How About A Waiting Period For Legislating?


One of the ideas for gun control being bandied about in Washington is a waiting period for gun purchases. Glenn Reynolds, writing for the New York Post, wonders if we shouldn’t first apply that idea to legislating:

I’d like to propose a “waiting period” for legislation. No bill should be voted on without hearings, debate and a final text that’s available online for at least a week. (A month would be better. How many bills really couldn’t wait a month?)

And if the bill is advertised as addressing a “tragedy” or named after a dead child, this period should double.

After all, people want waiting periods for guns. Yet, statistically, the percentage of guns involved in crimes is much lower than the percentage of politicians involved in crimes.

Makes sense to me.

Certainly this would help stem the rivers of “never let a good crisis go to waste” legislating we see. Our government was designed to work slowly for a lot of good reasons. We’re talking about laws which impact hundreds of millions of people living diverse lives in diverse geographic and social environments.

We shouldn’t be as flippant about the process which creates those laws as we are.

People have complained about the last Congress being one of the most unproductive in history. That was a feature of that congress, not a bug.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Roy_Bean

    But we have to pass them so we know what’s in them.

  • SigFan

    Considering how lethal a lot of laws are to the well being of the country it seems the least they could do. All in the name of public safety of course.

  • $8194357

    Hows that gun crime going in Chicago with all its strict gun laws?
    From the Darwin Awards coming in at # 3…..

    3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

  • 1911bullseye

    How about giving them a shelf-life of say 3-5years, then be renewed too.

    • Rob

      I’m for it.

  • WOOF

    If it weren’t for lightening quick legislation the Nanny State
    would not have been able to save Terri Schiavo.

    • Thresherman

      You mean the deceased Terri Schiavo? The Palm Sunday Compromise was in response to a life and death situation and time was of the essence. That hardly compares to 99% of legislation. But hey, why didn’t you bring up the fiasco in NY where in their rush to capitalize on a tragedy they outlawed weapons carried by police instead? Oh I know. that would have germane to the issue at hand and you would rather be dead than do something like that.

    • guest

      It’s Monday and your stupidity is in full bloom, again.

    • surfcitysocal

      Nor would the courts have allowed her husband to legally murder her over the course of 14 days.

  • Thresherman

    Laws should be the result of deliberation and debate followed by a majority vote. Democrats oppose this method because they wish to rule by decree.