Given the potentially sweeping Congressional power to impose mandates, I asked readers to come up with some suggestions as to mandates they would like to see imposed.
After all, the day will come when Republicans control both the Congress and the White House, so we need to be ready at 3 a.m. on Day One.
Here is the winning suggestion, from reader Malclave:
Mandate that all US citizens must annually purchase one handgun, rifle, or shotgun.Under the legal reasoning of the supporters of the health care mandate, I believe the Guns & Tobacco Mandate would pass constitutional muster.
While we're at it, everyone should be required to purchase 2 packs of cigarettes a week. Smoking them, of course, will be illegal.
The right to keep and bear arms specifically is protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Since firearms are manufactured using metals and other materials shipped in interstate commerce, and are shipped across state lines, the federal government has a legitimate interest in regulating such activities, consistent with the Second Amendment. The mandated purchase of firearms would help maintain a well-functioning national weapons manufacturing and sales market, and thereby would further a legitimate governmental purpose.
As to tobacco, the fertilizer used to grow the tobacco is shipped in interstate commerce, as are the leaves for processing and manufactured end product. The ban on smoking the product once purchased also would be constitutional, since smoking contributes to health care costs which are assumed or subsidized by the federal government. Since heavy taxes are levied on tobacco, including taxes used to fund health care services, the government has a legitimate purpose in maintaining a steady flow of purchases and making sure the cancer sticks were not smoked.
Although not stated in Malclave's proposal, I believe it is implicit that in the event a citizen or alien lawfully present in the United States failed to make such purchases, there would be a tax imposed based upon how evil the person was, as expressed numerically by his or her adjusted gross income.
Hence, the Guns & Tobacco Mandate really is just a tax, so it's all good.
I would add one procedural nuance to the Guns & Tobacco Mandate:
We will pass it through budget reconciliation if Democrats try to filibuster.Of course, the Guns & Tobacco Mandate would not actually improve the lives of the American people any more so than will the health care mandate. But that is not the measure of constitutionality.
As the health care mandate demonstrates, stupid stuff devised by arrogant elitist control freaks who think they know better than the rest of us how we should live our lives, can be constitutional.
The Guns & Tobacco Mandate is the mandate we have been waiting for. The look on liberals' faces will be priceless.
And it definitely would be a big f-ing deal.
We Need "Blue Light" Mandates
Freedom So Willingly Relinquished
Taxing Your Mere Existence
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