Earlier this year, the Missouri legislature passed a Second Amendment Preservation Act that would nullify unconstitutional federal actions violating the right to keep and bear arms. Gov. Nixon vetoed it. The legislature will have a chance to override in September.

On Saturday, the New York Times came out with an editorial using the Missouri bill as a springboard to ridicule those who think the federal government should not willy-nilly violate the Second Amendment.

As a measure of the gun culture’s dangerous sway over statehouse politicians, it is hard to top the pending proposal in Missouri that would pronounce all federal gun safety laws null and void in the state and allow the arrest of federal agents who try to enforce them.

In typical arrogant fashion, the Times editorial board proceeds as if no rational argument for the Missouri nullification bill exists so they can get right to painting supporters as ignorant, redneck, extremist, nutjobs. The board uses words like “bizarre” and “laughable” to describe efforts to stop the federal government from ignoring the constitutional limitations on its power. I suppose that makes James Madison “bizarre” and “laughable” for penning Federalist 46.

The Times editorial board writes with smug condescension, assuming everybody will obediently nod and agree when they assert the Missouri bill has no legitimacy. Progressive journalists like the folks over at the Times like to portray themselves as brave defenders of the ‘little guy,’ speaking truth to power. But when anybody dares step off the 3×5 index card of acceptable opinion and question the status quo of statist federal supremacy, they howl like the establishment goons they are.

But the bill’s proponents care little for legal niceties, or for the near-certainty of an adverse court ruling against their hoary states’-rights gambit. Dusting off the polemics of nullification, the supposed “law and order” politicians in Jefferson City would rather support an unconstitutional measure than set a law-abiding example of government responsibility.

I’m waiting for the Times editorial board to write a similar sentence about supporters of Washington and Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. I’m also waiting for them to call moves to legalize marijuana for medical use despite federal prohibition supported by a Supreme Court opinion “bizarre” and “laughable.” While they’re at it, they should call for the arrest of cancer patients using medicinal cannabis to get a little pain relief. Their actions break federal law, after all.

Until I see the Times editorial board attack nullification of the unconstitutional prohibition on weed with the same venom they direct at efforts to nullify unconstitutional federal gun laws, I will just continue assuming they are nothing more than ideological hacks lacking any true constitutional principles.


Mike Maharrey

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