EDITORIAL: Senate bills reek of state power grabs

There was a time when Republicans championed a society with fewer government-imposed restrictions. With all due respect to Alexander Hamilton, they preferred a bottom-up structure, giving more weight to local leadership than blanket mandates from Washington, D.C. But these days, when it comes to controlling the public, Republicans at the state level seem more in tune with their Democratic counterparts against whom they so vociferously complained about government overreach. Dog-whistle politics have taken center stage, and red-herring legislation is tossed out and signed into law, based on the insistence that square pegs can be forced through round holes and that outright lies can be twisted into the truth. What Oklahoma mayor in his or her right mind would try to force rigid gun control upon a hapless citizenry? There’s no evidence of it, unless allowing private business owners to ban guns from their premises can be warped into an assault on the Second Amendment. Perhaps a mayor somewhere suggested protesters bristling with weapons, bearing "Open [insert city] now!" signs and screaming threats might not be such a good idea, especially after the spate of shootings over pandemic protocols. But most Oklahomans are Second Amendment advocates, and their elected officials are the same – even if they favor some restrictions. Yet a group of legislators saw fit, via Senate Bill 1081, to create an "anti-red flag law" to protect innocent civilians from that cadre of evil mayors who want to take their guns. While Americans may disagree on what level […]

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