Englishman Piers Morgan referred to our United States Constitution Bill of Rights as “our little book”. This comment, along with many other, he has made on his television talk show has riled many Americans. His recent series of shows following the events at Sandy Hook school has resulted in an effort to extradite him back to England. This movement has only led to an increase viewer interest which he must certainly enjoy in our United States of America.
In “our little book” is the Tenth Amendment which clearly was inserted by our forefathers to preclude the federal government from total rule over the states. This amendment allows each state to govern its own citizens by enacting its own set of rules and laws. This freedom from federal control confuses foreigners like Mr. Morgan since Europeans do not have our “little book” of freedoms.
As our President now wrestles with the politics, and the National Rifle Association (NRA), in his effort to take steps in the prevention of more gun violence; the passing of federal laws in this regard will be highly resisted. The real problem with each individual state’s independence from federal rule makes it a crime in one state, but not another. For example, a uniform speed limit on federal highways different in each state until the federal government withheld highway funds from states that did not comply.
As far as uniform gun control laws are concerned, the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence has developed a scorecard for each state’s effort to curb gun violence. Here is an excerpt from their website:
“California continues to blaze legislative trails in saving lives, rising to a high of 81 points on the 2011 Brady State Scorecard rankings of state gun laws. California’s universal background check system, retention of purchase records, limiting handgun purchases to one a month and an assault clip ban are just some of the laws that provide a road map to preventing gun violence.
Opposite California are Arizona, Alaska, and Utah with 0 points each. In fact, a Brady Campaign analysis of crime gun trace data finds that the 31 states with few or no gun laws export 9 times the crime guns as the six states with the strongest gun laws. (On right)
For the 5th year in a row, the Brady Campaign has issued a 100-point scorecard ranking all 50 states on the basis of laws that can prevent gun violence, such as background checks on all gun sales, permit-to-purchase requirements, limiting handgun purchases to one a month, and retention of sales records. The scorecard ranks states for laws that were in enacted by the end of 2011”.
Based on this scorecard, it would appear that the universal adoption, and federal enactment, of California’s gun control laws might be a tactic for the President to consider. If the federal government forced universal speed limits on the states by tangling the carrot of federal funds, it may just work again.
It is a shame that the President is using children to get sympathy for his effort and this has caused the NRA to counter using the President’s children as an example for their effort. This is going to be a long dirty political fight between the two sides, but let’s keep the kids out of it.