Speaking of guns: In Missouri, a state lawmaker wants to mandate that able-bodied residents all own an AR-15. Yes, really. Excerpt:
A Missouri State lawmaker has introduced a bill that is sure to upset anti-gunners. Rep. Andrew McDaniel (R-Deering) introduced House Bill 1108, which would establish the “McDaniel Militia Act.” If passed, everyone between the ages of 18 and 35 would be required to own an AR-15.
“Any person who qualifies as a resident on August 28, 2019, and who does not own an AR-15 shall have one year to purchase an AR-15,” the bill reads. “Any resident qualifies as a resident after August 28, 2019, and does not own an AR-15 shall purchase an AR-15 no later than one year after qualifying as a resident.”
A section of the bill would establish tax credits for those who didn’t own an AR-15 before the law went into effect. They would be given a tax credit of 75 percent of AR-15’s purchase price.
Citizens would be allowed to sell their AR-15s as long as they still had at least one in their possession.
McDaniel told WDAF-TV he knew the bill wouldn’t pass but he introduced it to “make a point on mandates in general.”
The former deputy sheriff said the bill “points out the absurdity of the opposite side,” and anti-gun proposals to “add more requirements and barriers for law-abiding citizens.”
Fortunately McDaniel obviously understands that his bill is a stunt, intended to illustrate absurdity by being absurd. But let’s assume for a moment that he’s serious about this bill, because let’s be honest, odder things have been proposed in the various state legislatures, not to mention the Imperial Congress. If this was a serious proposal, it would be a really bad idea for a few reasons.
- Mandating folks to own something – a weapon, a watch, a health insurance policy, anything – is as antithetical to liberty as forbidding them from owning that same thing. What is not banned is not mandatory. What is not mandatory is not banned. That’s not how a free society works.
- You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to figure out what a subsidy of 75% of the rifle’s price would do. Prices of AR-15s would skyrocket, fast.
- Why only an AR-15? What if I wanted to defend home and hearth with a Winchester 94 in .30-30, one that I’ve owned for decades and with which I am an absolutely deadly shot?
But, of course, this is a stunt, and a not particularly creative one. While I’m sure McDaniel is trying to make a point, and in truth I appreciate the point he’s trying to make, I just don’t see how this sort of thing moves the ball forward.