You MUST Own a Gun — Or Else!

With everything else going on in the world, you may have missed a piece of news coming out of South Dakota.  It seems that a few legislators in that state have introduced a bill that would require every one of South Dakota’s citizens over 21 years of age to own a gun.

Can you imagine?  Lawmakers insisting that citizens own a gun or buy one they don’t already own one – under penalty of law, no less!  Government can’t force people to  buy something they don’t want, can it?

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

Just between us, I never associated South Dakota with funny.  New York and funny?  Sure.  LA, funny.  Yeah.  But live and learn.  This guy Hal Wick from the frozen plains is a regular riot.   And smart, too.

Frankly, I think it would be great if everybody owned health insurance.  But there’s that pesky matter of the Constitution.  If the federal government can force Americans to buy an insurance policy, why can’t it force them to buy a health club membership?  If we all went to the gym, we would be healthier — and healthy people spend less money on doctors, right?

And why stop there?  How about a law that would require all Americans to eat three servings of fruits and vegetables every day?  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  That, too, would bring down our out-of-control health care costs.

And why couldn’t the federal government make all Americans buy pogo sticks and hop around on them at least an hour a day.  You don’t see a lot of out-of-shape fatsos jumping around on a pogo stick, do you?  One more way to reduce health care costs that are devouring way too much of our spending.

A few days ago, a federal judge in Pensacola, Florida ruled that last year’s health care reform law, known in some circles as ObamaCare, was unconstitutional.  Judge Roger Vinson wrote a long, thoughtful decision, but it pretty much came down to this:  The federal government does not have unlimited powers.  It cannot mandate that all Americans buy an insurance policy — and then punish them if they don’t.

The New York Times predictably condemned the ruling, saying it was “a breathtaking example of judicial activism and overreach” motivated “at least in part by ideology.”  Let’s set aside the inconvenient fact that the gods who write editorials at the New York Times are never bothered by judicial activism, overreach or ideology when it comes from judges on the Left.  Let’s stop snickering at their hypocrisy and simply ask them – and all liberals who supported the personal mandate to buy health insurance – this brief question:

How do you feel about that South Dakota bill that would make it mandatory to own a gun?

I thought so.

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  • Kassisrc

    forced to have a gun? it is almost ridiculous as being forbiden to own one.. I am european, I love guns as much as you (some) americans do, but force people to have guns is too much…but I envy you, though if you want one, easily you can get one (or more) legally….

  • Kassisrc

    forced to have a gun? it  is almost ridiculous as being forbiden to own onw..european, i love guns as much as you (some) americans do, but force people to have guns is too much…but I envy you, though if you want one, easily you can get one (or more) legally….

  • Rocko

    Important, to forward this to Rush, please make sure he get’s it.

    Rush, this was the best damn intelligent group of thoughts ~ I have heard ~ period..(thank you)
    Heard you articulate many times but tonight you were superb….

    I’m sure you will take flack from the “Honcho’s in the Republican corporation for telling it like it is.
    I know you know, the Honcho’s are afraid to let Palin in the game…They know, she will put the finger on them big time, like she did in Alaska….Everyone has a little larceny in them. Will lay odds, Sarah is about as honest as they come but not so honest as to hurt the security of this country.

    Felt the same about Trump as you and told many people but would not want him as President.

    Sarah Palin is the only one that I want as president. If not for McCain, she and someone else would be in the White House………..Think, I sent you the cspan video of the VP debate, sent too about everyone lately.
    That debate, Palin/Biden, set an all time record for viewers ~ 84 million including PBS
    Maj Gen Craig E Campbell Talks About Sarah Palin
    Big mouth Christie, give me a break, he’s nothing but a punk…..Sure the corrupt in the party would want him.
    When asked what he thought of Gov Walker, he said not my biz…”wimp”
    The head of the Iowa Republican Party should be fired for going to Jersey to ask Christie to run.
    Believe me when I tell you, he should be fired…….If I was Sarah, I would tell him to go to hell.

