States To Avoid

While the suffocating nanny state continues to grow at the local and national levels, some places are even more socialistic than what passes for normal in 21st century America.

When it comes to these havens for people controllers and Karl Marx wannabes, the idea of “working within the system” to change things for the better is delusional. The ONLY solution for freedom lovers is to get out and stay out of all seven of these hideous People’s Republics.

How did I come up with the worst places in America? What methodology was used? Never mind government economic numbers, Chamber of Commerce puffery and other completely unreliable data. Per capita spending on government schools and the number of Taco Bells in certain areas wasn’t considered. Climate didn’t enter into the rankings, as that can be a subjective choice heavily skewed by personal preferences.

Just one factor was used to pick the socialistic seven. Before you accuse me of laziness, rest assured that this single indicator provides utterly reliable and time-tested proof of a state government’s attitude towards freedom and taxation.

What’s the common denominator? Just check the state and local gun laws. Without exception, places where emotional, “don’t confuse me with the facts” shrieks of gun grabbers are the background music of daily life also overflow with nosy bureaucrats and ever-growing taxation and regulation.

Anti-Second Amendment laws and undisguised hatred of individual liberty in other areas of life are a natural and predictable combination. If the local commissars despise your AK-47 and Glock pistol, don’t expect them to keep their greedy paws off your earnings or the right to do what you see fit on your acreage.

In alphabetical order, here are America’s worst places to live.

California: No list of anti-Second Amendment places would be complete without this cancer on the body of liberty. Under state law, every gun sale (even between two private parties) is supposed to be performed through and recorded by a licensed dealer, and a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases is required. That rule backfired on hypocritical gun grabbers who came to their senses during the L.A. riots of 1992.

Anyone who has the misfortune of moving to California must register their handguns with the Department of Justice. State-designated “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 and its spinoffs, all AK-47s, the FN (Fabrique Nationale) .308s and a number of other semi-automatic rifles must be registered with the state. Even those who own inexpensive SKS rifles with a detachable magazine are expected to tell the bureau(c)rats about their weapon.

Even though he made a fortune in shoot ’em up movies, Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is solidly in the gun grabbber camp. That passes for consistency in the Hollywood mindset.

District of Columbia/Washington, D.C.: Predictably, the epicenter of the worship of statism has the worst gun laws in America. All handgun ownership is banned, and those who own rifles or shotguns must register with the city.

Don’t plan on using your Ruger 10/22 or Remington 870 for home defense in D.C. if a burglar or crackhead is in the bedroom. All guns must be stored and disassembled or fitted with a trigger lock. Those who must work in D.C. can always live in Virginia.

Hawaii: This tropical haven for collectivists can make Montana winters look good by comparison. Those who move to Hawaii are required to register every gun they own with the state within 72 hours of arrival. Permits must be obtained for handgun (seldom issued) and long gun purchases. I’ll stick with the mainland.

Illinois: The state’s perpetually corrupt and bloated government is obsessed with tracking and restricting law-abiding gun owners.

It would be difficult to find a more outspoken opponent of the Second Amendment than Chicago mayor Richard Daley. Handguns are already banned in Chicago (tell that to the many gangbangers who use them), and all other guns are supposed to be registered at City Hall, but that isn’t enough to satisfy Daley’s lust for power.

On more than one occasion, Daley has stated his desire to see all guns banned. His taxpayer-financed hallucinations include an unsuccessful attempt to create a 100-mile “gun free” zone around Chicago. Where does Daley think he has the right to impose his Stalinist vision on other towns, not to mention residents of Wisconsin and Indiana?

Never one to refrain from butting in where he has no business or jurisdiction, the mayor also failed in a lawsuit against suburban gun shops. Daley has Mussolini’s bluster with 60 fewer IQ points than Il Duce, and he can count on a loyal toady in governor Rod Blagojevich.

Things aren’t much better outside of Chicago. All Illinois gun owners are required to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) from the state, and the card must be presented to purchase even a single round of ammo. All gun purchases are supposed to be registered with the state.

Gun phobia is firmly rooted in a number of effete suburbs. Local ordinances ban all gun ownership in Skokie, while handguns are banned in Evanston, Highland Park, Morton Grove, Oak Park, Wilmette and Winnetka. Got a job in Chicago? Commute from northwest Indiana.

Massachusetts: The locals keep re-electing Ted Kennedy. Need I say more?

Residents must register with the state and obtain permission from Massa(chusetts) to purchase even a simple single-shot long gun. So-called “assault weapons” are banned, and going through the bureaucratic paperwork and fingerprinting to obtain a firearm identification card doesn’t automatically lead to handgun shopping.

The basic FID is limited to “only a non-large capacity rifle or shotgun and feeding devices and ammunition therefor.” Cards are issued by police chiefs. Class A licenses are required for handgun ownership, and random restrictions may be placed on the government permission slip.

“A complex procedure is set out for the purchase of rifles, shotguns, handguns, their related feeding devices, large capacity firearms and large capacity feeding devices,” according to the National Rifle Association. “Care must be taken to have the correct card or license for a particular purchase. It is unlawful to sell, or transfer any firearm, firearm feeding device or ammunition to person without the proper card, license or permit.”

The solution for freedom lovers is obvious: Move to New Hampshire.

New Jersey: Here’s another place that mandates gun owner registration. Only holders of a Firearms Purchasers Identification Card (FID) may legally own a weapon. A permit to purchase “in quadruplicate” must be acquired for each handgun purchase. Handguns must be trigger-locked or disabled in some other way to prevent quick access.

New Jerseyans sometimes complain about the state’s reputation as a less than desirable place to live, but few places offer such an unappealing combination of high cost of living, excessive taxes, traffic jams and hatred of individual liberty. Pennsylvania is a nearby alternative for gun owners.

New York: Meet the granddaddy of gun/people control. The infamous Sullivan Act of 1911 was the first major anti-gun legislation in America. Sullivan was passed to keep all but well-connected New York City residents from legally owning handguns.

Big Apple residents were required to register their rifles and shotguns with the city in 1967. Not surprisingly, politicians promised to never raise the $3 per gun fee. It’s now $55 per gun to put your name on the city’s database/hit list.

All residents of the state must get a permit if they want to own a handgun. The process can take up to six months. Orwell’s Big Brother would feel right at home in Albany or Manhattan.

Dishonorable mention: Residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota are required to get permits for handguns, but rifle and shotgun laws follow the national guidelines. Wisconsin’s gun laws are average by current standards, but (as a 10-year cheesehead) I have to put the state on the list because of its confiscatory tax structure and gluttonous state and local government.

June 10, 2005