Somethings in law and politics are odd, but relatively meaningless or even absurd – vainglorious but useless gestures at best. Other things – small things harboring dark import – are very, very disturbing. The current bit of news that has raised my hackles is word from Mississippi’s Lt. Governor, Phil Bryant that the Mississippi state senate quietly passed Senate Bill 2036 (SB2036) that restricts the power of a peace officer to confiscate firearms and ammunitions in an emergency or during a time of martial law.
There’s nothing within the text of SB2036 that bothers me at all. It’s a fine piece of legislation that is designed to place limits on the discretionary powers of law enforcement that might conflict with Mississippians’ rights under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. What sets off visceral warnings in the back of my mind is the fact that the State government of Mississippi felt the need to draft legislation to explicitly grant these protections during a time of martial law.
Coming, as this did, so soon after seven (7) States – Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington) have introduce Sovereignty Bills into their respective state legislatures, SB2036 takes on a more dire tone.
Add to it that Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania are working on similar sovereignty bills, and Mississippi’s perceiving the need to protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms under martial law starts to paint a disturbing picture of what the various state governments might be expecting over the next few years.
When state governments start enacting legislation to protect themselves and their citizenry from the actions of the federal government, it’s a sure sign that hard and bitter times are nearing. I’m not talking about civil war – though that’s not a completely fantastical possibility – but I am talking about possibly viscious conflicts over just how far the US federal governent is allowed to go against the will of the states and the people.