JIM CREES: Pavlov’s gun control suck up

BUSHMASTER: Automatic weapons are high on the list for gun regulation talks. (Courtesy photo)
BUSHMASTER: Automatic weapons are high on the list for gun regulation talks. (Courtesy photo)

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made a sincere and heartfelt plea to his GOP brethren last week during a Republican Party conference.

“We’ve got to stop being the stupid party,” he said. “It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.”

He got a lot of applause with that comment, but here in Michigan it apparently was like water off a duck’s back.

In what can best be described as an odd move, Republican State Senator Phil Pavlov has fronted a bill that basically says the State of Michigan can, will, and should ignore federal law.

Pavlov, not unlike the subjects of his more notorious namesake’s famous experiments, starts emotionally salivating ever time the phrase “gun control” is sounded.

Even previous to the Newtown school massacre, Pavlov, (while still in the State House), suggested a bill that would see Michigan law supersede federal law.

Not a good idea - unless you happen to be thinking about seceding from the Union. (That’s been done before, and it didn’t work out well then.)

Nevertheless ...

When passionate discussion began regarding the banning of assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines following the school shootings in Connecticut, (including a lot of knee-jerk reactions from the left), politicians from the right began to respond with knee-jerk reactions of their own.

Pavlov submitted Senate Bill No. 63 - entitled the “Michigan Firearms Freedom Act”! - that would “prohibit federal regulation of firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition involved purely in intrastate commerce in this state; to provide certain exceptions of federal regulation ...”

In short, as per the official Senate summary, SB 63 “ ...would specify that a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Michigan, and remaining within the borders of the State, would not be subject to Federal law or regulation under Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce.”

I’m sure Pavlov’s bill will get wild and unrestrained support from many, Many, MANY good citizens of this state.

But ...it makes no sense. (Not that this has stopped a politician before.)

First off, there are no gun manufacturers or producers of gun-related accouterment in Michigan.

So all the effort going into the writing, filing, discussion, and voting on this bill is, (as they say in archaic English), for naught.

But, hey. That doesn’t matter. The fact that there are no guns or gun goods produced to the scale that would be protected by Pavlov’s bill doesn’t matter.

There already have been comments out of the state GOP team suggesting that passage of this bill would attract gun manufacturers to Michigan.

Ahhhhhhhh ...Pure Michigan.

Really!!??!! Does anyone honestly think Remington, Colt, or Winchester are going to relocate to Michigan because of a law that would apply only to guns that were manufactured, sold, and NEVER left the state?

Not a great “business model.”

Then we get down to brass tacks.

Does or can Michigan law supersede federal law?

The issue of the Supremacy Clause first came up in the early 1800s. At that time, Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that laws adopted by the federal government took precedence over state laws that might come in conflict with a federal law on the books.

The issue has since been brought up, chewed on, and debated by court, after court, after court. Generally speaking, the end result has been that federal law has carried the day.

This country isn’t called the United States or America for nothing. The nation comprises a collection of states gathered under one umbrella.

It is called “The Union” and has a central codification of law, with 50 individual codifications as well.

There are a lot of things which states hold near and dear as examples of “States Rights” but only when the federal government and the courts deem it appropriate. Allowing the death penalty, for example, varies from state to state. There is also a lot of debate as to whether allowing the use of medical marijuana should be a case of state over federal regulatory authority.

But using the medical marijuana law as an example of “States Rights” just doesn’t hold water - not even in Michigan - since the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the federal government in arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana growers, sellers, and users. (Gonzales vs. Raich.)

Pavlov’s silly “Michigan Firearms Freedom Act”  is a bill that will practically affect no one; will arguably never reach the Senate floor for a vote; and will never stand up to a test in the Supreme Court even if it does pass.

So why bother? Why? Because it plays to the audience. It plays to the base. It speaks to the audience who fear Barack Obama is going to personally knock on their door next Wednesday evening, (between 7-9 p.m.), and demand their guns.

It makes the Grand Old Party look good, even while in every practical term possible, SB 63 is virtually meaningless.

The fact is, SB 63 is one of the worst examples of ‘pandering’ that has been promoted in quite a while - pandering from a bunch of guys who are pretty insensitive to the real needs of the people of this state and country, but who understand very well who votes for them.

Sadly for the State of Michigan, SB 63 will be wildly popular in equal measure to how useless it is from the get-go.