below a certain inclome level, would you get a voucher to purchase a weapon?

    I want to get my hands on a flamethrower.

  24. 24
    rm says:

    No, no, this makes a brilliant point and is a completely spot-on analogy to the health care mandate, because . . .
    — At some point in their lives, everyone buys a firearm
    — Anyone who really needs a firearm and can’t pay for it is given one anyway
    — The cost of millions of firearms given away for free is built in to the price of ammunition, and
    — Shooting regularly is necessary for our health (stop thinking that, I didn’t mean it that way)

  25. 25
    rm says:

    That was supposed to be a bullet list — I was fooled by the “code” button into thinking I could use HTML.

    You see, I can’t even afford bullets because my gun insurance carrier refused to cover them.

  26. 26
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Sentient Puddle: Or they will invoke Switzerland and say they are forming a militia.
    Just like our founding fathers, you know the whites of their eyes and all that.

  27. 27
    dadanarchist says:

    Nanny State!

  28. 28
    artem1s says:

    gotta say, mandating purchase of health insurance has always struck me as contrary to the interests of consumers, and therefore democratic principles. I get the concept of spreading the cost throughout the system (which is why insurance companies want it). But health care isn’t something you can avoid like having an auto accident. we are all going to need it at some point, so forced buy-in has always seemed somewhat like endorsing a giant ponzi scheme that really only benefits the insurance companies CEOs. Some day there will be more people taking out than paying in and the bubble will burst.

    That said, I only support the concept of mandatory buy-in because ultimately I see it leading to a single payer, government run system. It will happen when the insurance companies finally figure out that they can’t make money if they are required to actually pay out as well as collect premiums on basic and end of life care.

  29. 29

    Gauntlet thrown — your move, Arizona!

  30. 30
    Penon says:

    My personal opinion is that every Dem in South Dakota should get behind this bill and pass it. And then come 2012, make sure the Republicans who drafted it get ALL the credit.

  31. 31
    El Cid says:

    @JPL: Kennesaw’s code “only” requires that the ‘head of household’ own a firearm, certainly not every adult citizen. I don’t think there’s much of a possibility of enforcement.

    The South Dakota rule could be described as sounding similar to the Second Militia Act.

    It conscripted every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company overseen by the state. Militia members were to arm themselves with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 pound of gun powder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack.[3] Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen. Otherwise, men were required to report for training twice a year, usually in the Spring and Fall.

    Well, except for the whole notion of them being part of an organized militia to be supervised by state authorities.

    Again, my suggestion is that the NAACP and La Raza and immigrants’ rights groups and whoever else begin pushing the training and arming of poor communities and communities of color and so forth. I mean, the legal training and arming.

    And maybe negotiating group discounts with local gun stores, or perhaps a wholesale deal directly with manufacturers.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @Observer:

    If the gov’t can force you to buy private insurance, the natural question is what other private transactions can the gov’t force you to to. They can say either it’s all unconstitutional or it’s all ok.
    __
    This could catch on.

    Indeed. Let’s make a list of things the government forces its citizens to do (outside of taxes) that perhaps should receive more scrutiny.

  33. 33
    Curly says:

    The rootin’ tootin’-ist state in the union!

  34. 34
    El Cid says:

    Did someone explain why a “mandate” with ‘fines’ (unlikely to be collected) on those not buying insurance was used instead of some equivalent flat rate (or other simple to calculate) tax credit for those who had it?

  35. 35
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I’m not sure how exactly that proves his point, but I’m not a wingnut, so wingnut logic doesn’t work on me.

    The logic is simple:

    Liberals hate guns, so forcing everyone to buy a gun will piss liberals off. When they complain about it, wingnuts get to call them hypocrites.

  36. 36
    Elisabeth says:

    @Tom65:

    Someone should ask him how many jobs this will create and sustain.

  37. 37
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

     

    The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

    When I was a kid we used to joke that in Germany everything which is not forbidden is compulsory, and everything which is not compulsory is forbidden.

    Nice to see that the good folks in S.D. have a properly Teutonic sense of humor.

