Way back in — good grief could it be 2012? Yes — in 2012, I published a characteristically sarcastic essay about guns in America, culminating in a new law I called, “The One Gun One Child Act.”
This was six month before Sandy Hook. The “One Child” in the title of the law was then a dark joke. It did not refer to killing children. Please forgive my lack of prescience.
The horrors continue, of course and I started this post a few weeks ago, in response to Clarence Thomas’s destructive decision in the New York State gun law case. Which was, in turn, before so many mass shootings I’ve lost count.
It was also before my governor, Kathy Hochul, summoned the legislature back from recess and responded to the SCOTUS decision so quickly I hadn’t had a chance to…respond to the SCOTUS decision all by myself. Which normally I can do faster than a legislature, given that it’s just me here.
The legislature did very well, meaning some of the legislation is wicked smart — “wicked,” because it will undoubtedly muddle the minds of rabid gun people as to what they’ll actually be able to do with their guns in New York.
Because I live in the city — the plaintiffs in the SCOTUS case do not — I am particularly attentive to the new laws that ban guns in a long list of venues, including public transportation, and allow communities to designate “sensitive areas” as places where guns will not be permitted. (To me, New York City is a “sensitive area” in its entirety. In fact, I’d designate the entire state as a “sensitive area,” and maybe the whole country — although the Long Legal Arm of New York may not stretch into Kansas.)
Occasionally I indulge in a few entertaining images of gun nuts thinking Clarence Thomas just gave them license to lug their cannons around my city, trying to lug their cannons around my city.
HaHaHa. But I think there’s room for additional legislation.
Insurance. I just spent some time reading the web sites of insurance companies that insure guns. One company which insured all sorts of collectibles (comic books, guns, etc.) said it did not require serial numbers on the items.
Let’s require all guns and ammo to be registered with serial numbers.
And how about not merely an umbrella policy providing limited liability for guns owners but high liability (expensive) levels identifying each gun? I was sort of surprised to notice these policies do list situations which would trigger liability lawsuits. For instance, if one of your kids takes one of your guns and shoots someone in the house, the shot person (or family of) can sue you for damages and your insurance policy — homeowners or renters — will defend you. Unless they decide not to.
Somehow, I don’t think this is enough. I think some criminality should be attached. I just revisited my gun act and at the very end found this:
If your gun is discovered to have participated in a crime, you will be tried alongside the alleged criminal and will receive an equal sentence.
Yes. That should do it.
Assault weaponry. Complete ban.
A Mann Act for weaponry. For years now, I’ve been pondering how my city, if not the entire state, could address the major gun problem we have, i.e., guns illegally obtained and driven into the city from states that have no limitations on gun purchases.
I see those license plates everywhere. Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida. Yes, mostly southern states. Cars parked on the streets here, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Enemy cars. That’s how I think of them.
As far as I can make out, the most viable way to get a number of illegal guns into New York is by driving them in. (For now, let’s leave gunrunning in boats onto the Hamptons beaches to the oversight of the Coast Guard, or NATO.) So they drive up US 95 through Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey and into either the Holland or Lincoln Tunnel or over the GW Bridge.
Why can’t the license plates of cars from states that openly sell guns provide probable cause for a stop and inspection request? I mean, it really wouldn’t take much to stop them since all three entrances to the city are almost permanently in grid-lock.
Police dogs can smell gun oil and ammo, and if there are not hi-tech laser thingees that can see through the metal of vehicles, then why am I watching all these thrillers demonstrating these devices?
One of my relatives says it’d be unconstitutional. I think it might not be.
My head, sort of like a toaster, seems to be a repository for pop-ups. This time, what popped up in my head was the Mann Act.
For various excellent reasons — responsive to the always developing moral and ethical nature of us citizens (someone should point this out to the SCOTUS Six) — the Mann Act has been amended a number of times. But what hasn’t changed in it is that it derives from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes…
If Congress could criminalize transporting women across state lines for “immoral purposes,” I suggest we could criminalize transporting illegal guns across state lines for the immoral purpose of mass murder.