South Dakota Politicians Propose Mandatory Gun Ownership Law

A handful of South Dakota lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require every one of the state’s citizens over the age of 21 to own a firearm. But the legislation isn’t really intended to force South Dakota residents to take up arms. Instead, it’s meant to highlight the questions some have regarding the constitutionality of the mandatory coverage portion of the health care bill.

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not.” Explained State Rep. Hal Wick, one of the bill’s five sponsors. “But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance.”

From the bill:

[E]ach citizen residing in the state of South Dakota who has attained the age of twenty-one years shall purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and personal preference sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense…

[E]ach citizen residing in the state of South Dakota shall comply with the provisions of this Act within six months of attaining the age of twenty-one years.

As reported earlier, a District Court judge in Florida deemed void the entirety of last year’s health care reform legislation after ruling that the mandatory coverage section of the law was both unconstitutional and inseparable from the rest of the bill.

What is your opinion of the analogy comparing mandatory gun ownership to mandatory insurance coverage?

South Dakota Lawmakers Propose Individual Mandate To Require Gun Ownership [HuffPo]

Thanks to Harper for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. ALP5050 says:

    The difference is that a state mandate is legal. A federal mandate is not.

    • Straspey says:

      THIS +1

      People need to really learn about and understand the critical difference between Federal Law (and the Constitutional restraints placed thereon) and “States’ Rights”
      and the Constitutional freedoms provided to therein.

      • full.tang.halo says:

        You could argue that gun ownership is a right granted by the 2nd amendment, where health-care, drivers licenses, and other things are not rights, but only privileges.

        • sonneillon says:

          You could also argue that the second amendment gives you the right not to own a gun either. It could be interesting to see what SCOTUS says about it.

          • ccooney says:

            Odd that we’d need a constitutional clause in order to not own something, don’t you think?

            • sonneillon says:

              It would be an odd argument to make but I think it is possible avenue. Although I’m buying a gun in April when I get my 5th check so even if I was in South Dakota it would not be an issue.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          I fail to understand what that has to do with anything. Never mind that the 2nd amendment hasn’t been incorporated.

        • spamtasticus says:

          I was just discussing this with someone today. Would you please explain to me how driving is not a right but rather a privilege? Is walking a right or a privilege? How about cycling? Washing clothes? I’m at a loss here.

          • Straspey says:

            In order to be provided with the privilege to drive a car in the state in which you live, you must first apply for a learner’s PERMIT (not learner’s “right”) which gives you the very limited license of learning how to drive, with severe restrictions.

            At the point you feel you are ready, you then apply to take a road test – during which a trained and experienced driver observes how you handle a car in traffic and under normal driving conditions.

            Based on how well you do, the tester grades your driving and makes a determination as to whether or not he feels you are qualified to EARN a driver’s license with full privileges. If he does not think you are ready, the tester can fail you and you will be denied a driver’s license – with the opportunity to try again and be re-tested at a later date.

            If you fail the test, you have no legal recourse – as you might if you were to be denied one of your true Constitutional rights.

            Also – if you break the driving laws of your state in a severe and egregious manner, the state can revoke your driving PRIVILEGES and suspend or completely revoke your license – thereby legally preventing you from driving in that state.

            Oh – and BTW…most local municipalities require all cyclists to be at least registered, if not licensed, wear protective headgear, and observe the so-called “Rules of the Road”.

            Finally – there is now at least one city which is considering penalizing people who text and/or talk on their cell phones while walking in an intersection – as a result of a few serious accidents, some resulting in the death of the walker.

            • spamtasticus says:

              I was under the understanding that the constitution of the United States limited the power of the government over us as opposed to specifically enumerate our rights. Just because certain megalomaniac municipalities choose to infringe on our rights and issue “permits” does not mean the are right. For a good example of this check out this video about Washington DC trying to require a license (permit) to be a tour guide. Basically a license to tell people stories about the city.

              • rjaguar3 says:

                A tour guide license may bring up First Amendment issues re: freedom of speech and assembly (I would have to read more about the law/bill). There is no such First Amendment issue with the privilege of operating a motor vehicle.

                • Papa Bear says:

                  There is no First Amendment right to operate a business. It is the business of the tour guide and not his speech that is being licensed. That is why so many small newspapers went out of business long before the Internet was even an idea.

                  Newspapers were regulated not in what they could write but in what they could charge for advertising. It was based upon circulation. At one time, many big cities had smaller neighborhood papers. These papers were normally very vocal and outspoken, anti-government papers. The FCC was given the power to mandate advertising rates based upon circulation and this drove large numbers of them out of business.

                  Back to the independent tour guides. They are competing with National Park Service and larger private businesses: require them to pay a licensing fee they can’t afford and no more competition.

                  • Straspey says:

                    In New York City, where there is a huckster on every street corner who is hoping to separate an innocent tourist from their money, one must be properly trained and licensed in order to represent themselves as a bona-fide NYC “Tour Guide.”

                    Sure, I can take my uncle Fred around and show him Radio City, The Empire State Bldg, Statue of Liberty, United Nations and Rockefeller Center – but a PAID tour guide will have been required to take a class in the history of NY City and those places (as well as many others) and then set them to memory.

                    Any agency which offers tours will only hire guides who meet these qualifications.

                    As fr as “regulating” speech is concerned – if I’m not mistaken, I believe SCOTUS has a ruling with regard to what is referred to as “commercial speech” and the regulation thereof.

                    Also – How is it possible that the National Basketball Association can get away with fining an NBA player upwards of $50,000 for making publicly disparaging comments made about the referees “bad calls” after a game ?

                    Wouldn’t that be considered unconstitutional ?

                    • Papa Bear says:

                      There is no recognition of free speech as it applies to private employment. Hence, private employers like the NBA can establish rules curbing free speech.

          • evnmorlo says:

            In anything that matters the government recognizes no rights. Bicycles are prohibited in some places, sometimes you must ask government permission to ride one by registering it. You’re unlikely to get more than a 100 feet out your door before violating a jaywalking law. And clotheslines are illegal in some places too.

          • arcticJKL says:

            What is a privilege is not driving but driving on a road owned by someone else. It is a privilege to drive at the mall parking lot, it is a privilege to drive on the taxpayers road. To drive on the taxpayers road you have to jump through a bunch of whoops.

            If you want your 14 year old kid to drive on your personal race track you can do that all you want, no license required.

    • jesdynf says:

      No matter how hard you clap, you’re not going to be able to make that true.

      • JamesBenjamin says:

        It is true, for now. That’s how states can mandate that you have to buy car insurance.

        The current lawsuits over the health care law will settle that at the federal level.

        • alSeen says:

          States force you to buy car insurance because of a choice you make to own and operate a car on public roads.

          The car insurance comparison is really an awful one for supporters of the ACA.

          • Not_Wearing_Pants says:

            Yeah, well, you have a choice of going to a doctor or not for your medical condition. You can treat your cancer/heart disease/AIDS at home if you wish.

            If you want to go to a doctor, you have to purchase health insurance. How’s that comparison?

            • alSeen says:

              This is the point our country has come to. People believe that you can’t pay for health care out of your own pocket.

