October 01, 2003


I can make fun of ill-informed people all day long, when the subject is the Second Amendment.

Last April, I stood outside the Minnesota Senate and engaged a member of "Code Pink" - an irritating "Peace" and "Disarmament" group whose gimmick was dressing, er, pink - in a discussion of the Minnesota Personal Protection Act, as we waited for the fateful final day of debate.

Her: The law would allow too many crazies to get guns
Me: What crazies? Show me the loophole that'd allow the "crazies" to get a carry permit?
Her: It'd allow all sorts of people to get guns
Me: It has nothing to do with "getting guns", it's about self-defense. You do know the criteria for issuing a permit, dont' you?
Her: Not off hand.
Me: Have you read the bill?
Her: Er, no...
Me: OK, the bill would require the state to issue permits to people who are over 21, have no criminal, mental illness or drug or alcohol record, and who've passed a background test and a training course. Which is more background check and training than the current law requires.
Her: Umph - well...I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Of course, if you're getting your information about the Second Amendment and the Minnesota Personal Protection Act here or here or here, or here or especially here or here, it's a safe bet you'll not only be misninformed, but probably paranoid.

You expect it from people who bring pinkness to a political debate. You'd not expect if from someone labelling himself a Republican.

You'd be wrong.

For someone who earned his fortune waving guns around in movies, Arnold Schwartzenegger is no more literate about gun laws than Wes "You law-abiding people are the problem" Skoglund:

While the federal ban on so-called "assault weapons" is scheduled to sunset in September 2004, the much more severe California prohibition has no sunset date. The federal and the state law are both based on cosmetics on the idea that a gun is bad if it has a bayonet lug, or other small features that have nothing to do with the gun's firepower.

Schwarznegger also endorsed the Brady Bill which never affected California gun sales, because the state's gun laws were more restrictive than the requirements of the 1993 Brady Bill.

It gets worse:
Schwarzenegger said that he thinks there should be a law for mandatory gunlocks. Apparently Schwarzenegger has no idea that California enacted such a law several years ago. It was this law which led directly to the death of two children in Merced, California, in August 2000. When an insane killer with a pitchfork attacked their home, their older sister who was a trained shooter was unable to protect them because the family guns were locked in a safe.

If during the campaign Schwarzenegger will not bother to learn simple facts about gun law, what is the likelihood that he would pay any more attention after being elected governor?

Don't get me wrong; in a state that is as strangled by the lunatic left as is California, I'm all for incrementalism; I'd rather have the deeply imperfect (from a conservative perspective) Schwartzenegger in office than the politically impeccable McClintock in second place, in the same way that I prefer to have the relatively-moderate Tim Pawlenty in the governor's office than Roger Moe in and Brian Sullivan out and saying "If only..." (and I know some of my longtime readers are solid Sullivan supporters, as was I; I just don't think Sullivan would have won the election; can you imagine Roger Moe in office these last eight months?)

But in a state where the lunatic fringe has driven gun policy that has had a disproportionate impact on the rest of the nation, it's important that Arnold get straightened out somehow.

Perhaps Charleton Heston could come out of retirement. It'd make more sense than the Monkeys' suggestion (although their ideas is flattering, and sounds pretty cool to boot).

Posted by Mitch at October 1, 2003 06:02 AM