Diverting attention from issue

Supporters of gun rights around the country routinely and rightly express concern when government attempts to interfere, in their opinion, with their right to keep and bear arms. But we hope those same folks are just as concerned when lawmakers at any level propose laws that are equally intrusive.

Case in point: The city of Nelson,?Ga., this week passed an ordinance requiring every head of household to own a gun and ammunition. Obviously such an ordinance creates all sorts of issues and raises several questions. But councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the ordinance, said he knows the law won’t be enforced, and that he really was just trying to make a point.

The ordinance exempts anyone who objects, as well as convicted felons and those residents with certain mental and physical disabilities. There’s also no penalties for not following the law.

By creating such obvious publicity stunts, lawmakers, even at the city council level, are making a mockery of the serious gun ownership debate. Will the ordinance have any effect on the residents of Nelson? Probably not. If you choose not to own a gun, a toothless ordinance is not going to change your mind, especially when there are no consequences to disobeying the ordinance. And what does it say about a city, even one as small as Nelson, Ga., with a population of 1,300, where city council members pass a law everyone knows won’t be enforced? How do you tell the city’s police force to ignore that law, but enforce others?

All such stunts do is create confusion and divert attention from the real debate about gun ownership and gun rights sweeping the country.