              • JJ! says:

                Because most people can’t actually afford to pay for health care out of their own pockets, with the exception of general basic care.

                • alSeen says:

                  And the federal government is trying to take that choice away from you.

                  I am a healthy male in my early 30s. At this point in my life the only coverage I would carry if it wasn’t provided by my employer would be major catastrophe coverage.

                  Under the ACA I would not even have that option. In addition to requiring me to purchase insurance, it also sets minimum levels of coverage that are far in excess of what many people actually need.

                  • jrobie says:

                    That’s sort of the point. To force people like you to participate in the system such that the pool of healthy insured is sufficient to allow insurance companies to cover the old and sick and still make huge profits.

                    The real problem here was Obama’s insistence on working within our fundamentally flawed private insurance scheme rather than scrapping it in favor of a UK-style single-payer plan, or a German-style system of non-profit insurance companies.

                    • Wei says:

                      THIS. THIS. THIS.

                      German and Japanese systems of insurance are non-profit. Everyone get health care, Everyone gets paid, no one gets rich off of denying coverage, no one loses their shirt to the taxman.

                    • alSeen says:

                      I am fully aware that is the point.

                      That does not mean the Federal government has the authority to force you to engage in an economic activity simply because you are alive.

        • Necoras says:

          No, states do not mandate that you have car insurance. They do mandate that as a provision of having a drivers license, or registering your car, you must have car insurance (or in Texas proof of $25K in the bank). You are required to have a license to drive a car and register it. If you have no car, you don’t have to have car insurance.

          Car insurance is a different issue than health insurance, or this gun law would be. That is, they function differently. Car insurance is dependent on other factors, namely owning a car. Buying health insurance (or guns in this case) would be mandatory as a side effect of being alive.

          States actually *do* have this authority as shown in Massachusetts. The Federal government does not constitutionally have that authority.

          • spamtasticus says:

            By the same token, the federal government is not mandating you buy health insurance, it simply states that if you do not you will be fined. The interesting question is that if you do not pay the fine will they throw you in jail. So basically, just like it is your choice to driver or not to drive it will be your choice to live in the jail or in your house. You still have a choice. or do you? Ironically, I’m currently challenging the mandatory insurance required by my state to drive. It is not that I disagree with it since it is to cover damage done by you to others without their being at fault. My problem is that no insurance company will insure me unless I provide them with my and my wife’s social security number. Two pieces of information they are not entitled to have. In most cases I would just take my business elsewhere. In this case I can not because since it is government mandated to have the insurance the companies don’t care about what my security concerns are and operate with impunity. Before someone says it, I offered to bring in a credit report with the social blacked out but they all declined.

            • alSeen says:

              Using that argument, the government doesn’t force you to pay taxes either. It’s your choice if you want to go to jail or not.

              That really is a ridiculous argument.

            • samonela says:

              That is interesting and I would definitely like to read more about it. Have you submitted it to Consumerist?

              • spamtasticus says:

                I have contacted my state representatives to the legislature and plan to pursue this vehemently. When I have some more information other than just my issue and intent I will definitely submit it to Consumerist.

                • samonela says:

                  Is there anywhere on the web now where I can read more about the issue with your state’s Insurance Companies wanting SSNs? Thanks for the info either way I look forward to hearing more about it!

            • YokoOhNo says:

              wrong…no drivers license and you continue to live a free and carefree life….no health insurance and you’re hounded, fined and possibly imprisoned.

              unless you’re arguing that you don’t need health insurance because you can always kill yourself to get out of the mandate.

              • spamtasticus says:

                It was a bit of sarcasm. I don’t agree with the mandate in the least. My point was that the car insurance analogy is faulty on so many levels. Furthermore, I challenge the notion that driving is a privilege and not a right. Furthermore, you would be far from carefree where I live and many other places without a car. I have a client that is 45 minutes away via car and 3.5hrs each way via the public transportation system. Not being able to drive would put me out of business, so it is hardly insignificant.

                • Papa Bear says:

                  Absolutely correct. I have done work with a group trying to help low-income persons keep drivers’ licenses. It is amazing the number of people who are targeted by what they drive and end up with tickets for not having insurance and have their drivers’ license suspended or revoked. Then they end up out of work because of a lack of transportation. We don’t all have first shift jobs and live in major cities with 24 hour public transportation. As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of working poor work other then first shift jobs.

          • PhilFR says:

            That’s what’s now being argued in the courts, with 2 judges saying the fed has the right, and 2 saying it doesn’t. SOTUS will be the final arbiter.

        • rewind says:

          The difference is that car insurance is liability against the damage you may cause to others. Your decision on health insurance is only hurting you.

          • dpeters11 says:

            I don’t see how this is true. If you don’t have insurance, and rack up huge bills, and lets say the worst case scenario happens and you die. Who pays the bill?

            • rjaguar3 says:

              The state would. However, the connection between dying without life insurance and lowered government services is simply too attenuated to justify a commerce clause mandate for life insurance. Vinson goes through this in-depth with the individual mandate in his opinion. Op. at 50.

              • Mecharine says:

                “The state will” , which is to say the tax payer will pay for it. How exactly is that different from state and federal provided health care?

                • rjaguar3 says:

                  Read Vinson’s opinion at p. 50 to see his explanation. Simply put, there are too many “what-ifs” involved to make a clear connection between mandatory insurance and interstate commerce, thus precluding Commerce Clause regulation. As Vinson put it:

                  “The uninsured can only be said to have a substantial effect on interstate commerce as described by the defendants: (i) if they get sick or injured; (ii) if they are still uninsured at that specific point in time; (iii) if they seek medical care for that sickness or injury; (iv) if they are unable to pay for the medical care received; and (v) if they are unable or unwilling to make payment arrangements directly with the health care provider, or with assistance of family, friends, and charitable groups, and the costs are thereafter shifted to others” (p. 50). Although Vinson does not suggest those inferences to be “illogical or unreasonable to draw” (ibid.), he nevertheless says that such a chain of inferences is like the ones used to justify commerce-clause regulation of guns in school zones in Lopez. While Vinson says that it may be possible to regulate the uninsured at the time of care (p. 51), he says that “to cast the net wide enough to reach everyone _in the present_, with the expectation that they will (or could) take those steps _in the future_ … would require inferential leaps of the sort rejected in _Lopez_.” (p. 51)

          • Bibliovore says:

            Sure, not buying insurance only hurts yourself — and those who have to pay more to cover costs for the uninsured.

            That ranges from more expensive health care and insurance for everyone else (because hospitals can’t turn the uninsured away if they need emergency care, and those costs get passed on) to lowered personal/employer/national productivity (because those without insurance tend to avoid seeing doctors until things get bad, and require more down time) to higher social service costs for surviving dependents (because people without insurance are 40% more likely to die than those who are insured, and people who couldn’t afford / didn’t plan for health insurance are less likely to leave their families well off).

            I wish that weren’t the case, but it is.

          • Griking says:

            Then what about seat belt laws?