  38. 38
    RSA says:

    I’ve always suspected that it’s the lack of universal gun ownership that’s bankrupting our country. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are dying too soon because they don’t own guns. But there’s a better way to fix this problem than the South Dakota measure: start small, by having the government buy everyone a gun once they reach 65 years of age. Then we can expand the program.

  39. 39
    ericblair says:

    @Observer:

    If the gov’t can force you to buy private insurance, the natural question is what other private transactions can the gov’t force you to to. They can say either it’s all unconstitutional or it’s all ok.

    The problem for them is that the Dems are the ones being consistent with this and they aren’t. Even if it wasn’t a state law they’re proposing and therefore just about meaningless from the federal perspective, most of us commie libs object to mandatory firearm laws because they’re dumb,dangerous, and pointless grandstanding, not because they’re unconstitutional.

  40. 40
    Ash Can says:

    @Observer: What too many people can’t seem to get through their heads is that the ACA does not force anyone to buy health insurance. What it does is to raise your income tax a little if you make that choice, so that the system can still be paid for. Last time I looked, the federal government’s right and responsibility to levy taxes was enshrined in that Constitution that so many people have such exquisitely select memories of.

  41. 41
    Zifnab says:

    @Observer:

    If the gov’t can force you to buy private insurance, the natural question is what other private transactions can the gov’t force you to to. They can say either it’s all unconstitutional or it’s all ok.

    Assuming penalty for not owning a gun is a minor increase in state-levied taxes, then you might actually have a point.

    If the penalty is some kind of traffic ticket or misdemeanor offense, then you’re completely off your rocker.

  42. 42
    jfp says:

    Actually, this strikes me as an old reading of the constitution in that the states were free to regulate their militias as they saw fit. However, given the Roberts court ruling that the right to bear arms is an absolute individual right it seems to me that’s no longer operable as if I have an individual right to a weapon I also can waive that right.

  43. 43
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:
    Good question.

    Also, why didn’t they put a severability clause in the bill?

  44. 44
    Allan says:

    @RSA:

    Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are dying too soon late because they don’t own guns.

    FIFY.

  45. 45
    Pangloss says:

    Anyone who votes No will drop in the NRA’s ranking. I would not be surprised if it passed, and I would not be surprised if a wingnut judge ruled mandating firearms constitutional but health care isn’t.

    This could be a very insightful object lesson for future historians documenting the sudden decline of the United States to an irrelevant footnote in history.

  46. 46
    Gus says:

    Wow, things must be fucking peachy in SoDak if this is how the legislature spends their time.

  47. 47
    Hob says:

    @El Cid: The “fine” is collected as part of the regular federal tax return, so what’s the difference?

  48. 48
    4tehlulz says:

    I hope this passes. There is a nice Minuteman III I’ve been looking to buy.

  49. 49
    kerFuFFler says:

    The problem with the gun/healthcare analogy is that healthcare providers are in many cases required to provide care by law to people who cannot pay. Since it is mandatory to provide healthcare, it makes sense to make it mandatory for people to buy insurance.

    Gun manufacturers and retailers are under no parallel requirement to provide citizens with guns without regard for their ability to pay. So there can be no need to mandate gun purchases.

  50. 50
    PS says:

    @El Cid: Why fines rather than credits? That’s interesting and I’d like to know the answer. My first guess is that tax credits seem too voluntary and may not have appealed to the insurance companies.

  51. 51
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Pangloss:

    This could be a very insightful object lesson for future historians documenting the sudden decline of the United States to an irrelevant footnote in history.

    Well you certainly are the optimist, aren’t you? From most of the history I’ve read, empires in sudden decline have found numerous ways to keep themselves relevant, all of them being notably messy and unpleasant.

    But then perhaps we are living in the best of all possible worlds.

  52. 52
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @El Cid: The choices were to either fine those that didn’t participate, raise taxes and then give tax breaks to those that had insurance, or just give a tax break to those who got insurance without a break. The second was never going to happen no matter how symbolic the hike was and the third would have gone against the cost of the bill. So that left the first.