    Sarah Palin had the courage to go to Madison and call out the union bosses.
    Took big balls just to go in harms way, with all those union mafia punks, yelling and cussing.
    Hard to believe that such a class act could have the heart of a warrior

    Where were Christie, Rubio and the others?…..Rubio ~ want to give 18 million illegals amnesty then Rubio is your man, believe me when I tell you

  • Rick007

    During wartime, especially a terrorist war, requiring non-destitute, never-convicted adult to own at least one gun is in fact not preposterious. A Ruger 9mm is only about $325; a Remington 870 Express 12 or 20 gauge under $300. Most crime would end. Mr. Armed Robber, would you like lead with that? Requiring a 59-year old making $30,000/year to spend over half their pay on health insurance is however unfair, perhaps even oppressive. Obamicare is in fact horrible because it makes health insurance even more unaffordable than ever. Despite Glen Beck’s well-intentioned book “Arguing with Idiots,” arguing with liberals is a waste of time because they lack the mental capacity to understand conservative ideas.

  • Philip Fultz

    Some years ago a small town, I think in Alabama or Georgia, passed exactly such a law. Subsequently they said that crime was less.

  • voted against carter

    If you can force me to buy ODUMBACARE then why can’t I force you to buy a GUN?

    And supply a list of acceptable guns you can choose from that you would have to buy?

    Just HOW exactly is that any different?

    I know that at least two thing would happen right away,…


    and as an added bonus,…

    the population of Leftwing-nut libratards would decrease immediately
    as they will “accidentally” shoot them selves.

    Just say’n.

  • jeff

    Bernie, how did it feel when Al Franken BITCH SLAPPED you on the Phil Donahue show a few years ago? Lmao you were so angry that you decided to put him in your book “100 people who are screwing America”. Bernie, go screw yourself ahahaha

  • Wil Burns

    Hey Bernie, How come people that don’t want the government to provide a health care plan, have no problems expecting, if not demanding, that their health care be provided for by their employers? Since when is it the responsibility of an employer to provide healthcare. This has to be a terrible burden for small businesses. Not only for cost, but researching plans as well.

    If you are paying 100% of your own premium, and are against health care reform, then you have the right to protest. If you are getting yours paid for by your employer, then shut-up.

    • Tim

      It is not the responsibility of an employer to provide health care. This benefit along with salaries are achieved through fair bargaining. In affect, employees are “Paying for their own healthcare” since it’s part of their benefit package.

      Next Wil you’ll be telling us we can’t protest taxes because our employer pays our deductions for our taxes!

    • Bruce A.

      Sorry Wil, but when has the goverment ever delivered a successful program as promised?

      • Wil Burns

        Bruce, When has the private sector ever delivered a successful program as promised? And BTW, not letting the price of that program shyrocket? For instance: Utilities, healthcare, medicine, insurance, transportation etc…

        • GGallman

          Will, for the most part the price of most of those services have not increased with respect to the amount of work required to receive them. The federal government had devalued the currency to the extent that it takes many more units of government money to acquire the good or service. The buying power of a U.S. Dollar at the time the Federal Reserve System (it is not federal and there is no reserve) began is slightly 20 times what the buying power of a U.S. Dollar is today. In the previous 100 years the buying power decreased by about 8% (with no federal bank or banking system). Do your own homework, check it out for your self. Do not take my word for it. Prove me wrong. :-)
          And may you have a pleasant day.

    • Ron Kean


      This is the classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Wil, you know, so many of us consider your writings annoying. You know people really don’t like you and Bernie is so cool to let you continue to insult him on his own turf, in his own place.

      Just go away. Go among your own kind on the Daily Kos or Huffington or those other sites for misguided political thought so we can exchange our thoughts here in a more adult manner and not attempt to tolerate your disrespectful and insulting behavior.

      • Wil Burns

        Ron, Why do truth and facts upset you people so?

        • Paul Courtney

          Truth and facts obviously don’t bother you at all, friend. Sometimes they bother us because they enter our mind, your posts tell us you don’t have that problem. Why do you assume Bernie is not self-employed? He may have given up a real cushy health plan at CBS to pay his own way, which would give him the right to protest according to the highest authority in your world.

