After a year of the coronavirus, it’s become clear that what counts as “essential” is often in the eye of the beholder — and, more to the point, in the eye of those who control the government. Sadly, one thing many in government seem to not find “essential” is the Constitution and its basic guarantees of civil liberties.
In Arizona, Republicans have worked to counteract this by passing a bill through the state Senate — by just two votes — that would classify gun stores as “essential” during emergencies, as the Associated Press reports. The bill will now advance to the state House.
Arizona GOP pushes 2A protections
Under stringent regulations put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, many Americans have been deprived of their right to work and worship freely by apparatchiks declaring which activities are “essential” and which are not.
But while many politicians across America have acted as if the Constitution can be suspended because of the pandemic, lawmakers in Arizona are sticking to the basics.
On Wednesday, a bill barely passed the Senate, 16–14, to let gun stores operate as “essential” even amid a state of emergency, as the AP notes. Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers, who introduced the measure, said the bill recognizes the basic importance of the right to self-defense during emergencies.
As it happens, many Americans agree that guns are “essential,” if consumer data is any indication.
Gun sales spiked during the pandemic. According to reports, there were 40 million firearms sold in 2020, and January marked a monthly record, with 2 million guns sold, as America anticipated the rise of a president hostile to Second Amendment rights.
Republicans anticipate Biden gun grab
This comes as Republican leaders in states like Texas and Missouri have faced backlash from President Joe Biden and top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci for the “Neanderthal thinking” of paring back on hallowed corona law.
As it happens, Arizona is also looking at relaxing the COVID regime.
“It is something that we’re currently reviewing,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said Wednesday, according to KTAR.
Many Americans remain concerned about Biden’s gun control agenda, which aims to ban “assault weapons,” online gun sales, and more. Republicans at the state level, including in Arizona, are anticipating a push by passing laws to nullify federal policies on guns.
A better workaround might be to dispense with the contrived framework of “essential” and “non-essential” business altogether and get back to living freely. But this is a nice step in the right direction.