gun bans


by JOHN HINDERAKER, Power Line  |  published on March 13, 2013

In an interview with Jason Mattera which was conducted last month but is just now hitting the news, Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky admitted that the Democrats’ effort to ban “assault weapons” is “just the beginning.” In addition, Schakowsky says that she wants to ban all handguns, and thinks this can constitutionally be done, despite the Second Amendment.

In a closely related development, a New York judge has thrown out Mayor Bloomberg’s decree against selling “sugary drinks” in New York City in containers larger than 16 ounces. The judge, Milton Tingling, held among other things that the ban was “arbitrary and capricious,” which is to say, irrational. He explained:

The petitioners state the decision to target only certain sugary sweetened drinks is nonsensical as a host of other drinks contain substantially more calories and sugar than the drinks targeted herein, including alcoholic beverages, lattes, milk shakes, frozen coffees, and a myriad of others too long to list here.

Note how closely this reasoning applies to the Democratic Party’s effort to ban “assault weapons,” certain randomly designated semi-automatic rifles which are identified by cosmetic features. Rifles (all rifles, not just semi-automatics) are the least popular method of committing murder; more people are beaten to death with bare hands, and five times as many are knifed. The singling out of “assault weapons,” defined by a seemingly random assemblage of insignificant features, is utterly arbitrary. Bear in mind, too, that there is a constitutional right to own and carry firearms, while there is no corresponding right to consume sugary beverages, so an assault weapons ban would be judged by a more stringent standard. Judge Tingling continued:

Petitioners also point out the exceptions to enforcement of the Rule whereby certain food service establishments are exempt from complying with this Rule. The effect would be a person is unable to buy a drink larger than 16 0z. at one establishment but may be able to buy it an another establishment that may be located right next door. Furthermore, no restrictions exist on refills further defeating the Rule’s stated purpose.

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