Snowstorms and the Second Amendment

1199811279When a snowstorm or other weather system descends upon our fair state, our first instinct is to stock up on bread and milk (. . . and booze) in case we get stuck in our house. Then we watch TV until the cable goes out, at which point we pop in some DVDs and wait until emergency personnel give us the all-clear to go about our business.

But for some Massachusetts residents, an impending storm is a second amendment issue.

A cadre of gun owners wants their right to keep their firearms during a state of emergency protected under state law.

“In New England, we’re just as likely to become a victim of storms like Katrina. Here winter storms are the worst,” said James Wallace, [Gun Owner’s Action League] executive director and owner of more than a dozen guns.

“It’s not that there are criminals out there trying to rob you, but people of that ilk coming to take the food and water away that you’ve set aside, and if the police can’t get to you, what’s their nerve taking away the only thing that could protect you,” he said.

Now we’ve been through some pretty hellish snowstorms, and we’ve never seen a whole neighborhood decimated like after Katrina. During such a chaotic time, wouldn’t the neighborly thing be to share your bounty of water and food with those who ask nicely instead of straining public safety even further by maiming your fellow citizens?

Far be it from us to argue with a guy who has a dozen guns, but it seems a little extreme, especially the part where officials who seize weapons will be fined $500 to $5,000 per firearm, or a prison sentence of up to 10 years. During an emergency, everyone would be on edge, even the responsible gun owners. We’d prefer it if we could wander the streets of Cambridge or Boston after the Armageddon without worrying that somebody who thinks we’re going to steal a gallon of his water is going to shoot us. But that’s just us.