          • Papa Bear says:

            Actually, that is part of the argument used to push mandatory health insurance: not having it creates a liability for others to pay for your care through increased health care costs. So if that liability argument can be shot down for health care it can be shot down for car insurance. Besides, all mandatory car insurance does is make criminals out of poor people who need to drive. Poor people live in areas with higher premiums, drive cars with higher premiums, pay higher premiums because of poorer credit scores and the number of poor people is growing at an alarmingly fast rate.

      • JJJJust says:

        It kind of sort of is true, unless there’s a contravening clause in a state constitution.

        It’s exactly how Massachusetts has an individual mandate for health insurance that has passed constitutional muster. If you can afford health insurance, but opt not to get it, you lose your personal exemption on your state tax return.

        Even if this bill did pass and was signed, it’s completely unenforceable, as it provides no penalties for violating the Act.

        However, the Act also indicates “shall purchase /or otherwise acquire a firearm/”, by omission of the word “legally”, it kind of presents an affirmative defense to stealing.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        It is actually true. Unless the state’s constitution/laws say otherwise. Remember the tenth amendment? Up until other rights were incorporated a state could dictate whether you had freedom of speech. It was only the federal government that faced those restrictions until the fourteenth amendment and then the incorporation of double jeopardy.

    • sonneillon says:

      Depends on how 5 of 9 people think, because really that is what the constitutional protections come down to, what 5 people think is constitutional or unconstitutional.

      I still don’t see how this is a consumer issue more than gun sales might go up in South Dakota.

    • ARP says:

      That federal mandate ends up being a tax. So at worst, its a fine for not getting coverage. This is a true mandate. Is there jail time for not getting a gun.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        I don’t see where it say jail time for a gun, and the federal mandate wasn’t a tax. The federal government never described it as such, and the court pointed out that if it was, the Republicans wouldn’t have any argument whatsoever. Read the actual decision.

        • rjaguar3 says:

          Not quite.

          If the penalty for non-coverage were ruled a tax, then the suit would be dismissed as premature. However, a suit could go forward when the plaintiff has paid the tax in full to demand a refund of tax paid. See the Tax Anti-Injunction Act.

      • Doubts42 says:

        How many times can Obama say it is not a tax but still have it defended as a tax?

        • Difdi says:

          Here’s a fun search to try: Try to locate the legal penalty, as specified by law, for not paying federal income taxes. I wish you luck, you’ll need all of it in the world to succeed.

          • Bladerunner says:

            So therefore all taxes are illegal! Despite it being specifically allowed in the constitution…

            And he can defend it as “not a tax” if he wants…sophistry has many forms. But for the pruposes of whether it can be overturned, it is clearly just a tax.

          • BigBoat2 says:

            Good luck with that. Say hi to Wesley for me.

    • partofme says:

      A hundred times this. It’s almost sad that these politicians don’t know this difference and understand that yes, they can require gun ownership at the state level (unless it violates their own state constitution).

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      Actually almost this exact same law has been enacted before at the federal level and was legal look up the militia act of 1792. It required all able bodied white males between 18 and 45 to provide a musket, 24 catridges powder, gun powder and a few other things at their own expense

      so precedent would indicate that is IS legal on the federal level.

      • partofme says:

        That act would definitely be authorized under the militia clause, not the commerce clause. If we didn’t have the militia clause, I can guarantee you that they wouldn’t have passed those laws under the guise of the commerce clause (they would word it differently and possibly try under the raise armies clause. How do I know? Because that would have been inane at that time. It took a long time for people to stretch the commerce clause out to the gigantic catch-all that it is today.

        • Papa Bear says:

          Actually, Congress has passed a ban of bullet-proof vests under the guise of the commerce clause and it has been upheld by SCOTUS. It is considered by many as a test for the passage of further bans under the clause. If bans can occur under the clause, why not mandated purchase and possession?

          • partofme says:

            If you’re talking about Alderman, then you don’t mean “upheld by SCOTUS”. You mean, “denied certiorari by SCOTUS”. Missouri v Jenkins says that such a denial “imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case”; there is no binding president set. Thus, the Ninth Circuit ruling on Alderman is applicable in the Ninth Circuit… and nothing else.

            It’s quite reasonable to think that some judges may want to avoid answering any more pesky little commerce clause questions that they don’t care much about in order to avoid tying their hands when a commerce clause issue that they care a lot about looms.

            • Papa Bear says:

              If you meant “precedent” and not “president,” I still wouldn’t agree with you. You don’t understand that SCOTUS does not have to hear a case for a law to be binding or to establish binding precedent. Since the law was properly passed by Congress, it is binding without Court approval.

              The denial of the writ itself establishes precedent, especially when a statute is concerned. A SCOTUS hearing is not needed to make the federal law Constitutional because it is assumed to be so until the Court says otherwise. By denying certiorari, SCOTUS upheld the law, in this case the ban, without hearing arguments because either the Court agreed with the Ninth District, the argument against Constitutionality was not valid or properly developed, or it saw no point to hear arguments as the law was Constitutional on its face.

              When the Constitutionality of a statute is challenged and SCOTUS denies cert., SCOTUS is upholding the law and binding precedent has been established.

              • partofme says:

                You’re right about the misspelling (I drank a little much last night), but you’re completely wrong on everything else. You don’t understand that I’m not talking about whether the law remains in effect. Read up a little on certiorari. Go anywhere. Go to wikipedia . Go to . I already quoted the former in using the Missouri v Jenkins line. The latter states:

                “…the Court has emphasized on numerous occasions that denial of the writ has no significance. Denial means only that the Court has refused to take the case. Denial cannot be cited as approval of the lower court’s decision, even though its effect is that the decision of the lower court remains in effect.”

                The court usually accepts a single-digit percentage of all the petitions received. There are many reasons why they might deny cases. Most times, they don’t provide the reason(s) why they refuse a case. Then, how would a lower court elsewhere know which particular part of the refusal is relevant? It would be ridiculous if they had to do so. So, they do exactly what I said. The Court of Appeals ruling is considered binding… in that particular Circuit. If it’s a federal law, it remains in effect. If another, identical challenge reaches SCOTUS from another Circuit, they don’t look back and think, “What similar challenges have we ignored in the past?” They’re not bound by their previous decision to not even really consider the merits of a case.

                The point is, when another Commerce Clause challenge appears (like this health care law), they’re not going to look for precedent from cases that were denied cert (Alderman). Those cases are absolutely meaningless to them. Alderman is NOT a test for passage of future bans… SCOTUS can go against the Ninth Circuit ruling at any time… even if it’s through an identical case in another Circuit. They’re going to consider the merits of the case, previous SCOTUS decisions (Lopez, Gonzales v Raich, actual decisions – not denials of cert), and that lovely Constitution.

                • Papa Bear says:

                  First of all, I get my knowledge from law courses and not Wikipedia. Although denial of certiorari cannot be cited as precedent in arguments, it still establishes a precedent for lower courts to follow. There is a difference between what can be argued and what courts can look to for guidance. A lawyer can’t cite the cert denial opinion, but the lower courts can acknowledge the SCOTUS decision in its own decision as having been persuasive.