  • Randy Kizer

    It just seems so obviously wrong. I just don’t see how anyone can support the government forcing us to do anything we don’t want to do. Where will it end? And have you caught Mr. Obama’s position that leaders govern with the consent of the people? Where was that belief when he was shoving healthcare down our throats? Weren’t close to two-thirds of the people Mr. Obama governs agains his health care? My Dad once said that we can survive anything for four years. I think Mr. Obama might be the one to disprove that. God bless the United States of America! We are going to need all the help we can get!

  • Greg

    Thanks Bob Hadley for the thoughtful counter argument. Healthcare, like most issues, is a complex one, and doesn’t lend itself well to this favorite ploy of the right to make the “slippery slope” argument. “If we open up marriage to gays, what’s going to stop people from marrying their dog??” This is lazy and incoherent thinking. The fact of emergency room visits by the uninsured and their costs is a very real element to our healthcare crisis and cuts to the core of it, and unless you’re willing to kick all these people to the curb and let them suffer on their own, then we need to find a better more efficient system to address these costs, and to bring costs down for everyone. So how about instead of making irrelevant and puerile arguments about “Why don’t we just force everyone to buy (fill in the blank)? What’s the difference?!”, maybe suggest a better way to address these costs in your view and a better way to get coverage for all these people. That would be a more effective way to use your column space.

    • Bob Hadley

      Who’s on first???????????

      My counter-argument was that comparing forcing people to either buy health care insurance or pay a fine to forcing people to buy a gun is a false analogy. Your thoughts were the logical conclusion to my posts–yes, that’s plural. You do realize that you were making a counter-argument to Bernie’s column?

      • Greg

        Yes of course. The article addresses nothing about the Healthcare issue, or even “Obamacare” – you’re right, it’s a false equivalency. It just employs another pointless tactic of the right to divert from the issue, an issue I really wonder whether they have any real interest in trying to solve.

    • Randy

      How about people taking care of themselves? I work hard to take care of MY family, not the guy that didn’t educate himself well enougth to be able to find work to care for himself and his family. And when you get done taking all the money from those of us earning a living, and there’s no one else to take from, what are you going to do then?

      • Greg

        Randy, no one’s taking money from you. If you have insurance already nothing will change for you. And the point is now you are paying for uninsured people thru taxes. If everyone’s required to get insurance you won’t have to pay for them anymore.

        • Randy

          Wrong again sir. Instead of going up twenty or thirty a pay period, my insurance went up closer to two hundred per pay period. I call two hunded a pay period something! You can’t give money to someone without taking it from someone. Who cares if they take it from taxes or through unaccountable taxes levied by the insurance company. Mr. Obama, at best, was sadly mistaken when he promised my insurance costs would not go up. Government is a bankrupt institution. The only thing it has is what it takes from us. I guarantee you sir, before you and I pass on to better places, we will rue the day Mr. Obama took our heathcare away from us!

    • Jim

      The “slippery slope argument” may be inconvenient, but it does apply. It points out the flawed logic by taking it to the extreme. If the principle doesn’t hold up under the extremes, then it isn’t logical.

  • Bob Hadley

    Bernie, You conveniently ommited from your missive that personnel in every emergency room in the country are “forced” to treat whomever shows up there, irrespective of whether they can pay for their treatment and irrespective of whether they have an emergency. And guess who pays for this burgeoning cost?

    If emergency rooms can be forced to afford such treatment and if I can be forced to shoulder the cost thereof, then why can’t people be forced to either buy health insurance or pay a fine?

    Why not campaign against the law requiring emergency room treatment to all? Why not campaign to require ambulances to only pick-up those who can demonstrate the ability to pay? If the person is unconscious then, as they say in China, “That’s the breaks.”

    • Ken Besig

      That is exactly why so many hospitals no longer operate emergency rooms.
      And any law like Obamacare that requires everyone to get everything will soon mean that most people will not get much of anything!
      The smart and the rich will however continue to get whatever they want.

