Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The gun obsessives are shouting "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" again, this time in Arizona:

The National Rifle Association is pushing a measure at the state Legislature that would keep the governor from confiscating or placing restrictions on firearms and ammunition -- including sales -- during a state of emergency.

The bill was approved by the state Senate on Monday and has the backing of some leading Republican lawmakers, including state Senate President Ken Bennett and Senate Majority Leader Tim Bee. The measure prohibits the governor from curtailing the legal use, sale or transfer of firearms and ammo during a state of emergency. The measure now moves to the state House of Representatives.

The NRA is pushing similar measures in other states in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when civil disorder and rioting plagued New Orleans and some police officials sought to confiscate firearms and bullets in order to help restore order.

Arizona and a number of others states give their governors the ability to invoke emergency powers including additional police powers during natural disasters, riots, times of war and terrorist attacks....

So, if I understand this correctly, under the law (if it's passed) you could theoretically set up an impromptu gun show just at the outskirts of, say, an area where Sydney-style riots were taking place, and just merrily arm both camps -- and already, under Arizona law, it's illegal for a municipality to restrict gun shows within its confines (more NRA-friendly state laws apply) and no background checks are required at gun shows. So it could be a free-for-all -- in the interest of public safety, of course.

The NRA is also pushing legislation (for example, in Virginia) to require private businesses to allow guns in locked cars in their parking lots. (Interesting -- the only people in this country who aren't required to loudly proclaim that small businesses and private property are sacrosanct are the gun guys.)

And that's just this week.

It occurs to me that the NRA has become like a tyrant boss -- the kind of boss who shows up for work every day with a fresh set of unreasonable demands, all of which have to be met immediately. Essentially, the NRA is the Scott Rudin of American political life.

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