                  What SCOTUS has done by denying cert is upheld the law has valid. In other words, it felt that Congress got it right. This allows the Ninth Circuit’s decision to stand. Although the Ninth’s decision is not binding precedent in any other circuit, it is persuasive precedent. It can be cited in arguments in any lower court or any other circuit court of appeals. Other circuits can adopt and apply the ruling making it binding in that circuit. If one or more disagrees, then SCOTUS should step in. But all of that is irrelevant because Congress passed the law and until it is ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS, it is very binding and the SCOTUS ruling effectively upheld that.

                  • partofme says:

                    …and it still has ZERO impact in later SCOTUS interpretations of the Commerce Clause. How many times do I have to say that I’m not talking about whether the law remains in effect or whether it influences lower courts? That being said, SCOTUS is not going to question, “How can we interpret this health care law in a way that makes sense given Alderman.” Would you like a refund on your law course yet? You’re still completely missing the point. BTW, I quote sources that are available to you (and anyone else who reads this thread… they might not have access to law courses like you and I do), because it’s obvious that you’re completely missing the point (and thus, it’s surprising that you’ve had a law course). You’d think that anyone with a legal background would understand this.

      • Griking says:

        It required all able bodied white males between 18 and 45 to provide a musket, 24 catridges powder, gun powder and a few other things at their own expense

        We already know that these people were racists. Why do we assume that their others decisions were rational and worthy of being used as an example?

        • Zowzers says:

          Was it truly racism or just ignorance?

        • Difdi says:

          Well, since police have zero duty to protect you, me or any other citizen from criminals, and 100% of the duty for such protection falls on the individual citizen, the law as proposed would be either meaningless (if you already own the means to carry out your duty as a citizen) or a direct violation of religious beliefs in pacifism (which would be unconstitutional).

        • Actionable Mango says:

          “We already know that these people were racists. Why do we assume that their others decisions were rational and worthy of being used as an example?”

          Because the founders set up one of the greatest and most successful countries in the world, and they wrote documents such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that have been copied and used over and over again to free millions of people all over the world of every gender, race, and religion, including the very black people the founders were racist against.

          • bravohotel01 says:

            >”Because the founders set up one of the greatest and most successful countries in the world ~”

            Rome (Republic + Empire): 508 BCE – 1453 CE = ~2,000 years

            America: 1,776 CE – 20?? = 300 years if we’re lucky

            FTW: Rome

    • keith4298 says:
  2. KevinServius says:

    Po Dog! Recognize that wallpaper anywhere. Delicious hot dogs.

    • phil says:

      Didn’t know about Po Dogs before this, so had to look it up. Sounds delicious! Yes, awesome wallpaper.

  3. Cameraman says:

    Outraging all three no gun owning South Dakotans, I’m sure.

    • Cameraman says:

      *Non* gun owning, even.

    • alSeen says:

      While I know it’s a joke, and South Dakota is high on the gun ownership per capita and #1 on the CCW licenses per capita, we aren’t close to that number of guns.

      The latest data I can find show .34 guns per capita in South Dakota.

  4. jason in boston says:

    I’m pretty much a right-wing gun nut and totally disagree with this. Great idea in theory, but I question the quality of training that everyone will / will not go through.

    Huff-PO wasn’t clear – is this handguns for CCW? Or is this a shotgun for home defense?

    • Nisun says:

      “firearm suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and personal preference sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense”

      I’m sure that means… “A gun”

      • Bibliovore says:

        The only gun suitable to my temperament, physical capability, and personal preference sufficient to provide for my ordinary self-defense is one that shoots soap bubbles. Or possibly a squirt gun. Preferably in obviously unrealistic shape and vibrant plastic colors, so no law-enforcement officers ever mistakenly think I mean harm them with it. 8)

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      He has no desire for the bill to pass, it is simply there to make a point about government mandates for individuals to purchase something.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I think we should let it pass, just to let him see the ruin that he created.

        • Doubts42 says:

          kinda like we did with healthcare?

          • lucky13 says:

            Could they pass it blindfolded too (so they have to pass it before they can see what’s in it)?

          • JJ! says:

            Ever since health care passed I’ve had a significant increase in the general occurrence of ruin to my furniture. I also got a cat, and had blamed the cat, but now I realize it was the health cares.

      • eday says:

        Except for South Dakota is one of the stupidest states (I can testify, I live here), and it’s very likely to pass, even though they were trying to make a point. Gee, if only our elected officials would get shit done, instead of using legislation so recklessly.

    • HighontheHill says:

      I have similar concerns. There are a lot of folks out there not fit for gun ownership; can the same be said for health insurance? I’m comfortable with a well armed cohort of properly trained gun nuts.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Um, not the same. Even if you’re not really happy about mandatory health care, mandatory health care isn’t as risky to your person as your neighbor being certified to carry a firearm he or she shouldn’t really be owning.

    • Zowzers says:

      “risky to your person as your neighbor being certified to carry a firearm he or she shouldn’t really be owning. “

      What? Clarify please, the statement is confusing Certified to carry Vs Shouldn’t really be owning.

      sounds like you think people just shouldn’t own firearms at all. Or was it a miss type? I could agree with the statement of required ownership does not mean proficiency in using said firearm.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        The stipulation is that anyone over the age of 21 (presumably of sound mind, body, etc.) is required to own a firearm. Unless the state wants to pay to educate those individuals in firearm proficiency and safety, I don’t see how making someone own a firearm is the same as mandatory health care. The “damage” associated with mandatory health care is really not equal to the “damage” that North Dakota would cause with this kind of law, however symbolic it is. It’s not an effective analogy.

        What the lawmakers want to do is get people riled up and say, “you can’t make me own a gun!” but the implications of mandatory gun ownership are much different than the implications of mandatory health care.

        • alSeen says:

          The implications don’t matter. The underlying constitutional authority does.

          Why is that so hard to understand?

          The federal government (I know this is a state bill, I’m talking about the health insurance mandate) does not have the authority to force you to engage in an economic activity with a private company simply because you are alive.

          The amusing thing is that a single payer system would have fewer constitutional issues.

        • Doubts42 says:

          1. the reasoning behind the mandate is that if you don’t purchase health insurance you are doing harm to others by raising their rates in the shared risk pool. . By that same logic if you don’t carry a gun then you have caused me harm by not being prepared to help me when i am being assaulted.
          2. South Dakota and North Dakota are 2 different states.

    • Nisun says:

      Owning a gun is not the same as “certified to carry a firearm”…

    • skwigger says:

      1. It’s simply meant as a gesture to point out that the Federal government cannot force you to purchase anything.
      2. Owning a firearm, and carrying it are 2 different things. Also, as per the second amendment, you don’t have to know how to use a gun to own one.

  6. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Convicted felons now face a conundrum…

    • alSeen says:

      The bill includes text that exempts those that are forbidden from owning a gun.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        So now they will be defenseless against an entire population of gun-wielders?

        • rewind says:

          Yeah, b/c the ones who’ve already committed a crime should be afraid of the ones who haven’t.

          • evnmorlo says:

            Self-defense is a human right. Might as well kill all felons, because someone permanently exiled from society can only behave like a barbarian.