    • Alan

      People that visit emergency rooms without being able to pay don’t cost us $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

      Forcing people to buy health insurance is somehow projected to cost at least that.

      • Bob Hadley

        The uncovered cost of ER visits is $50 billion a year. That’s $5 trillion every 10 years. Even Fox News has reported this.

        • Bob Hadley

          Sorry, I miscalculated. That’s $500 billion per year. But most or all of that $1.2 trillion will be paid for if virtually everyone buys health care insurance or pays a fine.

          My point is simply that under the current health care system we are forced to pay for something (others’ ER visits) whether we like it or not. There’s a material difference from being forced to buy a gun. How many people have cost money for tax payers/health care insurance consumers by not buying guns as opposed to those who do buy guns?

          • Paul Courtney

            Some thoughtful comments here. I’d like to answer his final question, “If dems’ goal is a ‘single provider of guns’ system, and they figured a law forcing all to buy guns would get ’em there, they’d be jumping on board.” I’m convinced dems want single payer, and they’re willing to eviscerate the present system to get there. Think about this-after cursing health ins. cos for years, they pass a law requiring we all become customers! Fact is they can pass all the laws they want, many will not be able to afford it and won’t buy it. Employers and individuals like me will do the math, pay the fine, and show up at the ER anyway. Subsidy will not be enough to pay for insurance, so we’ll show up with no ins. and get treated. You are quite correct, this country will not kick a sick person to the curb, even when the illness is self-inflicted. Under the dems’ law just as before, med costs will continue to rise, and gov’t subsidy will make that worse. As I see it, biggest flaw with dems is they want one system for all so rich don’t get best care and rest of us get something less. Well, Michael Jackson had his own live-in heart doctor, probably one of many. How are they gonna stop that? They can’t and shouldn’t try. I’m a conservative who’s sick of present system, and would support a “single payer” for all who choose it, and for those who can afford something better, go for it. Take away the tax incentive of “income-tax-free-health-ins” and health ins cos would disappear. People pay tax instead of premium and gov’t sets up 2d rate health care system. Gov’t would stop building hospitals, is that so bad? But leave people who want to pay their own doc free to do so, and leave docs to cater to those patients. My fellow conservatives can promote free market but you are right-americans will not kick sick, elderly, poor to the curb. If we can’t cover them more cheaply, we’re in trouble. Present system is bad, dem reforms are making it worse, and I don’t see any politician promoting a middle ground.

  • Wil Burns

    Bernie, Today in the USA there isn’t much one can do without a license, permit or pay a fee. So, why is healthcare different?

    • Berg

      Would that be a permit to breath? To live?

    • Paul Borden

      Health care is different because if I need to get a license or pay a fee, I am doing so because I want to do a particular thing. I want to drive a car, I must have a license. I want to walk to work, I don’t need a license. At least not yet.

      BTW, Bob, it’s “… treat whoever shows up there.” The object of the verb treat is not “whomever” but the entire phrase. The proper subject of that phrase is “whoever.” (The days of being a copy editor just come back to me from time to time.)

      As to your point, I believe there is a difference between emergency care and routine care or extended care of diseases and illnesses. There’s no question the emergency rooms are being misused. I have no problem with money going to treat someone who can’t pay but is in a life-threatening situation, like bleeding all over the floor. But I don’t want to pay when all they have is a cold.

      • Bob Hadley

        ERs are required to treat all comers–even if they have a cold, the flu, if the person needs a operation or an exploratory procedure, etc. What if it would be less expensive for us all, in terms or reimbursment for ER treatment, if everyone were required to either buy health insurance or pay a fine? That way ER expenses would be far less and, for the most part, covered. I’d rather be required to pay less for treatment at the front end than required to pay more for others’ treatment at the back end.

    • Alan

      If I don’t want to hunt, I don’t buy a hunting license. If I don’t want to drive, I don’t buy a driver’s license. If I don’t want to own a car, I don’t buy auto insurance.

      I haven’t figured out how to stop breathing.

