NEW YORK GUN LAW IS IMPOSED ON IRAQ | 2003-06-21
There is now a one-year mandatory prison sentence for Iraqis with banned weapons.
Now where did they get that law?
In New York there is a one-year mandatory prison sentence for anyone who has a gun. Washington, DC copied that law. It is standard liberal policy.
By the way, another standard liberal policy is opposition to all mandatory sentencing except for gun control.
There are huge differences in the Iraq law and the New York law. But anything that smells of the New York law should be attacked and debated. Is there a single person who believes that such a law will keep one single terrorist from getting a gun?
Of course not. Gun laws only apply to honest people.
Fourteen rifles have been handed in so far in Baghdad. Anyone whose house is searched and a banned gun found will go to prison regardless of circumstances if the law is enforced. So the US authorities will either enforce it, which will be a disaster, or not enforce it, which will be a disaster.
The American Federal system has given us fifty different experiments in controlling weapons. General mandatory sentencing for possession has been a failure here. It's probably a bad start in Iraq, too.
Conservatives could generate a new debate on the failure of gun control by brining this issue up. Gun control lost the last election for Gore.
But conservative spokesmen remain respectable by staying away from issues that could really hurt the left.