Skip to comments.Gun-rights advocates push legislators to pass concealed-carry law (Missouri)
Posted on 04/18/2002 9:00:37 AM PDT by john in missouri
Gun-rights advocates push legislators to pass concealed-carry law
The Kansas City Star
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri gun-rights advocates brought a mixture of religion, anti-communist rhetoric and calls for personal freedom to the Capitol on Wednesday in their annual push for a law legalizing concealed guns.
More than 200 supporters who gathered in the rotunda cheered as speakers warned lawmakers that they would pay at the ballot box if they opposed bills in the House and the Senate.
"If legislators want to stay in office, they have to start listening to us and give us the respect we deserve," said Randy Farr, a Kansas City postal worker who is president of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance.
A major target of speakers' wrath was Gov. Bob Holden, who has promised to veto any bill that expands the authority to carry guns.
Kevin Jamison, a Gladstone lawyer who is vice president of the gun-rights group Missourians for Personal Safety, said an estimated 30 Missourians were killed each year because the state's prohibition on concealed weapons prevented them from defending themselves.
"No doubt the governor says, `That's 30 people who wouldn't have voted for us anyway,' " Jamison said.
He told the crowd not to be discouraged by opponents who referred to gun advocates as Neanderthals. Jamison urged them to take pride in the slur "gun nut" by dropping off walnuts dyed orange at the governor's office.
The orange, he said, signifies the safety measures that gun nuts practice, modeled after the orange vests that hunters wear. Really big gun nuts, he said, could drop off orange coconuts. While dropping off the nuts, advocates should tell the governor's staff that they will never give up, he said.
"Tell the governor that the gun nuts are back," Jamison said. "Tell him we will keep coming back. Tell him our sons will come back. Tell him our granddaughters will come back. Tell him when we die, we will come back and haunt him."
By early afternoon, about 10 coconuts and several dozen walnuts had been dropped off in the governor's reception area. Holden spokesman Jerry Nachtigal said the governor was undeterred.
"The governor believes the voters have spoken on this issue," Nachtigal said. "He fully supports the rights of individuals to own guns and to hunt. But we do not need to expand the concealed-carry laws."
Nachtigal was referring to the 1999 ballot proposal that would have authorized concealed weapons in Missouri. The proposal failed 52 percent to 48 percent, even though gun-rights groups outspent their opposition nearly 5-1.
Another speaker said Holden ought to "quit hiding behind the skirts of suburban misinformed mommies" -- a reference to the overwhelming rejection of the ballot proposition in St. Louis County. Others called the ban on concealed weapons racist and socialist.
Another decried the thousands of "Marxist and humanist professors" at U.S. universities who threaten Second Amendment rights to possess guns. At one point the crowd was led in a prayer that sought divine intervention in their efforts to persuade lawmakers to lift the ban on concealed guns.
Most speakers stuck to less-global issues. Greg Jeffery, legislative chairman of the Second Amendment Coalition of Missouri, told the rally that 17 states had approved the carrying of concealed weapons in the 11 years that Missouri had considered the idea.
"This (proposal) allows us to ask the government for permission to carry a concealed gun so we can exercise our right to protect ourselves when we leave home," Jeffery said. "It's as simple as that .... It works in 33 other states. It will work here. No more excuses. Pass this bill."
Wilma Darlington, a district coordinator with Concerned Women for America, said a concealed handgun she carried might have saved her life when she was traveling at night through a rough section of Kansas City, Kan.
Darlington, who lives in Belton, said two men in a car had tried to force her off the road. She flashed a gun she had in her briefcase, and the two men sped away.
"I was illegal," she said. "But I was alive. My husband has a saying: `It's better to deal with the prevention of crime than the consequences.' "
I would like to thank you for your time today, and for your service in listening to a constituent who represents a great many citizens of this State.
The time that I spent in your office, though only a tiny fraction of the estimated 200 hours I've spent doing honest research on the concealed-carry issue, was nonetheless substantial. I commend you for your sincere listening!
Some of those I've spoken with concerning the Governor and his position on this and other issues have told me that they feel Gov. Holden places political expediency above the welfare of this State's citizens. I would like to believe this is not the case.
A veto by Gov. Holden of a Right To Carry bill would place him directly opposed to both the rights and welfare of our State's honest, law-abiding citizens. To do so would put him on the side of criminals -- because all law-abiding citizens ask is the means to legally defend themselves from those who are violent in our society.
I would like to believe that Governor Holden will do the right thing, morally and politically, by allowing this legislation to become law. The facts of what we know about right-to-carry laws in many other States give quite ample room for him to back down gracefully from his prior opposition.
The Governor has called for homeland security. The experience of 33 other States (and, to some degree, 44 States) shows that license-to-carry IS homeland security. I and other good citizens will be watching to see: is the Governor with the criminals, or is the Governor with us? We will not support a Governor, or a party, that does squarely not put our interests above those of the violent criminals.
The Amendment we need to pass: The right of the people to keep and conceal firearms for the purposes of defending life and private property throughout the states and territories of the United States of America shall not be infringed by law or treaty of the several states or the federal government.
By passing such an amendment through the state legislatures, we will bypass Congress. The states that currently have CCW laws could force other states to come on board by passing such an amendment through their statehouses, and will liberalize their own CCW laws.
Lesson 1 in amendment writing: never mention the justifications. It will just be used as the basis for infringing the right. How about: "No law, ordinance, or regulation shall be made by any government entity or agency concerning or restricting the owning, keeping, bearing, or use of arms except those which rely for their operation on nuclear reactions, self-replicating molecules, or chemical reactions with living tissue."
Armed robbery will not be a crime, but robbery by the threat of death or bodily harm will be a crime.
Present CCW as a woman's-safety issue - needed in a state where many women live in counties with abysmal police response time on weekend nights when that drunk ex-husband shows up despite the "protective order."
In the current statist climate and the condition of the American body politic (largely moribund), it would spin out of control within HOURS.
Imagine Ted Kennedy, Algore or Bill or Hillary Clinton presiding and you'll have the picture.
Awesome. Simply awesome!
Good luck with your fight for CCW.
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