Nullification is entering the political debate on guns from an unexpected source – local law enforcement pledging to actively block new federal gun laws. This is new. This could easily be a harbinger of more nullification movements, which assert local entities can overrule federal law.
If enough people in an area choose to ignore a law, then the feds really can’t do much – at witness marijuana being de facto legal in many states. The DEA may huff and puff but basically is powerless against this. Power to the people, baby! The government may have the power but if they don’t have political support on a given issue, then are much less likely to act.
Anti-gun liberals often mock claims of gun owners that their guns can defend them against a tyrannical government because the government has such overwhelming weaponry. However this assumes the government will act as a monolith. When it comes to guns (and marijuana), this increasingly may not be true.
Approximately 283 county Sheriffs and multiple police officers have taken a hard stand, stating that they will either not aid federal enforcement officials with gun control related activities, or, that they will not allow such activities within their county, period.
Nullification is apparently also happening in North Dakota oil fields.
States and counties could easily disable federal land development restrictions and begin using resource development as a means to generate supplemental income. North Dakota is essentially doing this right now in the Bakken Oil Fields.
As our federal government continues to hollow out (as witness the incompetent clown show in Congress on the budget) nullification movements will grow as citizens increasingly join together locally to do what they want to and ignore the federal government in the process.
While I sympathize and agree with many of the aims of nullification movements, they do highlight the continuing erosion of authority and respect once enjoyed by the US government at home.
Univ of Georgia college student Walker Smith asks for reasoned and effective gun control and mental health policies. Read the comments and understand why this is unlikely to happen. The comments are mostly a flamefest with gun owners mocking him as a useless hippie. This is what passes for reasoned discourse in this country now. Don’t listen to what the other side says. Attack and ridicule instead.
All of this to say: mourn and be ready to mourn again. Nothing that will do any good has gained traction in the public consciousness or in politics. There will be another Sandy Hook and the same bad ideas will surface, asking for gun control that ignores effective solutions or public health policies that jail the wrong people.
In a move sure to be controversial and which has already received national attention, Arizona legislators have redrafted legislation to allow guns to be carried at public colleges and universities. Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a previous attempt, not because she was particularly opposed to the idea, but because it was unclear and murky. She hasn’t voiced an opinion on the new bill but is known to be pro-gun.
Existing Arizona gun law says colleges and universities can allow guns but, so far, none have done so. The new bill, which will be introduced when the legislature opens on Jan. 9, prohibits public universities and community colleges from banning concealed-carry (with a permit) and open carry on campus. Schools would be able to ban guns inside buildings but would need to provide gun lockers with keys if they do.
The bill is expected to pass in the Arizona legislature. It will then be Gov. Brewer’s decision whether or not to sign it into law.
Vermont was the first state to allow concealed weapon carry without a permit and to my knowledge there have been few if any crazed gunmen or mass slaughters there.
So, gun violence isn’t just about the availability of guns. Most studies have found no correlation between the strictness or laxity of gun laws and gun violence. The Tucson shooter could have easily gotten a handgun in most any state (or on the streets.) I spend considerable time in rural Utah where most everyone has multiple guns, yet shootings are extremely rare.
It’s really about the shooter, isn’t it, and about a culture that thrives on confrontation and the demonizing of opponents. But it’s getting crazy when a federal judge and congresswoman get shot, and other innocents die too. This was domestic terrorism, which is generally defined as the deliberate killing of non-combatants, even if it was done by someone who clearly has a tenuous grasp on reality.
As mentioned in my previous post, we’d see such types on the fringes at public meetings when I was in a far left group. They were troubled, not coherent, and given to rants. They float around from group to group looking for something to make the voices in their heads stop. It’s not really about politics, except of course they can be easily exploited and manipulated. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some suicide bombers are lost souls like Tucson shooter.
Some on the very far right are probably pleased at what happened. There could easily be be more violence, if copycats or the fringes decide to follow. This is a time to be calm, not accusatory.