Spoiler alert: Animal Farm is a short but profound parable that illustrates what happens when the oppressed rise up and overthrow an oppressor, become free and equal, only to have the new ruling class gradually become no different than the former oppressor. But really, if you haven't read it yet, let me make it easy for you.
This nation was founded on the same principles, that we are free and equal people, that the government is comprised of free and equal people and their powers are constrained, limited, and delegated by constitutions. In true Animal Farm fashion, however, words are easily mis- and mal-interpreted to benefit those free and equal people who hold power over others.
When the checks and balances of power are likeminded, when government is the only check on government, and the government decides what the government can do and the people can't do, the government becomes "more equal" than the free and equal people it was supposed to be comprised of.
There's no better real world illustration of an Animal Farm government than the People's Republic of California, most notably as it pertains to gun laws. There's rarely a proposed gun control bill that doesn't have some form of government employee exemption, meaning free and equal people are restricted from one thing while the free and equal people who are employed by the government aren't.
The government has sometimes ruled and established that a government employee has a compelling interest for being more equal than the people, and are afforded more liberties than the people, which they refer to as having a "rational basis for distinguishing between [the two]". [Sometimes, though, it has gone the other way -- with even the 9th Circuit having held that "equal" really means just that.]
The Animal Farm of California then goes further to say that even retired (or former) government employees are also afforded these more equal rights, liberties, and privileges than the regular people, in some circumstances. SB 707 was such a bill.
Prior to SB 707 being signed into law, a person with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon (CCW), issued only after passaging a rigorous background check, and only then after approved by their county sheriff, were exempt from the "Gun Free School Zone Act", a law written to supposedly keep bad people from bringing guns on school grounds.
SB 707 removed this exemption, meaning even a good person with a CCW would be criminally liable for, say, having a gun for protection while walking through a dark college parking lot. But SB 707 did not apply to retired government employees, meaning even though they no longer work for the "more equal" government, they were still afforded this "more equal" status, and are allowed to carry firearms on school grounds.
This is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, and this unequal law is currently being fought by Firearms Policy Coalition.
While it is my personal opinion and the opinion of our Founders that citizens and citizens in government ought to be equal under the law, as we are supposed to be a government comprised of free and equal people, at the very least former government employees and private citizens should be constrained to the same restrictions.
And if these restrictions are too restrictive to one class of people, then these restrictions shouldn't exist at all.
We support informed debate and encourage readers to research and consider many opinions before forming their own. The opinion in the above article is that of the author and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Firearms Policy Coalition or any other entity.