Imagine for a moment that you are a basketball player. The opposing team has the ball and you’re playing defense. What would happen if you turned around to find that the court had doubled in size and the other team suddenly had 10 players? With more court to cover and more players to defend, you would be playing a losing game.
That’s what happens to the federal government when states refuse to comply with their crummy unconstitutional “laws.”
Even so, there is sometimes disagreement among supporters of nullification as to whether or not nullification bills need to have specific penalties prescribed for anyone who violates the nullifying legislation. For many, putting this kind of language into legislation is a sign that the bill has “teeth” and that the state is not willing to have its sovereignty trampled on. In some states, the lack of penalties has been contentious to the point that even nullification advocates won’t support nullification or non-compliance bills.
This is an issue that Ohioans must address regarding Ohio Senate Bill 36, which would nullify federal firearms legislation and make it a first degree felony to attempt enforcement of any such federal laws. Scott Landreth, Coordinator of the Ohio Tenth Amendment Center, reported today that SB 36 would die in committee “if the 1st degree felony charge for violators is not reduced or removed.”
The inevitable question was then posed: “Is passing SB 36 a step in the right direction, even if there are no penalties for those who violate the new law?”
The ultimate question is simple: is it better to formally declare non-compliance with unconstitutional legislation without a prescribed penalty, or is it better to do nothing while we await more forceful language from the state capital?
We all know how little courage most politicians in Columbus have (Senator Kris Jordan, the sponsor of SB 36, being one of the few exceptions). The average Ohio politician is not typically going to do anything that will cost him politically, and there are too many Ohio politicians trying to get into Washington D.C., not to mention too few trying to hold it in check. If the squeamish suits in Columbus won’t be so bold as to make it a crime to violate state law, they can (and likely will) at least declare that the state will not comply in the enforcement of future federal gun legislation.
Which brings us back to the basketball game. Every time a state refuses to help the federal government enforce their laws, the feds’ court gets bigger. They simply do not have the players needed to defend the whole playing field. If you need evidence of this you need only to look to the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Contact Senator Kris Jordan and tell him you support any legislation that declares Ohio’s non-compliance with federal gun legislation, regardless of the presence or severity of penalties. Then contact your state senator and ask them to support Senator Jordan’s efforts. The path to freedom begins with non-compliance.