Editorial: Doesn’t Strange have enough to do? Attorney general should have saved the state’s time and its money
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Sep 10, 2013 | 2037 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Every once and a while, someone complains about the way the office of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange spends money to hire outside attorneys to handle cases. The reason often given is that the cases are so specialized that the office needs outside help — or that there is so much work to do that additional attorneys must be brought in.

So, it would seem odd to the public that the attorney general would spend time and money on a case in which there is really little reason to get involved.

But Strange has done it anyway because it is always good politics in Alabama to take a stand against gun control — good politics even if it is bad law.

What the attorney general has done is join 21 other attorneys general in support of a National Rifle Association challenge of a federal law that restricts the sale of handguns to adults aged 18 to 21.

Calling this law an infringement of a right that is “fundamental and sacred,” Strange dismissed the notion (and the studies that support it) that these young people are “emotionally immature.” Instead, he asserted that if 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds can “honorably defend our country when it is at war,” they should “be able to defend themselves and their families when they are at home.”

Ignoring the fact that those 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who defend us as soldiers are specially trained in the use of the weapons they carry, Strange makes the same argument that was used to lower the drinking age to 18, and you know where that led.

If we carry that argument further, as some do, since 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to drive cars, which kill many more people than hand guns, why not lower the age for owning handguns to 16? Following that logic, one waits for the NRA to argue that if Trayvon Martin had been armed, as it was his right to be, he would be alive today.

Congress was not “withdrawing a liberty” when it prohibited the sale of guns to 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds. It was drawing a distinction, which evidence shows is a meaningful one, and protecting the public, which Congress is constitutionally charged to do.

Attorney General Strange should have saved time and money and stayed out of this.
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