September 4, 2014 10:57:49 AM
In these troubling times, it is a comfort to remember that here in Mississippi our elected officials are looking out for us.
If you are inclined to doubt this, you need only look to this weekend for evidence of that.
At one minute past midnight Friday, Mississippians will celebrate the very first Mississippi Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.
The holiday, passed through the legislature in March and enthusiastically signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant, exempts the purchase of "firearms, ammunition and other hunting supplies" from the 7 percent sales tax we must pay on items of far less importance, such as food, prescriptions, school supplies, automobiles, books, etc.
This year's legislative session was particularly pleasing to Bryant. The legislature added the phrase "In God We Trust" to the state's seal as part of a Religious Restoration bill that will make sure nobody is forced to bake a wedding cake for gay people. Apparently, there had been an epidemic of cake-ordering gay people and it just had to stop.
On top of all that, there is the crowning jewel of the session, this Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.
So the legislature took care of the "big Gs" -- God, guns and gays - in a single session. Impressive.
As productive as this year's legislative session turned out to be, our officials were not able to address every problem that confronts this state. When faced with these situations, one must have priorities and it's clear that our leaders are addressing the most pressing issues first.
Our state remains at the bottom in terms of obesity, education, health care and poverty.
We are confident our leaders will get around to those issues eventually, if they feel like it.
As for now, we may remain collectively fat, stupid, sick and poor, but at least we will be well-armed, all thanks to the Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.
This holiday is the second sales tax holiday to be enacted by the legislature. The first was a sales tax holiday for "back to school" shopping. That sales tax exemption was confined to school clothing and shoes because - let's face it - we can't get carried away and start giving sales tax breaks of stuff like pencils and construction paper - things we naturally assume teachers will pay for out of their own pockets if students can't afford them.
Fortunately, there are no such onerous constraints on the Second Amendment holiday. The sales tax break is applied indiscriminately to shotguns, rifles, ammo, Uzis, AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, surface-to-air-missiles -- anything you might commonly use on your next hunting trip. After all, why simply shoot a squirrel with a shotgun when you can use military-grade weaponry to flat-out disintegrate that sucker? That's what I'm talkin' about!
Aside from ensuring that all Mississippians will have the ability to be armed to the teeth, the Second Amendment Holiday also sends a strong signal to the rest of the nation that Mississippi is committed to the Second Amendment. We assume that other states were beginning to wonder about this.
Well, they have their answer now, don't they?
Yes, at one minute after midnight Friday, the Mississippi Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday begins.
Let the shootin' commence. Yee-haw!
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.