  53. 53
    joes527 says:

    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.”

    Are the Republicans using actual 3rd graders to name their bills these days?

  54. 54
    Chyron HR says:

    In summary:

    Democrats passed a law that they believed to be Constitutional.

    Republicans want to pass a law that they explicitly believe to be UNconstitutional, but it’s okay because they’re making a “point”.

    This proves that Democrats hate the Constitution.

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Gus: Heavily subsidized ethonol production has made them a bunch of whiners.

  56. 56
    liberal says:

    @Hob:
    There’s no economic difference. The difference is that doing it the tax/credit way gets around these possible constitutional problems.

  57. 57
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    OT: Jordan’s king fires cabinet amid protests. Tunisia has sparked something big – Jordan’s prime minister has already stepped down following the protests there.

    As to John’s question: if all the protesters packing that square in Egypt had Glock 9mm pistols with extended ammo clips, Mubarak would be gone by now. /South Dakota wingnut

  58. 58
    David says:

    More than 90% of all suicide attempts by use of firearms are successful.

    In 2005, an average of 46 Americans per day committed suicide with a firearm, accounting for 53% of all completed suicides. Gun suicide during this period accounted for 40% more deaths than gun homicide.

  59. 59
    liberal says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    I doubted that, but then looked up SD’s rank as a corn producer. Not too shabby!

    More generally, of course, they get boatloads of ag subsidies. That’s really the political Achilles heel of the teatards budget obsession.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    Oh, please, please, please pass this law South Dakota. We’ve got about half a million gang-bangers that are going to LOVE your state. We’ll even pay to bus them out to you.

  61. 61
    CaseyL says:

    Completely OT: The latest out of Egypt says they’re running low on essential food items (bread, milk). I’d hate to see the revolt founder because people got hungry – I suspect that’s Mubarak’s last hope, too, trying to starve them out.

    Does anyone know of any aid organization we could contact to suggest doing a food shipment to Egypt? Doctors Without Borders was my first thought: I don’tknow if they’re strictly a medical aid organization, though.

    Aside from the necessity of it, I think it might be a good thing to show the Egyptian people that at least some Americans support them.

  62. 62
    liberal says:

    @jfp:

    However, given the Roberts court ruling that the right to bear arms is an absolute individual right…

    IANAL, but I don’t think the ruling claimed an absolute right. (How many rights are absolute anyway?) I thought the interest in the ruling was that it created an individual right where none had existed before (in terms of case law), but could be wrong about that.

  63. 63
    Ripley says:

    I assume this would apply to all the corporate entities in South Dakota, as well, yes? They are, as we’ve been told many, many times over the last few years, persons with inviolable rights, thus they should “provide for the self defense of themselves and others” right alongside the good people of South Dakota.

  64. 64
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Ash Can: I’m not sure Rand Paul and many Tea Party folks agree with you on the government levying taxes bit.

  65. 65
    Tony T says:

    But I already pay for defense and security.
    I pay taxes for cops.
    I do not use gun or bullet resources.
    I do use health care resources.

    If republicans repeal car insurance laws, I’ll believe they are serious about no government mandates.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    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.”

    Christ Almighty, you can’t have an individual mandate for health insurance, but you can have a mandate to carry a firearm?

    Back in 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia unanimously passed a law requiring “every head of household to maintain a firearm together with ammunition.” I don’t know if it did any good, but the people there are mighty happy with themselves.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    Didn’t I see somewhere that George Washington also signed a law that forced citizens to buy guns?

    I think it was in a post that also mentioned a Seaman’s Health Insurance law that required people to buy health insurance.

  68. 68
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

    I would like a Song Dynasty-era fire lance, please.

  69. 69
    Punchy says:

    The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

    I’m assuming this is a polite way of saying “n#ggers and spics”, right?

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    @Punchy: And Democrats. But yeah, about that.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Ash Can says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people): If you took what those geniuses knew about their almighty Constitution and turned it into a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, everything would be missing except a corner piece and a couple of fragments of a cottage windowbox.

