Don’t do it just because it feels good

As both Lyle and I posted recently Idaho passed a law that “nullifies all future federal gun laws”. It passed 68-0 in the house and 34-0 in the senate.

Unanimous. Think about that a bit.

It took our lobbyists in Idaho at least seven years to get the right to keep and bear arms respected on college campuses. And the vote was far from unanimous. There were legislators yelling bloody murder about this. So what is going on with a unanimous vote that “nullifies all future federal gun laws”?

There has to be something else to this than what it is billed as.

The reality is the law has no practical meaning. It has political meaning. It means that legislators that are, for all practical purposes, anti-gun can use it as defense against opponents who confront them on their anti-gun votes. “Look what I voted FOR! You can’t get any more pro-gun that this!”

This does not prevent the locals from going on raids with the Feds and it doesn’t stop them from sharing in the proceeds of civil forfeitures generated by federal enforcement actions. And what do you think would happen if the local sheriff arrested some ATF agent enforcing a federal gun control law?

Do you remember what happened when Lon Horiuchi was charged with manslaughter for the death of Vicki Weaver? After years of legal battles he walked. That was in a case where the Federal Government admitted Vicki Weaver was wrongfully shot paid the Weaver family millions of dollars in compensation.

This law is all for show. It feels good but it doesn’t do any good and if cannot do any good there can only be a downside to it.

8 thoughts on “Don’t do it just because it feels good

  1. Actually, I prefer to see it as states starting to realize that the Federal Gub’mint is starting to walk all over their rights, and though it is symbolic in some ways, maybe the Senators and Reps from those states will start to get the message that passing more laws AIN’T what the folks back home want.

    Mark Levin is really starting to sound the alarm that States Rights are being trampled to death, and that some new amendments originating in the states might be in order. This may be serving notice.

    It is possible that we will see a change in the Senate, and then we might actually see the power of the purse exercised against Fed agencies that step on States Rights and over extend their power.

    Or it could be that I’m just being optimistic in the face of overwhelming howling hordes of liberalism!

    • New amendments? Yeah, because the ones we have stopped them from violating the law and disarming a nation this long… oh. Wait.

      It hasnt.

    • The problem with optimism is that once in office our elected Republicans realize they need to get reelected, which presses them into the “go along and get along” mode.

      • And yet notice how that failed miserably with McCain’s and Romney’s presidential bids after we were told that these marshmallows were the most “electable” the Party could come up with. My optimism is telling me that Americans are sick of the usual Progressive Republican squishiness. My pessimism tells me that the Republican Party’s Progressive leadership will prefer a scorched Earth policy, preferring to see the Party fail utterly rather than see it over-run by “teabaggers”. They would have a lot to answer for too– high crimes of their own, past and present, that they’d just as soon keep in the background.

  2. In the mid 90’s, in Law school, I took a course in Administrative Law. One day, in the hallway, the Professor asked me what I thought of the course. He might have been wanting to know how interesting he was, but I told him I found it disheartening; I’d read a case at the beginning of a chapter and think part way through, “They can’t do that!!” and then finish the case and think, “Sonofagun, they can!”
    My professor admitted that was the case — and he used to work for the FTC!
    He then said that he thought there was no reason for the states, the federal government has taken over so much.
    It’s only gotten worse since then, and while I fear we’ve crossed the event horizon for this black hole, it’s encouraging that others like Mark Levin are recognizing that.
    And Rand Paul, even though he’s very libertarian, does a good job of talking to hostile audiences, which is what needs to done more often by more people if we are to muzzle leviathan.

    • Wendy, the problem is direct election of senators — that basically crippled our federal system.

      Even repealing the 17th Amendment (which is simply NOT feasible – who’s going to convince enough people that voters are simply too stupid to directly choose their senators?) won’t fix it.

      Now, the proposed Repeal Amendment would, while not touching the 17th Amendment (and thus, not be open to claims the proposers are trying to “disenfranchise” voters by removing direct election of senators) restore the tenth amendment balance, all by it’s lonesome — and allow nullification by states to actually work. . . but only if a super-majority of states agreed to each nullification.

      “Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”

      I describe it here at another blog:

      http://excelsatnothing.blogspot.com/2011/01/restoring-10th-amendment-balance.html

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