This has been an intense week of hearings on Rep. Paymar’s gun confiscation legislation. Tim Jazursky’s testimony was particularly riveting. Not all of the testimony was intense. This testimony wasn’t intense as much as it was educational:
After Rep. Hausman talked about how Second Amendment advocates don’t talk about the opening words of the Amendment, Hamline law Professor Joseph Olson explained why. Here’s what he told the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee:
I actually had one of my articles cited in Heller so I know Judge Scalia knows — is familiar with my work. I’ve read the opinion a number of times. I teach it in my seminar at Hamline Law School. The Supreme Court did 2 things in the Heller case that are relevant to the discussion as Rep. Hausman brought it up.
One, in Heller, the Supreme Court made clear that the introductory clause of the Amendment isn’t part of the normative statement. In other words, the introductory clause is not part of the rule of law. The rule of law is that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.”
The Paymar-Hausman gun confiscation hearings show why this issue is fraught with perils for the DFL. The DFL has been on the wrong side of this issue for most of my adult life. They’re wedded ideologically to a failed set of policies.
Stricter gun control laws aren’t the solution. Whether they’ve been implemented in Chicago, Washington, DC or elsewhere, they haven’t solved the problem. The DFL’s policy perscriptions are ideologically driven. Not only that but they’re constitutionally questionable.
If any of these bills are signed into law, the DFL will be bigtime losers. Rural DFL legislators might get defeated simply by being tied to the metro DFL anti-gun extremists. That might also hurt Gov. Dayton’s re-election chances. The DFL would be better off steering clear of this issue. They’d be better off figuring out solutions to the problem of violence in society.
It’s easy to picture Minnesota Republicans praying that the DFL pushes this legislation. The DFL is all but guaranteeing a GOP majority in the House of Representatives in 2015.