  73. 73

    I dunno, I think it’s perfectly obvious how a really dumb state law proves that the federal government lacks the ability to regulate interstate commerce. It’s in the super-secret Federalist Society Constitution. Somewhere in the back.

  74. 74
    El Cid says:

    @Hob: I honestly don’t know. Someone once noted how difficult it would be to calculate the credit for some, I don’t really know on that point.

    If the two approaches are pretty much identical, I don’t know why other than traditional Democratic stupidity in naming and labeling the term “mandate” has arisen instead of “tax credits”. Or “higher” or “additional” tax credits. Or emphasizing “will not receive” and the like.

  75. 75
    hueyplong says:

    On grumpy days, you have to wonder how nice it would be if the wingers had to live with the real life consequences of actual passage of one of their grandstanding legislative proposals. Those African-Americans wouldn’t be buying 3/5 of a gun.

    This might sound funny in SDak, which likely doesn’t have a large black/brown/yellow/whatever population, but I’m guessing that Arizona wouldn’t want to pass a Let’s Heavily Arm All the Brown People Act.

  76. 76
    cckids says:

    @New Yorker:

    Fine. I’ll buy a BB Gun on eBay for $5. Then can I have my healthcare reform?

    For myself, I want one of the Nerf semi-automatic rifles, with a clip that holds 20 or so darts. Lookout, a**holes!

  77. 77

    […] a really dumb state law that does not seem to violate the federal Constitution proves something about the (in)ability of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce. What it proves, exactly, is unclear to me. But if you take some acid and throw on The Dark Side of […]

  78. 78
    Tsulagi says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    So if you’re blind do you just buy a shotgun?

    Now you’re thinking right. Of course to compensate for their disability they’d need a Street Sweeper model 12ga. with 20 round rotary magazine.

    I’m not sure how exactly that proves his point

    Both sides do it. It’s the same thing. Duh.

  79. 79
    cckids says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    everything not forbidden is compulsory

    T.H.White quote, from The Once & Future King. Those communistic ants, ya know.

  80. 80
    scav says:

    @cckids: I gotta go with something (maybe like a crossbow) that hurls flaming pies. That meringue has to be lit to comply with the whole firearms bit to my mind. Or maybe I could launch flaming baba-au-rhums to piss off the temperance crowd.

  81. 81
    cckids says:

    @scav: Nerf makes crossbows, too. I’m sure some enterprising 10-year old somewhere has come up with a way to make it flame like crazy. But it would really stink up the joint. I love the baba-au-rhum idea. The alcohol would just assist in the flaming!

  82. 82
    jwb says:

    @El Cid: “Again, my suggestion is that the NAACP and La Raza and immigrants’ rights groups and whoever else begin pushing the training and arming of poor communities and communities of color and so forth. I mean, the legal training and arming.”

    Yes, I’ve been wondering about this myself: how would the teatard/wingnut/gunnut brigade react if leftist groups started to organize militias? What would happen to the gun rights debate at that point?

  83. 83
    dziliak says:

    @Scott Lemieux:

    I’m sure that he knows its pointless but it’ll look good in his district come election time if he gets primaried by the TP.

    Or he could be a TP’er proving his bona fides, in which case he may be dumb enough to believe his own rhetoric.

  84. 84
    libdevil says:

    @RSA:

    To be consistent, the government must also buy guns for poor children, but take those guns away if the children ever find themselves not quite so poor, or when they reach adulthood. In some states, the government must also provide guns to the mentally ill, but Saint Raygun closed a lot of mental health facilities, so there’s less of that going on now. And the government will mandate that gun store owners must provide a gun to anybody who really needs one right now!

  85. 85
    gypsy howell says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I”M IN! Where do I sign up? I have a great little spot aimed out at our road that would be simply perfect for a small howitzer.

  86. 86
    cckids says:

    @Martin:

    We’ve got about half a million gang-bangers that are going to LOVE your state. We’ll even pay to bus them out to you.

