Democracy Tree: State Rep. Gamrat and the Old Wild West

by Amy Kerr Hardin

The diaboliCindy Gamrat2c duo of Representatives Todd CoursDSCN0444-150x1501er and Cindy Gamrat just can’t seem to give it a break. Over the past few weeks, the freshmen lawmakers, both unabashed members of the Tea Party, have introduced legislation to return the women of the State of Michigan to a quaint bygone era when reproductive rights nary existed.

This contrarian Tea Party team base their old-timey policies on the non-scientific leap of credulity that the fusion of gametes is the ethical equivalent of a full-fledged human being.

Alas, as with many proponents of far-right ideology, the sanctity of life apparently ends at birth… enter the gun lobby.

Today, these throwback-Thursday lawmakers shared more of their antiquated customs with fellow legislators through the introduction of two bills designed to do away with the state database of the purchase of pistols. The first intends to limit the recording of a transaction to just the buyer and the seller, and the second would lift the penalty for making a false statement on a pistol sales record.

Yes, Michigan will become the Wild West, where the men packed pistols and the ladies knew their place — no show of ankles, please.

House Bill 4339, of which Courser and Gamrat (R-Plainwell) were the sole sponsors, will amend Public Act 372 of 1927, to eliminate the statewide pistol entry database maintained by the Michigan State Police Department. This bill is tie-barred to another piece of legislation (HB 4340) that amends Public Act 175 of 1927, concerning the code of criminal procedure on felony firearms — rendering moot the penalty for the act of lying on a pistol sales record, because… one will no longer exist.

The lawmakers are joined at the political hip through their “Contract for Liberty,” which among other things, makes the following assertion — of which we have no quarrel:

“It is not the 2nd Amendment that keeps us free, but rather it is the people’s understanding of the importance of the 2nd Amendment and their willingness to defend it.”

Understood — people want their guns. But, the Courser/Gamrat legislation attacks the idea of the registration of certain firearms, claiming it is not in the spirit of the Second Amendment. But, by that line of reasoning, all forms of personal identification should likewise be an affront to their delicate constitutional sensibilities, yet Tea Party adherents seem to be particularly fond of picture identification at the polling booth, as is required in Michigan.

PHOTOS: State Rep. Cindy Gamrat (left) and Amy Kerr Hardin

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