Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/02/gun_law/
Republican reps push for mandatory gun ownership
South Dakotan riposte to mandatory health insurance
Republican politicians in South Dakota have filed a bill that would require every citizen in the land-locked virtually empty state to buy a gun as of next year.
The bill, put forward by Sioux Fall representative Hal Wick, would require every citizen over 21 to buy a firearm "suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and personal preference sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense".
The only people who would not be required to buy guns under the proposed law would be those already banned from owning guns.
While some Americans would think the law was a damn fine thing, it turns out Wick himself has only advanced the law to highlight what he sees as the injustice of the Obama Administration's healthcare bill.
Wick himself accepts that his gun bill is unconstitutional and oversteps the "bounds of personal rights". But, he told The Rapid City Journal, a Federal requirement to buy health insurance, in his mind, amounts to the same thing.
That said, Wick and his co-sponsor, Bruce Ramp, believe if such a bill was passed, it would make the state a lot safer than it is today.
South Dakota has a 56.6 per cent rate of gun ownership apparently, and a comparatively low murder rate (for the US) of 2.6 per 100,000.
However, with a population of barely 800,000 squeezed into 77,116 square miles, you can't help thinking it is isolation and lack of opportunity rather than gun ownership that keeps it low. ®