    Have you BEEN to SoDak? I’m not sure too many city dwellers will “love” the place, no matter how many guns they all get to have. You’ll run out of ammo sometime, and then, you’ll still be in South Dakota. Lookin at the wheat. Watching the wind blow. Swearing as the snow starts in Sept & piles up & up & up, ending sometime in June. Fun times.

  87. 87
    Berto says:

    Flood S. Dakota with the 3 Ms (Mexicans, Muslims, and Minorities), then see who blinks.

  88. 88
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @hueyplong: My thought as well. They want everyone to have a gun–except for those who skeer them.

    Every time I think we hit the nadir of rank stupidity, something like this comes along. I despair sometimes. Really, I do.

  89. 89
    Maine Independent says:

    Pretty soon jackbooted ATF thugs will be going door to door to make sure you POSSESS a gun. Ammo too.

    Idiots.

  90. 90
    scav says:

    @Maine Independent: Metal detectors at schools and public buildings and airports to ensure that everybody is armed. If you don’t beep, they pat you down to make sure you’re carrying plastic.

  91. 91
    Citizen_X says:

    @hueyplong:

    SDak, which likely doesn’t have a large black/brown/yellow/whatever population

    Actually, the largest minority in SD comprises 8.2% of the population. Which ethnic group is that? Hint: this state includes the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

    Which, come to think of it, is about the best historic example of a “militia” defeating an invading army that you’re likely to find!

  92. 92
    T says:

    But remember, according to the same group of people who favor a mandate like this, the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is held to be unconstitutional.

  93. 93
    RossInDetroit says:

    Felons. Will they be required to own guns? If not the rule making to decide who must/may not own a gun will be highly entertaining.

  94. 94
    RobW says:

    @Fargus:

    Can someone explain to me how I can provide for the self defense of others?

    By paying taxes sufficient to support police agencies and military services?

  95. 95
    Mr Blifil says:

    But health insurance “mandates” are unconstitutional. Got it.

  96. 96
    Caz says:

    If Congress can force citizens to buy health care, why can’t states force people to buy guns? Seems to me you are in favor of letting the federal goverment force citizens to buy products for their policy reasons, but not in favor of states doing the same thing.

    Can you give me a logical reason why one is ok but the other is not??

  97. 97
    Mysticdog says:

    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.

    It is a really good way to make the point. I suggested that they would do this once the court challenges started. I don’t know if it is unconstitutional, but it is definitely unethical to make american buy a commercial product in order to live legally as Americans. It was a stupid idea, and it really does deserve to burn away. I hope it doesn’t take down the positive benefits of the bill in the process, but really, this was a dumb-as-fuck move by the Obama team.

    If the government can make people buy health insurance, what prevents the government from making people buy any other product? Nothing, but human decency which you might have noticed is sadly lacking in our halls of power. Why not make every person pay for drug tests? Why not make every person buy a medical alert bracelet? Why not make every person buy a salad with every meal? A gun for safety? A terrorism emergency kit, complete with duct tape and plastic sheeting? A tracking chip for their child

    All of these things can be justified, and once companies figure out that this will work, they will start putting pressure on the government to make it happen.

    There are lots of things that the government does make people buy from private companies, but they are always associated with priviledges, like driving. This would be the first time that I know of the government forcing people to buy a private product just to live as an American citizen.

    The way to do it right is through taxation and a government program, which is completely ethical and legal. It always was the right way. Obama seriously fucked this all up.

  98. 98
    oboe says:

    I give up, I just don’t understand people anymore.

    What’s not to understand? The Second Directive of American Conservativism is “Piss Off Jane Fonda.” As long as it doesn’t interfere with the Prime Directive (i.e. “increase the wealth of the wealthy”) I see no mystery here.

  99. 99
    teejay says:

    Principles. Republican Principles. Government can’t tell
    citizens to buy insurance but they can require them to buy a gun.

  100. 100
    Henk says:

    There is a very large Native population out there on the plains. They should be the first to purchase. I recommend the Barret 50 cal sniper rifle for those long range shots across the prairie.

  101. 101
    Bill Murray says:

    @cckids: Have you BEEN to South Dakota? Your description of the weather is not even good as hyperbole.

