Responding to three mass shootings and an escalation of gun violence, President Biden called for measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. But in her April 13 Press and Dakotan column, Gov. Kristi Noem denounced the president’s efforts as “an infringement” on Constitutional rights.
The governor wasted much of the 2021 legislative session with efforts to infringe on the rights of women to make health care decisions with their doctors, of officials responsible for carrying out policies regarding sports eligibility, and of South Dakotans who voted to legitimize medical marijuana. But she must burnish her credentials with the gun lobby and other right-wing extremists by attacking those who wish to reduce the carnage.
To Noem, it’s simple. The right to own guns “shall not be infringed.” The language “could not be any plainer.” That is, unless you are honest enough to read the Amendment in context, including the preceding phrase regarding a “well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” But honesty is not the governor’s strongest suit.
Noem’s “favorite way to decompress” is to kill “big game.” And, of course, youngsters should learn that our native mammals are actually just “nest predators” that must be eliminated in the interest of the imported pheasant. After all, the Noem family has made big bucks in the pheasant shooting business.
Noem is proud that the first bill she signed as governor was what she calls “constitutional carry.” Now anybody can buy a gun in South Dakota, no permit required. Is the governor also proud that South Dakota ranks high in gun deaths by suicide, and that South Dakota’s murder rate more than doubled last year?
The governor has a distorted view of the Constitution, and apparently little respect for the sanctity of life.