by Max Brantley
That was bad enough. But the callous indifference to poor people (no help for GED takers or health care for working poor; reduced fees for concealed weapon permits) came also with a bellicose swagger.
It was embodied by a quote in Sunday's Democrat-Gazette from Republican state Rep. Bob Ballinger of Hindsville, who has more gun nuttery on his legislative agenda. He proposes to have Arkansas join other retrograde states with legislation that would prevent any "further infringements" on the 2nd Amendment by the federal government. If the U.S. Constitution still holds (more problematic than you might think), this latest bit of interposition is about as legally meaningful as massive resistance in Dixie to integration. (Federal supremacy, anyone?) But get a load of Ballinger's rhetoric:
“What the law says is if there is any new executive order ... or any new regulations or laws from Washington, basically they are unenforceable in the state of Arkansas."
"...I don't think the folks in New York and California understand that we are not giving up our firearms. So I think partly for their own safety they need to understand our bill."
This kind of talk is familiar stuff from the gun nuts who buy their courage at gun shops. It's straw man nonsense of course. Nobody's proposed any gun confiscation, only some safety measures. It's also silly. If this latest be about self-defense of the sovereign states, somebody better tell Bazooka Bob Ballinger that the feds have The Bomb.
The question of the day is how much God, Guns and Fetuses legislation is enough? When will the legislature begin serious consideration of jobs, education and health care?
UPDATE: John Brummett worked Balinger over and got a comment from him in which he said he was, sort of, joking about the prospect of armed insurrection. But he is NOT joking about his contention that the 2nd Amendment prohibits "further restrictions" on guns, which is patently false. Even Antonin Scalia says otherwise.