            • Wei says:

              Just making sure I understand that you’re saying it’s ok for someone who committed a crime using a gun to legally own another one. That’s what you’re saying, right?

              • Papa Bear says:

                Not all felons used guns to commit their crimes. As a matter of fact, I’d venture a guess that the large majority of convicted felons never even held a gun. Tax evasion: felony. Possession of pot: one time felony and those convicted are still convicted felons. Breaking & entering: felony, no weapon required and most don’t use a weapon because it would be considered a much worse crime. Shop lifting over $XX (depends on the state): felony, no weapon involved. I can go on and on.

    • jason in boston says:

      Don’t worry, they will still get them from less than legal means. Nothing changes for them.

  7. sqeelar says:

    I’m sure the gun lobby is opposing this with a blizzard of tv ads.

  8. alSeen says:

    I love my state.

  9. suez says:

    That’s it–this country has officially lost it’s ever-lovin’ mind.

    • Zowzers says:

      Why? because someone is proposing to implement a law you oppose? Welcome to democracy, please vote the way you feel is best.

  10. GMurnane says:

    Interesting proposal coming from a state which bars legal immigrants from having concealed weapons permits.

    • Nisun says:

      Having a CCW != Gun Ownership

      • bbf says:

        It’s different for each state, what one needs to do to get a CCW permit, but in a state like California, you have to jump through a LOT of hoops to get one. It would make VERY little sense to get a CCW permit and NOT even own a weapon, let alone not carry one. Granted there may be some people who do, but I would not expect many people to go through the trouble and not even OWN a weapon because the point of getting a permit is to carry a weapon, isn’t it? It’s not like there’s any other use for a CCW permit like how Driver’s Licenses are used as a form of Government Issued ID.

        Anyways, what’s your point?

        • Nisun says:

          My point is, CCW is not gun ownership… The post says that immigrants can not get a CCW, but that doesn’t mean they “Can’t own guns”. All i was trying to say is… You don’t need a CCW to own a gun. Guess I wasn’t clear enough for you.

          != means “not equal” fyi

          • GMurnane says:

            I wasn’t equating getting a CCW with gun ownership–I was making a point that a very pro-gun state bars legal immigrants (not citizens) obtaining a CCW. Some states (like Arizona) don’t even require a permit to conceal carry in many situations. They would go so far as to suggest requiring ownership of a gun, yet wouldn’t let a legal immigrant get a CCW.

    • Doncosmic says:

      Even if the are citizens? In the case of a naturalized citizen, I can’t believe that that law would hold up under constitutional scrutiny.

  11. Consumeristing says:

    Hey why not? Sky’s the limit if health insurance mandate is constitutional.

  12. Tim says:

    Health care isn’t designed with the express purpose of killing people.

    The individual health care mandate is tied to the prohibition on denial due to preexisting conditions. Say I get cancer and I don’t have insurance. I could go to an insurer and buy coverage, and they wouldn’t be allowed to deny me because of my cancer. But before buying the insurance, I hadn’t been paying into the system, so it isn’t fair to everyone else who’s paying in and not getting sick.

    There’s no analogy to that with gun ownership.

    • alSeen says:

      I fully concede that the mandate is necessary to end the preexisting condition area of insurance. There is no argument about that.

      That does not mean that the federal government has the authority to force you to engage in an economic activity simply because you are alive.

      As the judge said yesterday “It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.”

      I’m not even going to bother responding to the “guns are only good for killing people” trope.

      • Nisun says:


      • ARP says:

        The key is that if you don’t engage in that activity, you have not committed a crime, you’re fined (taxed) for failing to do so.

        • alSeen says:

          That’s still forcing you to do that activity.

          And stop saying (taxed). It is not structured as a tax. They were quite explicit about it not being a tax. It is a fine. And fines are one of the ways that governments force you to do something.

        • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

          What’s the difference from forcing (by way of fines) people to by my tasty salt free chips? It saves lives right?

          The bottom line is that the issue isn’t that the govt is attempting to force people into private commerce. It is that the fed is trying to punish people by not engaging in private commerce (by way of the commerce clause).

          • lucky13 says:

            The difference is that if you force me to eat salt free chips (or fine me for not eating them) somebody will get shot…I love salt!

      • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

        I don’t conceed that. having that mandate alone is an impossible standard for insurance companies. Let that stand and no one will get health insurance until they are catastrophically ill. It’s akin to crashing your car and then going to allstate to get insurance for it. Or waiting till uncle fred dies to get a life insurance policy. It can’t be done

        Maybe the standard should be that no insurance company can drop a customer for a condition that develops. Then eliminate the boondogle of employer provided healthcare. Then allow citizens to freely choose to insure themselves When my child is born, I enroll them. then when they grow up have a transition plan available.

        • Conformist138 says:

          THat won’t work. Not everyone has a condition that goes away, and not everyone sticks with the same insurer (due to job change or whatever). A problem a friend has is he has gotten cancer 3 times in his life and no insurance company would accept him except for the company he was with when he first got sick (he was a minor, insurance through his father’s job with the state, they didn’t drop him). Now, he actually HAD to get a job working for the state because no one else would accept him, even when in remission. So, just saying you can’t drop them if a condition develops is great, but it does nothing to solve the issue of being denied everywhere else because you have been too sick in the past.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      “Health care isn’t designed with the express purpose of killing people.”

      Death Panels! What about Death Panels? Won’t someone think of the elderly?

    • RxDude says:

      Doctors kill more people in the U.S. every year than guns do, so it could be argued that having health insurance is more dangerous than owning a gun.

    • Doubts42 says:

      there is an analogy.
      If I am being robbed and you could have stopped it if you had a gun then you did me harm by not carrying a firearm

    • lucky13 says:

      “Health care isn’t designed with the express purpose of killing people.”

      And mandatory insurance isn’t health “care”…but hospital death statistics would still argue against your premise.

  13. g.park says:

    I always get confused about the difference between a Glock and an oncologist, so I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

    • RxDude says:

      One injects poison into you, hoping you don’t die as fast as your cancer. The other can save you from iminent danger.

      • xxmichaelxx says:

        An oncologist could also save you from imminent danger, for example by pushing you out of the way of an oncoming bus.

        A better answer would be: One is a person, the other is a machine designed to fire a projectile at high velocity. But because that would be the less childish answer, I’m not surprised you chose your answer instead.

  14. Jester6641 says:

    I’d be more of an accurate analogy if they said something along the following:

    1. Crime prevention and response costs the state a lot of money.
    2. People having guns will cause a drop in crime.
    3. We’re going to raise taxes on everyone to pay for crime prevention and response.
    4. We’ll give you a deduction if you own a gun.

    As I read in the bill, that’s not what it’s doing. This is just legislative trolling.

    • Tim says:

      That would make sense, with two caveats:

      1. Prove that gun ownership causes a drop in crime.
      2. More importantly, prove that gun ownership actually reduces crime prevention and response costs. If someone tries to rob your house and you shoot him, the police are still going to come and do an investigation, and the coroner (if he’s dead) or EMTs (if he’s not) still have to come and do their respective things.

