Politicians play disingenuous games when they want to avoid having to deal with bills they dislike. Of these gimmicks, one of the most common is to simply stall for time so the bill fails to pass in its respective chamber until the crossover deadline, resulting in the bill’s death. Sometimes they pigeonhole the bill so that it never sees the light of day; other days they talk until the bill passes its deadline and dies. This case is an attempt at the latter.
Somebody once said that a politician can talk for hours and never actually say anything; however some politicians can talk for only a few seconds and say something astoundingly unintelligent. Representative Verla Insko (D) is such a politician.
During a meeting of the Judiciary Subcommittee C discussing various aspects of House Bill 650 “Amend Various Gun Laws”, an Omnibus bill designed to restore various rights to gun owners; Representative Insko brought up a rather unusual, irrelevant and, as some might see it, not so well thought out question.
Referring to a section in HB 650 which is designed to make NC law conform to Title 26, chapter 53 of the U.S. code regulating the ownership and transfer of Title II weapons Representative Insko asked what amounted to: “Under this section, are you saying I can carry around a vial of anthrax?” This section of HB 650 is implemented to target firearm regulations pursuant to the National Firearms act of 1934 regarding to Title II firearms which, of course, biological weapons such as anthrax are not.
Beyond not being able to understand the law, one would think common sense regarding federal laws that regulate biological weapons would have come to the representative’s mind before using anthrax as an example. Federal laws already exist that regulate biological weapons in Title 18, Chapter 10 of the United States Code and federal laws trump state laws meaning that even if, by some exemplary example of legislative incompetence, any section of a bill that allowed the possession of anthrax was passed, it would be invalid due to overlying federal regulation.
In reality, Representative Inkso was attempting to waste as much time as possible so that the bill would not get to a vote in this meeting and reduce its chances of passing out of the chamber before the crossover deadline on June 9. The entire meeting was a symphony of mostly single-minded questions from representatives opposed to HB 650: Joe Hackney (D), Pricey Harrison (D), Jennifer Weiss (D), and Insko, of course.
None of them were asking questions for the sake of understanding the bill, but instead were trying to burn through the allotted committee time so that the bill would hopefully die. Insko just so happened to have put the least amount of thought into her question. Ultimately this is another example of a political game where legislators waste their time with your rights.
— Paul Valone