Does the Second Amendment cover fake guns?

Dodie Horton is a huge Trump fan who felt his election restored America. She’s a pistol-packing gun rights enthusiast, and Louisiana state legislator. Horton was featured on NPR’s program, This American Life.

She’d been approached by some local law enforcement about what they considered a serious problem: fake guns, brought by kids to school, that look like the real thing. So Horton duly introduced legislation criminalizing that. Kids as young as kindergartners could face up to six months in jail for bringing fake guns to school.

There had been the famous case of the seven-year old suspended for chewing a pop-tart into a gun shape. School shootings have made us crazy. What could be crazier than banning pop-tart “guns” — but not military style assault weapons? Well, at least the pop-tart kid wasn’t jailed.

It didn’t seem to Horton that her bill was a crazy overreaction to the fake gun problem (if it is a problem). But she was devastated when her GOP and gun rights pals fiercely turned on her. She pleaded with them: This isn’t gun control! It’s fake gun control! Fake guns aren’t guns!

Nor was she struck by the incongruity of what she was saying. Fake guns? Lock ’em up! Real guns? No problem!

But the gun rights crowd did oppose her bill. Not because it would be loony to jail kids for fake guns — but because of the sacred Second Amendment. They were unmoved by the argument that it refers to “arms” and fake guns aren’t arms.

This American Life interviewed an NRA guy, asking him to explain how Horton’s bill could possibly transgress the “right to keep and bear arms.” After hemming and hawing, he finally said it’s not an actual violation of the Second Amendment, but the “appearance” of one.

In other words, they are so absolutist about gun rights that not even fake guns can be banned from schools — let alone real ones. Maybe I was wrong when I said the Second Amendment obviously doesn’t allow howitzers — or nuclear weapons.

This American Life. You gotta love it.

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3 Responses to “Does the Second Amendment cover fake guns?”

  1. Wolfgang Kurth Says:

    ….or not!

  2. Robert Says:

    It reveals some of the overriding absurdity of Americans!

  3. Lee Says:

    School districts and individual schools have all sorts of rules, and reasonable rules about fake guns at school would fit in there. I see no reason to put this into statute.

    I do think it is very important that fake guns look fake; to save lives. This is often accomplished by adding a bright red part covering (or very near to) where the bullet would come out. I don’t know whether this is already law in some places, but I would put it up there with other product safety laws; a reasonable thing to put into law if that is what the people want. Whether or not it would have saved 12-year-old Tamir Rice from being murdered by a bad-apple police officer, it could save my children.

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