Can you imagine a proposed law allowing police to enter your home each year to go through your videos or video games and look for signs of trouble?
Of course not. That would be a police state. It’s unimaginable in America, even today.
Yet, a gun control bill filed in Washington state would allow an officer there to enter gun owners’ homes each year to inspect them for compliance with the law.
We’d ask what these people are thinking, but they’re clearly not. They’re reacting emotionally, and unconstitutionally, to the Sandy Hook massacre.
Thankfully that bill has no hope of being passed, and not a prayer of being found constitutional. Even the bill’s backers have backed away from it, claiming the portion of it allowing annual inspections of gun owners’ homes was a mistake.
Yes, it’s a huge mistake. But it’s hard to see how it was an error. Clearly, at some point someone in Olympia thought it was a good idea. Here’s the pertinent part of the bill:
“In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall ... safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”
Wow. Not only would it authorize the law to inspect law-abiding citizens’ homes without a warrant, but it also insinuates – “in order to continue to possess an assault weapon” – that legal guns can be confiscated. As if our Second Amendment rights are subject to the sovereign’s mood.
“I’m a liberal Democrat – I’ve voted for only one Republican in my life,” Lance Palmer, a Seattle trial lawyer, told a Seattle Times columnist. “But now I understand why my right-wing opponents worry about having to fight a government takeover.
“They always say, we’ll never go house to house to take your guns away. But then you see this, and you have to wonder.”
And our video game comparison? It’s more apt than you may know: While the national media go ballistic over guns in the wake of Sandy Hook, the Hartford Courant reports that authorities investigating shooter Adam Lanza’s home “found thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games.”
And that information may be more germane when you consider that a new report in the journal Pediatrics shows that pre-schoolers’ behavior improves when they watch educational television as opposed to more violent shows. What you consume, either through your mouth or your eyes and ears, does matter.
The facts just don’t back up the gun hysteria at all. As state Rep. Ken Fredette wrote in Maine’s Bangor Daily News, “we rank 49th among the states for violent crime and have the second-highest rate of gun ownership. Nearby Massachusetts, where one practically has to be a police officer in order to own a gun, ranks 11th for violent crime. California, with its strict gun laws, ranks first, with six times the violent crime rate as Maine.”
Chicago and Washington, D.C., are also some of the most violent cities – and yet have boasted some of the strictest gun laws.
In addition, an Obama Justice Department internal memo recently released admits gun buyback programs “are ineffective as generally implemented,” “The 1994 ban on large capacity magazines had limited effectiveness,” and “Assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime.”
In Georgia, if lawmakers do anything on guns this year, they’re liable to actually ease gun restrictions – such as allowing some officials at schools to carry, and specifying parts of airports where it’s legal to have a gun.
Regardless, thank goodness no one’s talking about home inspections.