The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.
“Twitter Founder: ‘I Still Have Nightmares About the Rent and Wake Up in a Sweat. Then I Remember I Could Buy the Whole Block’ “–headline, Daily Telegraph (London), May 10
Bad News for Arizona
“Nevada Unable to Hold Lead and Falls to New Mexico”–headline, KOLO-TV website (Reno), May 11
“Arsonist Sought in Stockton Springs”–headline, Bangor (Maine) Daily News, May 9
News of the Tautological
“Arson Suspected After Nine Vehicles, House Torched”–headline, Toronto Star, May 9
News of the Oxymoronic
“This unique kind of cloud is actually relatively frequent, officials say.”–CBSLocal.com (Sacramento, Calif.), May 10
Breaking News From 1780
“Clark Man Chosen to Represent Daniel Boone”–headline, Associated Press, May 10
A bill under consideration in New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled Senate would restrict welfare recipients’ use of EBT (electronic benefits transfer) cards, Fox News reports. Here’s the language: “Any person who receives public assistance is prohibited from using an EBT card or cash obtained with an EBT card to gamble or to purchase tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, firearms, or adult entertainment.” (Fox says the bill has an additional provision against tattoos and “body piercing.”)
Generally it’s conservatives who like the idea of restricting welfare recipients’ purchases, but the inclusion of “firearms” on the list makes for an interesting liberal dilemma. Fox reports how one Democrat solved it:
The position Timothy Horrigan, (D-Durham), took this week on the Statehouse floor in Concord, stating that barring purchases of firearms with Electronic Benefits Transfer cards, violates the Second Amendment, put him at odds with some gun control groups and in the same camp as some pro-gun groups that often disagree with him.
“It’s not up to me to make that choice for people,” Horrigan told FoxNews.com. “I’m not saying that they should be allowed to use their benefits to buy up an arsenal, but they have a right to purchase guns for hunting or self-defense. If you or I have those rights, then they should as well. It’s not my place to tell them what to do.”
We’re not sure it violates the Second Amendment any more than the restriction on “adult entertainment” violates the First. But we have some sympathy for Horrigan’s position. If the government is giving out a cash benefit, why shouldn’t the recipient be free to use it to make any lawful purchase? We don’t think we’ve ever heard of a proposal to apply similar restrictions to middle-class cash entitlements like Social Security.
Still, conservative lawmakers around the country could have fun with this idea. Why not introduce bills affirming welfare recipients’ right to purchase firearms and ammunition and see how liberal lawmakers resolve that dilemma?
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”