    • Jim

      Wil, you can always choose not to do those things. Think about it.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Saw your segment on Monday’s Factor, my question is, if I attend certain parties can gov’t require I buy Factor gear?When I heard you ask Bill about that, thought of what kids today say, “oh, snap”

  • Guy Smalley

    Sure, I would rather be dictated to to have a gun than NYC to be told you can’t.
    Actually the sport of target shooting is a blast and to a city slicker who only see
    guns on tv they are dangerous evil weapons. As for me I like to collect C&R rifles
    to shoot a rifle that was in WWI and is perfection of form following function. As far
    as trying to convince you or others is like asking Bill Maher to go to church. I only ask
    people not to take my right away to own rifles. PS BG you live in Asheville some of your
    friends own guns

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  • stmichrick

    I think Michelle O and the FDA have set the stage for mandatory food purchasing laws.
    The EPA is on the same track with mandatory costly and foolish ‘green’ energy purchases.

    • begbie

      You have it right. If the the health care law stands, we are in trouble. The flood gates will open for the nanny state.

  • Elias

    Maybe we should start all over again, and begin by telling our children about man’s creation story differently.

    “Once upon a time, there was a beautiful place called Eden. There lived a very loving family; Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel and aaaall lived happily and in peace ever after.”

    Perhaps the end of mankind history will have a better outcome than what we are witnessing these days.

  • Bruce A.

    Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes this story.
    What’s next from the govt? A snowblower ban due to noise pollution?
    Only over my cold dead fingers.

  • Wil Burns

    How do you feel about that South Dakota bill that would make it mandatory to own a gun?>>

    Good idea and it doesn’t bother me, I have several guns. I would also, like my healthcare costs lowered!

    • begbie

      You are being disengenuous. Honestly, it really wouldn’t bother you? Is there anything that you would object to buying?

      Nevermind the rest of the law, the mandate is the constitutional problem. I don’t mind health care for all, but the problem has always been “who pays for it?”

      • Wil Burns

        Everyone pays for everything, it’s called the economy!

        • begbie

          But are you forced to pay for everything? My neighbor doesn’t charge me to do a little electrical work around the house. Should I be forced to pay for that?

          This freedom we enjoy to choose whether or not to buy a product or service is what makes us fundamentally unique. If you choose not to buy a car, then you also choose not to buy insurance for that car AND to deal with the result of that choice (walking, bus, bike, etc.).

          I think you missed my question….Is there anything that you would object to being FORCED to buy by the government? If the answer is no, then I don’t have anything else to say. I guess you got it all figured out and you’re happy.

    • chuck

      The thought of Wil Burns with a gun is too frightening to contemplate. Unless of course it shoots a cork with a string attached to the barrel so Wil doesn’t have to be looking for his cork under the sofa in his mother’s basement.

  • MikeS

    Surely the federal government would never think to pass a law requiring all Americans to eat three servings of fruits and vegetables daily! But what about a law requiring all Americans to provide their CHILDREN with three servings of fruits and vegetables daily?

    I think I’ll stop now. I was trying to be funny, but I scared myself instead….

  • Lily

    While I think it is funny that S. Dakota is making a statement, I feel they surely have better ways of spending their time for the people who put them in office than trying to pass unsustainable laws that they readily admit are illegal. But then maybe that’s just me.

    And sadly I think the pogo stick jumping would raise the cost of health care, you’ve seen the AFV video’s right? :-)

    • begbie

      “…better ways of spending their time for the people who put them in office than trying to pass unsustainable laws that they readily admit is illegal…”

      I feel the same way about our congress in regards to Obamacare. Except, the dems can’t admit it’s illegal. I applaud South Dakota for making a good point.

    • JDO

      I have a buddy that lives in South Dakota with his wife and, no, they actually don’t have better ways of spending their time, lol! I do get your point, though. 😉

      • begbie

        South Dakota sounds like a nice place to live. As an east coast dweller close to Washington DC, I think I have too much going on at one time!

  • Scott

    this is perfect. It makes so much sense it is bound to ignored and ridiculed!