As if it's not foolish enough to make violent crime more illegal if the weapon used is a so-called "assault weapon," Florida lawmakers want to punish gun dealers for failing to read minds.
People who use assault weapons to commit crimes and even gun dealers who sell the rifles to lawbreakers would face tougher penalties under new legislation, proposed in response to a spate of violence with the high-powered firearms.Oh look--another "spate."
But where does the requirement for gun dealers to have mystical powers to read minds come in? Right here:
If a person buys or sells a semiautomatic or automatic weapon using false identification or identity theft, both the buyer and seller would face a mandatory second-degree felony with up to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.Fifteen years in prison, for the "crime" of not knowing the buyer is who his identification says he is.
The bills, HB 425 and its Senate counterpart, SB 782, are the legislative masterworks of Representative Evan Jenne and Senator Gwen Margolis. Gwen says it makes sense to go after gun dealers who fail to thwart sales to people using false identities.
Margolis said she didn't think the law was putting too heavy a burden on gun sellers, who might actually be the victims of deception.Well, as long as you don't think they're duped, Gwen. One question, though--if gun sellers are expected to enforce the law, why have paid law enforcement agencies and officers? And can we count on you, Gwen, to back us up when we're told that rather than having the means to defend ourselves, we should leave it to the professionals?
''I don't think that they're really duped,'' Margolis said. ''What's happening is the gun sellers are not necessarily enforcing the laws that we have in this state, and we've never made them responsible for the enforcement.''
According to another article, the bills already have "Only One" support:
The legislation, Senate Bill 782 and House Bill 425, has already drawn support from those on law enforcement's front line.Yep, because the seller of the "AK-47" (I believe it was actually a MAK-90--which, by the way, was not designated an "assault weapon" by the now-defunct AWB--but I don't want to be picky) would magically have had the ability to spot false identification, if only the law had required him to.
"Assault weapons are the weapons of choice for criminals today," said Robert Parker, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department. The measure has also received the support of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association.
"If this law were in place, we might have been able to stop the killer before a good officer lost his life," Margolis said of Jose Somohano, a four-year police veteran gunned down last year by an AK-47 that his assailant had purchased using false identification.
While we're at it, maybe we should make it a felony for doctors to fail to cure their patients of (say) cancer--it's amazing what can be done by decree.