      • nutbastard says:

        “According to the National Self Defense Survey conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of Defensive Gun Uses can be projected nationwide to approximately 2.5 million per year — one Defensive Gun Use every 13 seconds.”

    • alSeen says:

      Might make sense if that’s the way the ACA was actually structured, but it isn’t. Failure to purchase insurance results in a fine, not a removal of a tax credit.

      And it is still forcing you to purchase something simply because you are alive.

      • Conformist138 says:

        It forces you to buy something *IF* you meet the income requirements and then the fine is WAY less than the cost of insurance (Only like $700 or so, that’s hardly 2-3 months of insurance premiums). Really, it says “Either pay in to the healthcare system, or pay into the healthcare system” Either way, you buy insurance or pay the no-insurance tax. Whether it’s “pay a fine for not having insurance” or “Get a deduction for having insurance” is sort of a matter of semantics. Consider it like “taxes went up, but you don’t pay the extra tax if you have insurance”. A huge problem is that when not enough people are pooling money, the costs to individuals skyrocket and then no one can afford it, along with the ties to insurers not being able to deny people for health problems.

        One of the biggest lies told to the American people is the idea of being completely independent and self-reliant in every aspect of your life. We are a society and societies need some aspect of working together. The system is too complicated to blame every failure on the individual or praise an individual for every accomplishment. Being self-made is great, but it’s not entirely true no matter who you are.

        Somehow, we have gotten to the point where “working together for the benefit of society as a whole” has been morphed into “Taking from people who earned everything they have all on their own and handing it to people who are undeserving failures with no one to blame but themselves”. For some reason, this attitude seriously troubles me. For one, in a country that many claim is a “Christian country”, it’s very un-jesus-like.

        • Papa Bear says:

          I don’t know where you buy your insurance, but my last family policy, which was a group plan cost me over $700/month. That was slightly more than 25% of my net pay for a week. The same coverage outside of the group would have been nearly $2,000.00/month. Most people have absolutely no idea of the true cost of insurance because they pay no where near the true cost if it is obtained through a group plan.

    • ccooney says:

      I’m a gunbunny, but the last thing I want is to have a gun in the hand of someone who doesn’t want to have it or is unwilling to use it. Besides, guns don’t really do anything to the crime rate, just the crime about to happen to you. Crime rate mostly tracks economic opportunity.

  15. packy says:

    If everybody in the state had a gun anyway (because it was illegal for gun shops to turn away people who wanted guns but couldn’t afford them), but the cost of those guns was shifted to the people in the state who bought guns privately with their own money, then, YES, I’d be in favor of requiring everybody to buy a gun. That way, the cost of guns for everyone would be spread across the ENTIRE populace, not just the few people who could afford to buy guns on their own or had guns provided to them by their employers.

  16. danmac says:

    This is a perfect example of the Chewbacca Defense in action:

    Specifically: The term has also seen use in political commentary; Ellis Weiner wrote in The Huffington Post that Dinesh D’Souza was using the Chewbacca defense in criticism of new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, defining it as when “someone asserts his claim by saying something so patently nonsensical that the listener’s brain shuts down completely.”[8]

  17. Consumeristing says:

    Why are liberals suddenly so in love with an idea that Republicans proposed in the first place? It’s a stupid law.

  18. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    Leave theater to actors. Using your legislative powers to make a partisan point is a waste of taxpayer money and blatantly unethical.

    • dwtomek says:

      Isn’t that just politics as usual?

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        Not really, I don’t see a lot of “symbolic” bills getting passed. With the exception of resolutions to honor some person or charitable organization, but those are rarely political.

  19. cybercjh says:

    Fine. Don’t make everyone buy health insurance. But, then, let doctors and hospitals turn away people who don’t have coverage! I’m sick and f*cking tired of the tax payers subsidizing stupid people who have the means and the ability to buy insurance, but don’t, because they’re either too stupid or too cheap to buy insurance.

    You wreck your car. You don’t have insurance? Your car doesn’t get fixed.
    You break your leg. You don’t have insurance? Your leg doesn’t get fixed.

    • Not_Wearing_Pants says:

      This. Thank you for saying it.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      And if you’re not actually insurable, what then?

      You live in a fantasy world.

    • RevancheRM says:

      I am so very behind this, because all of a sudden every one who is anti-Democrat regqrdless of the issue being discussed will have a hard time explaining /why/ we need to CONTINUE funding FREE health care.

      Our married Cub Scout pack leaders take every opportunity to promote Republicanism as patriotism (though I serve in the military and they never have) and that Birthers and “We Were Americans Firster!” are defending our Republican God-given rights. But because they make too little to buy health insurance, when their scout had non-trauma brain issues, they had the pack pray thanks for Medicare agreeing to pay for his diagnosis and resulting treatment. I wanted to ask them to thank me, since the rest of us were paying for it.

      Stop the free health care provided by taxes already and all problems will be solved.

    • Bitingback says:

      What universe do you live in where uninsured people get turned away at the hospital? That is exactly where most uninsured people go to get their routine care! A county hospital that is funded by taxpayer money cannot turn someone away in the ER. That is how it works in Texas anyways.

      • Portlandia says:

        What universe were you in when you read his comment. They don’t get turned away, that’s the point he’s making. If you’re capable of getting insurance and don’t you don’t get coverage.

    • Saltpork says:

      Life doesn’t work that way.

      I have car insurance and the vehicle I drove today(due to snow) is liability only. If I hit something, my insurance company doesn’t pay me a cent. I get a much lower premium since I only drive it rarely as the trade off.

      My girlfriend doesn’t have health insurance because her job won’t give it to her due to cost.
      The price of individual insurance is astronomical for anyone with any condition(she would have to pay almost a grand a month because she had IBS for a couple of years).

      The way the health insurance system is setup is not for the benefit of us, it’s for the share holders.

      Try living out here in the real world where problems aren’t black & white and everything isn’t as easy as 1,2,3.

  20. BlkSwanPres says:

    I think a town in Georgia did this to reduce crime rates.

    • Bill610 says:

      You might be thinking of Kennesaw, but if I recall correctly they did it primarily as a response to another town–Downer’s Grove? Morton Grove? banning firearm ownership.

      • Bill610 says:

        It was Morton Grove. And supposedly there was a drop in crime in Kennesaw, though some do contest that claim. It’s also apparently one of the ten best towns for families.

        Thanks, Google!

  21. WoollyMittens says:

    If insurance isn’t regulated and mandatory, the insurers will refuse to insure the elderly, the overweight or even rape victims. Since not having insurance is pretty much a death-sentence, you have your death panels right there.

    • Portlandia says:

      Even rape victims?

      If you’re going for the emotional strings you should always use children as a justification for your hyperbole. You can’t argue with do it for rape victims and children.

      • Hydian says:

        Really? There have been highly publicized cases of this very thing happening (rape victims.) There have also been cases reported where victims of domestic violence were denied as a pre-existing condition.

  22. Rebecca K-S says:

    This is a good analogy, and I see no problem with it.

    Wait. No. That’s not what I meant at all.

