Well, what do you know! At least one of this year’s questionable bills seems to have died a well-deserved death in the Oregon House. It’s Senate Bill 913, which would hurt some people in Oregon without doing anything substantive for the African elephants it is intended to save.
Wednesday’s hearing on the ivory bill before the Oregon House Judiciary Committee generated so much testimony that the panel postponed action and scheduled another work session for May 27. Among all the submissions, the most compelling I saw came from Albany resident Kenn Holmes.
The Oregon ivory bill, you will not be surprised to learn, is alive and well and on its way to becoming law. It’s an example of the majority party’s tendency to create new crimes out of transactions that until now are legal under Oregon law because they do Oregon no harm.
So why do some Oregon legislators want to ban the selling of mammoth ivory even though all the mammoths are long dead? Because they believe that it’s too hard to tell the difference between ivory from extinct mammoths and ivory from elephants facing extincton now.
There’s not much the Oregon legislature can do to save the mammoths, which died out 10,000 years ago, but it is apparently going to try. You’d think that not even members of the Senate Judiciary Committee can protect a species that’s already extinct. But then why ban the sale of items made from mammoth teeth […]