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In a laudable development, some Missouri legislators are taking the time to become intimately familiar with the ins and outs of some of the gun laws they write.
About 16 Missouri lawmakers — along with several legislative staffers and at least one representative’s wife — are taking a firearms-training course sponsored by the bipartisan “Sportsmen’s Caucus” that will qualify them for concealed weapons permits.
This is a good thing on a number of levels. From the political perspective, voters like to know that those who make the laws by which the people are bound have a working understanding of just how those laws work.
At the ethical level, politicians should make an effort to experience the firsthand realities of the laws they presume to impose upon their masters, the people.
And fnally, as a practical matter, everyone should seek to become proficient in meeting the responsibility of providing their own security.
The article goes on to say that one of the bills advancing in the Missouri legislature contains a provision that would loosen the restrictions some on concealed carry in the Missouri statehouse.
On the same day of the lawmakers’ firearms class, the House gave first-round approval to a bill that would expressly allow legislators, their aides and employees to carry concealed weapons in the statehouse.
Currently, legislators themselves who have a concealed carry permit may carry a firearm in the statehouse, but not others who work there. The proposed change is, of course, not universally popular:
“I think it’s incredibly shortsighted for so many people who are not even elected by the public to bring guns into the Capitol, (especially) so many people who often are immature and feel very passionate about their positions,” said Rep. Mary Still, a Columbia Democrat who voted against the bill.
So Rep. Still, apparently, believes that the lives of elected officials are more worth defending than the lives of lesser mortals. Personally, I have my own misgivings about such legislation, but they’re a bit different from Rep. Still’s. I wonder why any citizen, including those who have no professional connection to the state government, should be deprived of the means of self-defense.
The statehouse carry provision is part of a much more expansive bill, HB 1692. We looked at that one earlier, regarding its provision to lower the age of eligibility for a concealed carry license from 23 to 21. That, actually, seems to worry some legislators more than the proposed changes regarding the statehouse.
“I know there are a lot of people that bring weapons into the statehouse. I can’t help that. It’s their right and privilege under the law,” said Rep. Tom McDonald, an Independence Democrat. “But extending that to 21-year-olds and giving kids that age the privilege to carry a gun leads to bigger problems.”
The “bigger problems,” I submit, stem from some politicians’ insistence on treating the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms as a privilege, to be granted or denied on the government’s whim.
More from Gun Rights Examiners
Atlanta: Ed Stone | Austin: Howard Nemerov | Boston: Ron Bokleman | Charlotte: Paul Valone | Cheyenne: Anthony Bouchard | Chicago: Don Gwinn | Cleveland: Daniel White | DC: Mike Stollenwerk | Denver: Dan Bidstrup | Fort Smith: Steve D. Jones | Grand Rapids: Skip Coryel | Knoxville: Liston Matthews | Los Angeles: John Longenecker | Minneapolis: John Pierce | National: Dan | Parkersburg: Nicholas Arnold | Phoenix: Douglas Little | Pittsburgh: Dan Campbell | Seattle: Dave Workman | St. Louis: Kurt Hofmann | Tucson: Chris Woodard | Wisconsin: Gene German