    @Citizen_X: South Dakota does not contain Little Big Horn — that is in Montana just north of the Wyoming-Montana border. South Dakota has Wounded Knee.

  102. 102

    Someone over in today’s comment thread at Gin And Tacos had this question:

    Would it be unconstitutional to just change the tax code to include a health care tax which one would be exempt from if one has health insurance? If so, why? And if not, how is this different than the individual mandate in the ACA?

    Damn good question. Anyone?

  103. 103
    rickstersherpa says:

    @Scott Lemieux: Yep, its the part written in invisible ink that is revealed only in the inner sanctum of the Federalist club.

    I have to tell the guy that it may be a dumb law he is proposing, but that South Dakota has the authority to pass it under both its police power and the power to establish a state militia if it so wishes.

    Of course this is really a chance for the Good Ol’ boys to yuck it up about how this will piss off us liberals. A nice good resentment vent.

  104. 104
    JoXn says:

    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 obvious loophole is that for my ordinary self-defense I have no need of any firearm.

  105. 105
    Citizen_X says:

    @Bill Murray: Oops. You’re right.

  106. 106
    elle says:

    @artem1s:

    I’m sorry, I don’t think your argument makes any sense.

    But health care isn’t something you can avoid like having an auto accident. we are all going to need it at some point, so forced buy-in has always seemed somewhat like endorsing a giant ponzi scheme that really only benefits the insurance companies CEOs. Some day there will be more people taking out than paying in and the bubble will burst.

    So you agree that everyone needs healthcare, but no one should be forced to buy it? It benefits only insurance CEO’s? Don’t forget that under the ACA the insurance companies also have to reduce the amount they spend on overhead to 30%, and no one can be denied coverage. Also, if a person is financially unable to purchase insurance, the government covers them (tax credit or something).

    I also disagree with your bubble argument. The ACA also deals with preventative measures, including free regular checkups and small procedures for the elderly…I’m not sure about every other person though. That’s why this bill was so huge, because they had to look at all the factors that affect access to and cost of health care, and address these in some measure.

    Finally, how can anyone consider everyone having access to healthcare as undemocratic?

  107. 107
    Lihtox says:

    Well, I already pay money towards my self-defense: I pay taxes which go towards police and military protection. And I agree: it would make a lot more sense to have taxes pay for health insurance for everyone, rather than having to give money to large corporations who will waste some of that money on advertising and buying fashionable CEOs from other companies. Is South Dakota pushing for the public option? That would be great? (Or let me opt out of my share of the war in Afghanistan– that would be good too.)

    The health-insurance equivalent of their bill would require everyone to go to medical school, so that they can provide for their own health care. I am not an expert in medicine and I am not an expert in self-defense, and in a civilized world I don’t have to be.

  108. 108
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @JoXn:

    The obvious loophole is that for my ordinary self-defense I have no need of any firearm.

    With mad Kung-Fu skillz like that, you’d better stay off of airplanes.

    /Chris Matthews

  109. 109
    Gatsby says:

    What’s the penalty if one does not buy a gun?

  110. 110
    azlib says:

    This proves nothing. Such a law may in fact be constitutional. It depends on what is in the SD constitution. Legislatures can do dumb things and this is really dumb.

  111. 111
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    If there are any Democrats left in that state legislature, one of them should introduce an amendment that heavily subsidises the acquisition of handguns for the poor, and suggest that the state itself should give out free Glocks to Native Americans and other low-income communities.

    (This has been another episode of “State Legislators Do The Most Fuckwitted Things”.

  112. 112
    Hob says:

    residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

    I want an anxious, nerdy, nellie type of gun that both girls and boys like. Oh, and one that doesn’t require me to be able to aim it.

  113. 113
    Jasper says:

    @Mysticdog:

    The big difference between bracelets and guns and readiness kits is healthcare isn’t something that people CHOOSE to obtain. If a person gets very sick or in an accident, they require medical attention, and hospitals MUST treat them, whether the patient can pay or not.

