Throughout history, legislators, nationwide, have passed laws to keep citizens safe. Some of those laws are sensible, appropriate and well-intentioned. Some are, shall we say, ‘unusual’ or, to be kind, outdated. Considering how difficult it has become for Congress or state legislatures to pass sensible gun legislation, I thought that I would pass along examples of current legislation that various legislators have deemed important to the safety and well-being of our citizens. Since these examples are “laws” and not “proposed legislation” our legislators must have deemed them far more important to the health and safety of our citizens and our communities than gun legislation. Indeed, when it comes to guns, we are continuously reminded that gun control is not a priority at the federal level. Furthermore, a similar lack of priority exists in individual state legislatures and these conversations and debates only occur when a terrible event, like Parkland happens. In the general scheme of things, there is still very little government oversight when it comes to guns.
So, my conclusion must be that gun safety legislation is not too important to our elected officials. Here are a few examples of safety legislation that certain state legislators deemed important enough to actually pass a law. You be the judge as to whether the particular safety issues presented were more important than the consequences of selling an AR-15 to someone with mental health issues.
Strange Law: It is illegal to drive blindfolded. (I see no problem in having a law like this, but how many people have tried to do this over the years?)
Gun Law: Alabama does not require an individual to obtain a permit in order to purchase a shotgun, rifle, or handgun. In addition, an individual does not need to register firearms or hold a gun owner’s license.
Strange Law: It’s illegal for a donkey to sleep in a bathtub. Apparently, back in the 1920s, one rancher’s donkey was accustomed to sleeping to the bathtub. When a dam broke and flooded the rancher’s home, the bathtub and donkey were sent riding through town, distressing townspeople who were attempting to rescue the donkey. This is still the law; I guess Arizona donkeys are still in peril.
Gun Law: Arizona does not require a background check for the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals; the state does not regulate assault weapons nor require a license to carry a concealed firearm in public.
Strange Law: A local sheriff’s office is required to milk impounded cows and goats at least twice a day. After all, we can’t let that milk go to waste.
Gun Law: A licensed individual may openly carry an assault weapon.
Strange Law: There’s a law against weather modification. Apparently, the legislation came after some people tried to use gun powder to produce rain clouds, despite being unsuccessful at doing so. Obviously the law was written without considering the possibility that human behavior could change the climate. However, who does this law target? Can one, single-handedly, change the weather?
Gun Law: Texas does not require a permit to purchase a gun, other than a handgun, nor does the state require a registration or license. Additionally, there are no laws regulating assault weapons and public colleges must permit people to carry concealed handguns on campus.
Strange Law: Young citizens may not go trick-or-treating if they are over 12 years-of-age. Does this have something to do with dental hygiene?
Gun Law: A permit is not required for the purchase of a handgun, rifle, or shotgun; a person does not need to register the gun or be a licensed owner. One only needs a permit to carry a handgun. Carrying a gun into a crowded restaurant? Completely kosher.
Strange Law: It is illegal for public eating establishments to substitute margarine for butter, unless the patron specifically requests margarine. Apparently, the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the Wisconsin dairy industry needed this protection and to hell with citizens’ battles with high cholesterol.
Gun Law: No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun; citizens do not need to register their guns, nor be licensed gun owners.
Strange Law: Buildings that cost $100,000 or more must have 1% of funds allocated to art for the building. As a patron of the arts, this is fine with me, but compare its’ necessity to how Wyoming handles the art of owning a gun.
Gun Law: Wyoming does not require background checks for the transfer of firearms between unlicensed individuals; the state does not regulate assault weapons. Additionally, no permits or licensures are required, at all. But there is a painting in every building that costs more than $100,000, so I guess it’s okay…
What do you think? Is this post “funny” or “scary”? According to our elected officials, thoughts and prayers are enough to combat the issue of gun control, but public safety requires regulations on teens who want to go trick-or-treating or donkeys in bathtubs. All 50 states allow some level of concealed carry; in fairness, some states are considerably more restrictive than others. How many mass shootings will it take for modern society to conclude that current weapons restrictions do not offer sufficient citizen protections? Isn’t it time for Congress to take meaningful action to create a safer America?
The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have given a new voice to the issue, captivating and encouraging their peers to demand change on Capitol Hill. Your voice can be heard too. Consider attending the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., on March 24 or get involved at the local level. Encourage schools in your community to join the National High School Walk-Out for Anti-Gun Violence on April 20. NOW IS THE TIME!
Mark M. Bello is an attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series. He is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation, a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.
Experienced attorney, lawsuit funding expert, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series. The series features super-trial lawyer Zachary Blake handling "ripped from the headlines" legal and political issues of the day. The series currently consists of Betrayal of Faith, Betrayal of Justice, Betrayal in Blue, Betrayal in Black, and Betrayal High, with a sixth Zachary Blake novel due out later this year. To learn more about these topical social justice legal thrillers. please visit markmbello.com. Mark is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.