“We’re just here to have a look around…Uh, you don’t lawfully own a gun or anything, do you?”
Sound crazy? You obviously don’t live in Massachusetts.
Swampscott, MA Selectman Barry Greenfield introduced an enforcement discussion Wednesday that he hopes will lead to the safeguarding of guns in town — keeping them out of the hands of children.
In school shootings around the country, guns have been taken from parents and used by kids, he said.
The selectman said state law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable.
The problem, he said, is that police do not have the authority, granted by a local ordinance, to enforce the law and inspect the safeguarding of guns at the homes of the 600 registered gun owners in town.
The selectman said he has spoken with Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan about this.
“We need the ability to enforce the state law,” the selectman said.
If this incredibly bad goose-stepping attack on gun ownership sounds familiar, it should. The state of Washington considered it earlier this year. Then some lawyer read this thing called the Constitution and it went away.
But we’ve never been big on that whole “Bill of Rights” thing here in Kennedy Country. And so the town of Swampscott is going to decide whether or not to send the local cops door-to-door to visit lawful gun owners and, you know, just have a look around.
What could possibly go wrong?
Am I exaggerating? A year ago if I’d warned about cops being sent to gun owners homes to “inspect” them, you’d have said that was exaggeration. Five years ago if I’d said Massachusetts towns would make it illegal to smoke outside you would have said the same.
By the way, nobody should be surprised that this attempt to intimidate gun owners is happening in Swampscott. It’s a town notorious for treating citizens like servants to be ordered around.
I’d just remind Selectman Greenfield that these things don’t always work out well for anti-gun extremists, even in Massachusetts. Just ask former Westford selectman Robert Jeffries.