    Those without insurance, other than the very wealthy, are taking a bet they won’t need care. If they win, they keep the benefits of saved insurance premiums. If they get sick or in an accident and lose the bet, you and me and all the rest of us who insured against serious illness or accident bail out that freeloader with higher costs and premiums. It’s private benefits – savings on premiums – and socialized costs when we pay his or her bill.

    I know conservatives are used to defending private profits and socialized costs for our corporate overlords, but I’m not sure why anyone would defend this on an individual level. Personal responsibility!!

  114. 114
    ThatGuy says:

    I believe this falls under the “it pisses off liberals” column for why wingnuts act the ways they do.

  115. 115
    goatchowder says:

    We already have an individual mandate: to PAY THE FUCKNIG POLICE.

    Next question please.

  116. 116
    lou says:

    Again, my suggestion is that the NAACP and La Raza and immigrants’ rights groups and whoever else begin pushing the training and arming of poor communities and communities of color and so forth. I mean, the legal training and arming.

    I’ve wondered that myself. What would happen in Virginia where they allow people to strut around like Hollywood cowboys with holsters around their hips if guys from D.C. moved to Virginia and dressed in white Ts, baggy pants and braids were to start showing up at their favorite restaurants with holsters and guns. Hey, it’s legal!

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    Your first problem is trying to understand crazy. Isn’t not having any good sense and logical thought part of the reason you thought they were crazy in the first place?

  118. 118
    gelfling545 says:

    @dmsilev: Well, if you don’t buy a gun yourself the government will have to pay more when you have to go to the emergency gun room to be treated for serious lack of firearms. Or something.

  119. 119
    Less Popular Tim says:

    @New Yorker:
    You will not buy a BB gun on eBay:
    http://pages.ebay.com/help/pol.....nives.html

  120. 120
    Catzmaw says:

    No lie. A few months ago I was standing outside a pawn shop waiting for a friend (no, seriously), when gun counter guy stepped out for a cigarette. We got to talking and he asked me why I didn’t own a gun. I told him I didn’t have anything against a person who has received training and dedicates time every month to remaining proficient in both safety and use of a gun, but that I would never own one without obtaining and maintaining proficiency; besides, I said, where I live the cops usually respond to emergencies within a minute. I don’t feel the need for a gun. He then told me that I HAD to buy a gun. In fact, he said, it was mandated by Jesus and was in the Bible. I asked him where in hell I was supposed to find Jesus telling me to pick up a gun in the Bible and he quoted some Old Testament verse about picking up swords against “mine enemies” but explained – the way one would to a special needs child – that it only said swords because guns hadn’t been invented yet and Jesus (even though the quote was thousands of years pre-Jesus) clearly wants me to have a gun. I told him that was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard and he replied that he just couldn’t get things past ignorant people like me who don’t understand the Bible. Imagine that. All those years of Catholic school, five years of college, and three years of law school, and I never did learn that Jesus wants me to open my heart to Smith and his best buddy Wesson. I blush in my ignorance.

  121. 121
    Batocchio says:

    Some town in Florida tried to pass something like this within the past ten years. Switzerland actually requires some gun ownership, but their situation is different than South Dakota’s. I’m most concerned about the paranoia behind these moves.

  122. 122
    Mark Andresen says:

    Bat Shit Crazy is in the air everywhere!

  123. 123
    Dr. Squid says:

    @Citizen_X: The largest minority in SD is Montanans?

  124. 124
    Cory says:

    LOL, that’s a pretty awesome way to prove a point!

    Since health care and new technologies are so expensive, it would be awesome if there was some kind of online application that offered people free prognoses that were automatically generated online.

    People could just take an online quiz where they fill in certain information and an automated response detailing what medication or device works best to alleviate their pain or discomfort could pop up. And since it would be online and the Internet is free, the only associated cost would be a hosting fee.

    There’s already a similar app: http://mindflashad.com/branding-concept-quiz/posts

    but it does free business branding concepts instead, but the idea is the same.

    That’s all most doctors or physicians do anyhow – is just look symptoms up in a book. So an automated online application could just do the work for them and save people the trip and money.

