Someone I respect took the position that mask mandates by governors are government overreach.
Trouble is, he’s not wrong. Technically.
The role of an executive is to make on-the-spot decisions within certain boundaries. If there’s an immediate emergency, the president can send the Marines; he’s got thirty days before Congress has to step in. If a governor needs to activate the Guard, it’s the same thing. And mask mandates are only justifiable under emergency conditions, same as a “police action”; the legislature needs to get involved if it’s going to be broadly enforced long-term. That’s their job.
The current national discussion on gun control is taking place between a large number of people, many of whom have differing levels of expertise with the use or identification of weapons. Many of those desiring greater restrictions on firearms are unfamiliar with them, which is entirely reasonable; firearms aficionados and collectors would be the most likely to educate themselves on the subject, whereas those who fear or mistrust them would be likely to avoid any contact with the weapons in question.
Unfortunately for the dialogue, this lack of expertise detracts from the credibility of those wanting change. Additionally, decades of intricate and confusing gun laws have muddied up the conversational waters even more. Since profitable discussion requires mutual respect, and since the subject is simple enough to learn, read on. (more…)