Friday, September 4, 2009

bim: Irrational assumptions - gun control and term limits

Bill at Billll's Idle Mind raises the issue of term limits. Bill laments the wasted opportunity, that the tea party movement might have made short work of getting term limits instituted.

Gun Control assumption

I watched The American President again last night. Same old Michael Douglas, Annette Bening story. Same rich tapestry of majesty of the Presidency, the White House, and the offices of the Government, reverently presented by Rob Reiner.

Michael J. Fox, White House Chief of Staff, comments after being told that handgun restriction measures were being left out of a proposed anti-crime bill. "Can we return to the subject for just one moment? It would be easier to fight crime if we weren't arming the drug dealers."

This far into the Obama administration, after their clandestine as well as public moves to thwart, limit, and abolish ownership of all guns, not just handguns - well, this assumption of the movie and Mr. Reiner caught me pretty clearly.

Those proposing eliminating or limiting handguns assume that 1) the benefit of removing handguns from criminals is worth the inconvenience of taking guns from law abiding citizens; and 2) implementing laws limiting or eliminating handguns will remove handguns from criminals.

Term limit assumptions

I have come across proposals for term limits many time.

I think the assumptions proponents make about term limits is similar to the anti-gun assumptions. 1) The benefit of removing powerful legislators that no longer serve their constituents is worth the loss of good men that might have served longer; and 2) implementing term limits will remove the very powerful and unresponsive legislators.

I don't see the connection.

If a legislator were not representing the interests of the people of the district that elects them - surely we can count on an opponent to woo enough votes next election to unseat the incumbent. And nothing I have seen establishes to my satisfaction the supposition that the cost of losing a good legislator too soon, due to term limits, is in any way worth tossing out other people that hit the term limit.

And I don't see that term limits will necessarily end the influence of powerful people.

Sorry, Bill. I just don't see that your assumptions are valid.

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