I am sure you’re wondering how the state legislature of Missouri is spending this final week of the Advent season. I know I was. Well, thanks to a tip from Blog Official Jolly Old Elf Friedman of the Plains, we discover that, in the Missouri state house, they’re dashing through the snow to help gun owners use more guns. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
In a Republican-controlled state that already has permissive gun laws, the legislation introduced by Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho, would establish a presumption that a defendant acted reasonably in self-defense when they use deadly force against another person. Baker acknowledged the change is opposed by county prosecutors and police, but said he thinks it is a starting point for expanding the state’s “stand your ground” law.
To which state Sen. Brian Williams responded, last spring:
“I tried to think up words to describe [the bill] and the only word I can come up with in my mind is that this bill is complete bullshit. Period, man.”
Around the state, even law enforcement organizations have been more than willing to elaborate on Williams’ opinion.
The Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, in a statement issued in May, slammed the legislation, saying it would prohibit police from detaining any murderer who shouted “self-defense” and would grant violent killers absolute immunity for their crimes. “These bills add no protection for those who would seek to engage in legitimate self-defense or exercise Second Amendment rights, especially since Missouri already has one of the nation’s most expansive ‘stand your ground’ laws,” the statement noted. “These bills make it less safe for Missourians to walk down our streets.” One county prosecutor called the Senate bill, which was sponsored by former Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield, the “Make Murder Legal Act.”
But we can all rest easily because, come the first week in January, former Sen. Burlison will be…representing Missouri’s 7th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.
This is your democracy, America, etc.
Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has three children.
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