    • danmac says:

      Sometimes I think the primary objective of political rhetoric is to design analogies that make sense to the casual/uninformed observer, but are completely ridiculous when scrutinized to any degree.

  23. crtjer says:

    Does this include blind people?

  24. AgostoBehemoth says:

    I think we should legislate haircuts – too many people out there not getting them when they need them. And too many bad ones. Plus, many barbers are hurting. This would help a huge industry.

    Also, I like dogs and cats. I think we should legislate pet ownership. People that own pets tend to be more civil.

    Also – we should legislate that money to pay for this stuff be called a mandate, not a tax. That way we can raise the price all we want, but by not calling it a tax – we can say that we didn’t raise taxes.

    There is a lot of room for healthcare reform. What was passed last year is not reform. You want reform, get rid of the mandate, maybe add single payor – and tort limitations.

    • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

      Let’s take it further… Why not mandate that everyone buy a GM car since they are safter? Or what shoes they wear? Or what job they have since some are very dangerous.

      NONE of this is enumerated to the federal government. On top of that, as bastardized as the commerce clause is, in no way should the fed be able to legislate a penalty or tax or whatever label you give it for NOT participating in interstate commerce..

      The funny thing about this is that if Health insurance was permitted to be sold across state lines, then the pools WOULD be larger, and the premiums would have a chance at dropping. When citizens in a state have an option of 2 providers, they get screwed.

  25. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Health care doesn’t kill people. But guns do kill people.

  26. Nobby says:

    Big deal. It’s already law in Kennesaw, Georgia and has been for year.


  27. JohnDeere says:

    i think this is what the constitution should have said from the beginning. that would definatly keep out invading chinese armies in the future.

  28. Maximus Pectoralis says:

    Health care kills an order of magnitude more people than guns in the US. Let’s ban healthcare!

  29. Mold says:

    Hal Wick wants you…to pay attention to Hal Wick. Hal Wick has written the ‘Hal Wick Gun Compensation for Being Laughed at by a Prostitute Despite Hal Wick Paying Double and Up Front Gun Ownership Law’. Hal Wick wants you to know that you are between him and Hal Wick’s Precious…the camera. Hal Wick has been on the government dole since the 1970s when Hal Wick needed to gripe about all those urban heathens in South Dakota stealing the bodily fluids of Hal Wick. Hal Wick is your CongressMAN and is brave and studly and manly and heroic and Hal Wick wants you to have a gun from Hal Wick. Hal Wick wants you to have the largest gun Hal Wick can give you and Hal Wick knows you will thank Hal Wick.

  30. YokoOhNo says:

    i like when stupid people and ideas are mocked. i’m for health care for all but some people will not pay to be covered and that’s where we, the American people, cover the irresponsible.

    I never hear the anti-public-option group advocate for less school taxes for those of us who do not have children, do not want children and who were in private schools their entire life…why is this? shouldn’t those who are going to use the schools have to pay…why do i have to support YOU because YOU decided to dump a spawn on this earth?!?!?!?!

  31. xamarshahx says:

    working in healthcare, it is a shame to see so many politicians against the healthcare law. people don’t get that you already pay for the uninsured when they visit the ER and it costs 10,000 bucks when a 100 dollar doctor visit and some 10 dollar antibiotics could have solved the problem to begin with. people don’t visit the doctor and then the problems explode. the poor and middle class who desperately need healthcare reform can’t go out and rally cause a lot of them are working 2-3 jobs while the idiots with too much cash go out and rally against it. our taxes are already paying for it, this would just make healthcare affordable to everyone along with making a majority of the population contribute to it.

    • evnmorlo says:

      It’s pretty much a myth that giving people more access to health care reduces costs. You end up needing twice the doctors to treat all the people coming in with colds. And expensive routine diagnostics that well-insured patients get have often been shown to be more harmful than helpful.

    • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

      Wait, so the ACA dictated that you couldn’t go to the ER willy nilly like people do now? Do you honestly believe that people visit the ER because they don’t have insurance? Or maybe it’s just that they are too lazy to get a primary care physician. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Because the cost of my doctors visit will not go down just because less people go to the ER. The cost of my meds will not go down because of less people in the ER. The cost of my Chemo will not go down because of less people in the ER. The cost of my Lab work will not go down because of less people in the ER. The operating cost of the ER will go down, and the hospital would be able to lessen bed fee’s, and such things.

      If anything costs would go up. If 10 thousand people use the x-ray machine at the ER, the cost of that device is spread across the paying portion of that 10,000. If only 100 people go to the ER now because they are using a PC physician instead, who pays for the x-ray machine now? 100 people…

  32. shepd says:

    What about the right not to own a gun? I’ve a personal goal to never pick up a gun in my life, part of my pact of pacifism. I’m not the only one who feels that way. South Dakota plans to make people like me move?


    • Bitingback says:

      FIrst off, this bill is to create a knee-jerk reaction, not to actually go through.

      Secondly, I used to feel the same way about guns and pacifism until I realized how stupid it is to rely on other people (namely police). My life is just as important as the life of someone trying to do harm to me and I should have a right to protect myself by whatever means possible. The sad truth is that cops can’t always be just a few minutes away and not every officer upholds the law. When I was a kid, an off-duty volunteer officer who was drunk and trying to pick a fight with one of our neighbors tried to kick down our front door after the neighbor fled to our house for safety. Although this is a relatively isolated incident, I would rather err on the side of my personal safety than some utopian idea that I would be making a stance against violence by becoming an easier victim.

    • evnmorlo says:

      I applaud your adherence to old ways of combat. At close rage a master of the blade can inflict more damage than a fool with a plastic pistol. And there is nothing more satisfying than feeling your opponents’ bones being snapped or crushed beneath your fist.

      • lucky13 says:

        I like the way you think…but I don’t think Shep was opposed to guns because they were too loud. And to answer Shep’s question: “South Dakota plans to make people like me move?” I doubt anybody realized there were any hardcore pacifists still in SD, making them move is just an unwitten fringe benefit of the bill.

  33. chbrules says:

    I think putting in place a defense system like the Swiss have is a wonderful idea. Train everyone to use weapons, give government-issued weapons to all, and be isolationists, not screwing around in foreign affairs; trade with all, side with none. We’d be safer, more educated, and our standard of living would probably skyrocket once the military industrial complex were dismantled.

    • Zowzers says:

      You may want to look in to what the swiss actually do aka mandatory military service (they call it universal conscription). And once you complete that, you are part of the reserve army till your 45th birthday.

      Kind of counter intuitive to your desire to dismantle the “military industrial complex”.

  34. exconsumer says:

    This is a great example of, well, how poorly conservative politicians understand law. The health care bill is not a mandate in the traditional sense, only a small penalty paid to the irs should you fail to gain health insurance. This penalty does not apply to people below a certain income bracket and does not apply to someone who can’t find insurance at certain prices based on their income . . . So basically, the health care mandate is a tax bonus for people who have health insurance, and it as legal as any tax the government ever levied.

    This gun law does not make it an incentive or bonus, they state right there in the law that one must have a gun. They are similar only to the truly dim.

