Thursday, May 7, 2009

Montana draws a line in the sand

The state of Montana is challenging the federal government under the 10th Amendment. This week, Montana's governor (a Democrat, by the way) signed into law the "Montana Firearms Freedom Act," which essentially declares that federal regulations will no longer apply to firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition that is (a) manufactured in Montana, (b) sold in Montana, and (c) remains in Montana. The rationale is that since the weapons do not cross state lines, there is no interstate commerce, and therefore the federal government has no authority to regulate them.

Here's a good summary, along with the complete text of the new law (from

This is exciting. I'm glad to see the states beginning to remember that this nation is not a kingdom divided into 50 regions; it is a union of 50 sovereign states who agreed to join together under a set of conditions that have been steadily eroded for the last 150 years.

It's rumored that Utah may follow Montana's example. I hope other states will do so as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Albertville mayor wants signs to include translations

The mayor of Albertville, Ala. wants the city's sign laws to require all signs in Spanish to include English translations.

As much as it irritates me to see signs in Spanish everywhere, I have to disagree with the mayor. Government--even local government--should stay out of the business owners' way. He claims it's a public safety issue:

Because police officers and firefighters cannot read Spanish, he said, it could take them longer than necessary to answer a 911 call at a Hispanic business if its sign is only in Spanish.

Well, if that happens, maybe next time the owner will have a translated sign, or perhaps one that's entirely in English. It's a similar principle to consumers voting with their wallets. For example, I refuse to patronize businesses that advertise primarily in a language other than my own.