  125. 125

    If you support Obamacare, you support the provision in it called the individual mandate. The individual mandate uses the power of government to make you engage in an activity that you would not engage in previously, such as buying healthcare.

    This bill says that if Obamacare is legal, than so can any other bill that requires you to buy anything at all- in this case, a gun. That’s kind of the big point about opposing Obamacare- if the government can force you to buy something, they can force you to buy anything. It is surprising that the logic of all of this is beyond your ability to grasp without explanation.

    I’m on record as opposing this sort of thing. Most of you are on record as supporting this sort of thing. Better get ready to go buy a gun!

  126. 126
    Shade Tail says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    If you support Obamacare, you support the provision in it called the individual mandate. The individual mandate uses the power of government to make you engage in an activity that you would not engage in previously, such as buying healthcare.

    Uh huh. So if you were sick or injured, you would not buy health care unless forced to? To each their own, I suppose.

    This bill says that if Obamacare is legal, than so can any other bill that requires you to buy anything at all- in this case, a gun.

    I would chide you for your bad grammar, “teacher”, but far more important is your apparent inability to realize that just because a bill says something doesn’t make it true. I hope you don’t teach Civics (or English).

    I’m on record as opposing this sort of thing.

    We’re on record as not caring about what you oppose. Far more important to us is that you obviously have no idea what you’re writing about.

  127. 127
    digitusmedius says:

    I wonder if these morons stopped to consider that if the government is given power to require gun ownership the government is given power to regulate the marketplace, i.e., how guns are manufactured and sold, i.e. what kinds of guns are permitted and all the other “accessories” of firearms (e.g. ammunition) as well. If they want to make a parallel to health care, they’ll need to go all the way or STFU.

  128. 128
    jon says:

    “to provide for an individual mandate to adult citizens to provide for the self defense of themselves and others.”

    How can I provide for the self defense of others? Astral projection? Being Agent Smith from the Matrix movies?

    It’s defense, not self defense, if it involves others. Just like it’s a handjob, not masturbation, if it isn’t my own penis.

  129. 129
    VJBinCT says:

    Democrats could learn from this proposed legislation. A bunch of about-to-retire house members could introduce legislation to nationalize gun and munitions manufacture, and the distribution channel. And outlaw the NRA. (Then only outlaws would be NRA members.)

    As a public service distribute explosion proof full coverage helmets to all the wingnutty folk, to protect the rest of us.

    It would be fun to watch.

    Oh, and also require gun registration and gun-owners insurance.

  130. 130
    Svensker says:

    Next up, Republicans will pass laws removing the insurance mandate for driving a car and also too will make it illegal for the govt to require me to pay for wars I don’t like very much.

    Go Repukes!

  131. 131
    Mysticdog says:

    Those without insurance, other than the very wealthy, are taking a bet they won’t need care. If they win, they keep the benefits of saved insurance premiums. If they get sick or in an accident and lose the bet, you and me and all the rest of us who insured against serious illness or accident bail out that freeloader with higher costs and premiums. It’s private benefits – savings on premiums – and socialized costs when we pay his or her bill.

    Actually, most people without insurance simply can’t afford it. A lot of people with it can’t actually afford to use it. Because, you know, a fuckload of the insurance premium is actually paying the massive company overhead and CEO salaries and bonuses and the amazing insurance industry perks.

    I honestly would be very happy if my current insurance “tax” taken out of each paycheck was added back in, then taxed for real by the government for a more efficient, less costly national healthcare system. That would be just fine.

  132. 132

    […] John Cole at Balloon Juice: “I’m not sure exactly how that proves his point, but I’m not a wingnut, so wingnut logic doesn’t work on me.” […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole at Balloon Juice: “I’m not sure exactly how that proves his point, but I’m not a wingnut, so wingnut logic doesn’t work on me.” […]

  2. […] a really dumb state law that does not seem to violate the federal Constitution proves something about the (in)ability of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce. What it proves, exactly, is unclear to me. But if you take some acid and throw on The Dark Side of […]

Comments are closed.