Many conservatives have objected to the mandate in the health care act that forces them to buy insurance if they lack it. They have argued that the government does not have the authority to make them purchase goods and services. Democrats, have, by and large, been unmoved by such arguments. It will be interesting, therefore, to see what sort of reception State Rep. Hal Wick receives for his new proposal that would require South Dakotans over the age of 21 to buy guns (for self-defense). Bob Mercer of Pure Pierre Politics has denounced the move as a waste of time. He is probably right. This would have been better as a hypothetical scenario, but it does, I think, help show what sort of precedent the healthcare mandate could set. And it should prompt a discussion over the issue. If it is reasonable for the government to require Americans to purchase insurance, is it also reasonable for the government to require Americans to purchase guns? What about birth control? What can Americans be forced to buy and what can't they? What standards should we use to determine this? I look forward to the debate.