Pro-Gun Laws Can be Bad, Too

The small town of Nelson, GA straddles two counties and therefore two sheriff's departments jurisdictions. Nelson is so small that it only has one police officer, and he only patrols for 8 hours per day. So one of the town's leaders has a solution to the long response times from the sheriffs, and the lack of police during two-thirds of every day: Require all heads of household to own firearms.

Bill McNiff lives in Nelson, carries a pistol and supports the law.

"I think every city should do it. I think it should go countywide too," McNiff said.

The Nelson ordinance is modeled closely after the 1982 law passed in Kennesaw.

It requires gun ownership, but allows several outs, like if you're not physically or mentally able to handle a gun, or if you're a felon or have religious objections.

"It's a deterrent ordinance," Cronic said. "It tells the potential intruder you better think twice."

Calling it a "deterrent ordinance" indicates that the city would not actually enforce it, which would require an invasiveness worthy of a police state. But doesn't that put the local government in the position of passing a law that may breed contempt of the law and government in general?

Not that I'm against contempt of government, of course. Government officials keep proving why they deserve to be held in contempt. They should strive not to go out of their way to breed more contempt, though.

But here's my question: How is this ordinance materially different from the ObamaCare individual mandate?