    • RxDude says:

      It’s not a mandate, it’s just the federal government punishing you for not doing something.

      Oh, wait…

    • pegasi says:

      so the government decides how much they think I can afford to spend on health care premiums and out of pocket costs, or I pay a penalty…. how fair is that?

    • Papa Bear says:

      Small penalty? $600 dollars is 75% of the monthly take home pay for a person working 40 hrs/wk at min. wage! So, everything is relevant, isn’t it?

    • proliance says:

      This is a great example of how exconsumer and other liberals don’t understand English. “…Only a small penalty paid to the irs should you fail to gain health insurance” is somehow no longer a mandate.

      If the federal govt. can force you buy health insurance then they can also force you to eat broccoli. “Because its good for you.” That’s what they’ll say.

  35. vicarp says:

    I can’t believe this is even a tactic in this argument. It is so not the same thing.

  36. jro says:

    I kind of see the logic behind this, but it’s a specious comparison at best.

    The purpose of having mandatory health insurance is A) to take the financial pressure off the government- and local municipality-funded hospitals and clinics who end up treating the uninsured and footing the bill, and B) trying to increase the quality of life for people who would otherwise suffer poor health due to not being able to afford a doctor visit.

    If you apply the same premise to firearms, i can see the people-are-protected angle, but goverment’s finance component is still un-addressed (unless you had something in place along the lines of disbanding the police, since now all of the citizenry is capable of protecting themselves, and the goverment no longer has to should that part fo the budget). Furthermore, the healthcare legislation is meant to address those who otherwise would not have coverage; what would the comparable gun law be, giving guns to those who would otherwise not have them (most notably criminals?).

    Ironically, if you have health insurance but no gun and you get hurt in a break-in, you can go get medical attention. If you have a gun but no medical insurance and get hurt in a home invasion, you might still be refused treatment or be unable to pay for it. Also, a health plan can cover a gun-gone-wrong incident (a gunshot), but to my knowledge owning a Glock 19 can’t fix a broken arm.

  37. Memtex784 says:

    So if a person does not have health insurance and something happens to their leg, they can just shoot it off? Right?

  38. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    Apart from someone from a governmental body saying “you have to buy x” I don’t see too much of a similarity.
    I’m all in favor of highly decontrolled private firearm ownership, but I am also pro freedom, and requiring the purchase of anything goes against my grain.
    It has apparently worked well for Kennesaw, Georgia as was pointed out previously, though.

  39. zombie_batch says:

    There are just too many problems caused by things people can simply acquire with little or no real knowledge of how to own and operate. Like firearms and vehicles.

    If they were serious about this firearm law, then the people would also be required to take hunter safety class. I wish that were simply required as a pre-requisite to owning a firearm. There would be quite a few mistakes avoided that way.

    Cars too, a driving test is not sufficient. There should be classes on maintenance- how to change your oil, or a tire, etc. How to drive in different weather conditions with various vehicle configurations (4whd, 2whd, front wheel drive, rear wheel drive). Too many people seem to think as long as you go waaaay slow, that equals safety when it snows. It does not, it only serves to cause those that know how to drive in those conditions to have to swerve around and go past, possibly creating a new hazard.

  40. Chaosium says:

    Dumbest and most nonsensical analogy ever.

  41. Mcshonky says:

    [E]ach citizen residing in the state of South Dakota who has attained the age of twenty-one years shall purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and personal preference sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense

    So all you’d have to say is, my firearm of choice is -the phone, a baseball bat, an alarm system, a lock on my bedroom door, etc-

  42. PortlandBeavers says:

    Actually, the Swiss have a requirement like this. I know they are required to own a rifle, and they might be required to own a handgun, too. Every man in Switzerland is considered part of the militia.

  43. Jen says:

    Wouldn’t a more realistic example be requiring that everyone pay in money so that some sort of organized group could be armed and trained to detect and deter crime…

    Oh, wait…

  44. Skankingmike says:

    Question for you.

    Is property ownership a right under our constitution or a privilege?

    When you can answer that then answer me how owning a car is not a right under property ownership. That’s sort of the point of our country, personal Property whether it be “real”, tangible, or intangible you have the right of ownership. Thus I have the right to own a car, but I can’t own a fucking car in most states without registering it, nor can I usually register it without a license, and I can’t do any of this without insurance. Now these are states that impose these rights on us. The federal government however, can regulate interstate commerce, as such insurance companies are interstate, thus they can control them as they do business between states. They can and have over the years extended the several clauses to extend their power over you.

    You can’t do shit with your business without first filing paper work for the EPA, IRS, or half a dozen other businesses (if you build or operate on land).

    Point to all this? Well simply put the government does have the right to force you to do things. I mean before 1965 you could deny a black person a table at your store, because it’s your right as a business owner.

    Are you saying the government doesn’t have the right to tell you who you can serve and who you can? Same goes for job promotions.

    Seriously welcome to the 21st century.

    • Papa Bear says:

      Privilege! If you can’t pay the taxes, the property is arbitrarily taken away. Sure there is “due process” but that is irrelevant. Property ownership is a privilege because only those with the wherewithal to pay the taxes or who simply agree to pay the taxes can own property. You don’t even have a right to the own clothes if you can’t afford to buy them. Nobody has to give them to you and you can’t just take them – that’s a crime.

  45. TabrisLee says:

    As a resident of South Dakota I’m quite ashamed to say one of my lawmaking type peoples has even stated this. It’s a crappy analogy.

  46. Wei says:
  47. dush says:

    Well the state can do that. The federal government can’t.
    That’s why states can mandate auto insurance in order to drive.

  48. Reverend Mike says:

    Actually, this individual mandate was already used by the Federal Government. During the Washington administration, all qualified American men were required to purchase, master the use and drill with said firearm in an effort to provide a militia that would be ready to take arms. This was in response to Shay’s Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion. What SD’s law lacks is a specific state purpose for the mandate (militia). It was replaced by what is now known as the National Guard.

  49. proliance says:

    Somebody once said about forcing everybody to buy health insurance: “Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness.”

    That’s just crazy talk. Who would say such a thing?

  50. FrugalFreak says:


    Really? We live in a SOCIETY people, we don’t live on this earth alone. We can earn, build, enjoy, pursue liberty on the backs of Americans, Just not share and promote life through coverage with them eh?

    Welcome to the Me, Me, Me Generation.

  51. DragonThermo says:

    What is my opinion? I think it’s hilarious, if for no other reason than mandatory gun ownership has less chance of being passed and enforced than mandatory insurance coverage.

  52. Optimistic Prime says:

    Compulsory education does nothing for me except raise my property taxes, let’s get rid of that too. An ignorant unhealthy populace is exactly what our economy needs.

  53. mharris127 says:

    What about the federal law saying that all felons convicted after (IIRC) 1970 may not use, possess or own a firearm of any type? It is also against federal law for a seriously mentally ill person to use, possess or own a firearm. Exemptions for them would have to be in the law as well to make it federally legal. Without an exemption for those people, you can count on the feds to fight this law all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to.

  54. That_One_Idiot says:

    Why so much fighting for the Health Care Reforms?