Quote of the day—Rep. Hal Wick

Do I or the other co-sponsors 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.

Rep. Hal Wick
State Representative in South Dakota
Arizona shooting has little effect on national gun debate
[I’m not familiar with the constitution or laws of South Dakota but if they require you to have liability insurance before you can drive your car on their roads then it would seem to me they could require you to have road flares, a fire extinguisher, and a gun in your car before you can use their roads. That does not necessarily expand to all South Dakota citizens but it sure would cover a lot of them. And it would amuse me greatly that before Joan Peterson, Brady Campaign board member living next door in Minnesota, could visit she would have to have a gun in the vehicle.

The health care requirement the Feds are attempting would appear to be something completely different. Driving on public roads is a privilege granted by the state, mere existence is not.—Joe]


10 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Rep. Hal Wick

  1. No legal body requires a traveler to have insurance to travel. The Supreme Court has upheld the right to freely travel as fundamental for US citizens.

    Insurance comes into play when “operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway” which is NOT a fundamental right. I don’t have a problem with this other than most “insurance required” states were made that way by the insurance lobby. You have the right to travel but if you want to use a motor vehicle on a public road there are some pretty strict rules that need to be followed.

    Forcing people to purchase health insurance is different because there is no “public roadway” involved. The state can claim a vested interest in the public road network system, but there is no public network of healthcare providers because the government does not own people and their labor. This is entirely in the realm of private contracts. And here in the US we have pretty well established that the role of the state in private contracts is limited to legal arbiter between various parties involved.

    And lastly we do not have a right to healthcare as private citizens. We have the right to enter into contracts, but we also have the right to refuse to enter into contracts.

  2. Actually, its not too far of a stretch.

    South Dakota Constitution

    “The Legislature shall provide by law for the enrollment, uniforming, equipment and discipline of the militia and the establishment of volunteer and such other organizations or both, as may be deemed necessary for the protection of the state, the preservation of order and the efficiency and good of the service.”

    US Constitution

    “The Congress shall have power to … provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Requiring citizens to own guns is well within the powers of both the state and federal governments, AND has long established precedent – see Militia Act of 1792.

  3. Hmmm… Maybe they could require ownership of “suitable military arms that use standard issue magazines and/or ammunition;” that would really tweak anti-gunners…. 🙂

    “You wanna live here? No problem – got yer black rifle or M9 already, or do you need to go buy one?”

  4. CB, when it says “the legislature shall provide enrollment, uniforming, equipment, and discipline” it clearly means that the State is responsible for providing arms to the militia. It is interesting that you bring up the Militia Act of 1792, good summary on that argument here http://www.slate.com/id/2278063/ . And the Fedgov never truly resolved the issue of the militia as it passed various acts throughout the history of the US.

    And as a side note, I know of no federal court cases involving a challenge to the Militia Act of 1792 since it was designed to give the States a common legal structure for establishing a militia. By 1808 Congress had authorized money to purchase arms for the militia to be divided among the various States. If the “everybody bring your own gun” was working so well it would not have been necessary to spend taxpayer dollars on muskets.

  5. “CB, when it says “the legislature shall provide enrollment, uniforming, equipment, and discipline” it clearly means that the State is responsible for providing arms to the militia.”

    There is historical precedent for requiring the purchase of guns, in many States. I would recommend “Armed America” by Clayton Cramer for some good examples.

    Basically, for trying to make an example in the non-power of the Federal government in “requiring purchases”, this is probably the ONE issue that the point can’t be made well. That, and Joe is right: the States have powers that the Federal government doesn’t have.

  6. I don’t know why the state couldn’t require certain survival gear in cars. In Alaska the following survival gear is required by statute. It used to include a firearm but that was removed post-9/11.

    AS 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment.

    (a) An airman may not make a flight inside the state with an aircraft unless emergency equipment is carried as follows:

    (1) the following minimum equipment must be carried during the summer months:

    (A) rations for each occupant sufficient to sustain life for one week;

    (B) one axe or hatchet;

    (C) one first aid kit;

    (D) an assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers;

    (E) one knife;

    (F) fire starter;

    (G) one mosquito headnet for each occupant;

    (H) two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fuses, or Very pistol shells, in sealed metal containers;

    (2) in addition to the equipment required under (1) of this subsection, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:

    (A) one pair of snowshoes;

    (B) one sleeping bag;

    (C) one wool blanket or equivalent for each occupant over four.

    (b) However, operators of multi-engine aircraft licensed to carry more than 15 passengers need carry only the food, mosquito nets, and signalling equipment at all times other than the period from October 15 to April 1 of each year, when two sleeping bags, and one blanket for every two passengers shall also be carried. All of the above requirements as to emergency rations and equipment are considered to be minimum requirements which are to remain in full force and effect, except as further safety measures may be from time to time imposed by the department.

  7. The Federal government is a government whose powers are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution.

    States are not limited to a list of enumerated powers. The opposite in fact.

    That’s the difference.

  8. “The Federal government is a government whose powers are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution.”

    In theory, that is. In practice…well…that ship has sailed, my brother.

  9. AM, you left out a critical two words when quoting me.

    The SD Constitution says “The Legislature shall provide ‘by law’ for the enrollment, uniforming, equipment and discipline of the militia…”

    Providing for “by law” is very different from actual provision. A law which states that every citizen must own a serviceable firearm is providing for the equipment of the militia “by law.”

    However, the broader point is the overall ignorance of our policy makers and a large portion of the public, when forcing citizens to purchase healthcare is somehow constitutional while there is a belief on both sides that requiring them to purchase firearms is absurd, even though there is clearly established precedent found in the US Constitution, multiple states’ constitutions, and previous laws.

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