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, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from 1-2pm weekdays.

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