Why Not Guns?

In the midst of the bitter cold that is South Dakota, we have not lost our senses of humor:

[Representative Hal]Wick’s proposal would force every South Dakotan over the age of 21 to buy a firearm for self-defense. He argues that such a requirement makes sense to “provide for everyone’s protection,” just as supporters of the health care legislation say all Americans need coverage.

As a quick aside, I remark the writer’s use of “force” rather than the less negative “require” or “mandate” which usually accompanies articles about the health care bill and what it would force the citizenry to do.

The article goes on to say that he understands the bill is unlikely to pass, but he is making a point. I would agree with the general point he is making. My understanding is as follows: Government exists largely to let us know what things we cannot do because by so doing we infringe on the persons and properties of others. Government does not exist to tell us what we must do to make everybody “healthy,” “protected,” “wealthy,” etc.

John, of PowerLine, muses on the following:

Maybe one of these days liberals will begin stating their real position, openly: that is, that everything that is not prohibited by one of the amendments to the Constitution falls within the ambit of federal power.

Should the Wick bill become law, I believe the following rifle will beĀ  “suitable to [my] temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

Yes, I do realize that this bill is not fully analogous to Obamacare since the state of South Dakota probably does have the legal authority (under its own constitution and the US Constitution) to require such an arming of the citizenry. I believe, however, that the point is still valid. If this bill furthers the discussion, as it seems to already be doing, of what government at all levels may and may not do–then I believe we’ve made progress.