The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 21, 2014

Our View: Gun bills are bad policy

Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas are creating real problems from perceived threats. In Missouri, legislators are pushing a bill that would nullify federal gun laws and punish federal agents enforcing those laws with jail time and fines of up to $1,000.

Turning federal agents into criminals and making them choose between doing their sworn duty and risking criminal prosecution is bad law.

We support the right of Americans to own guns, but this bill is unlikely to survive a court challenge, so it’s in effect nothing but a protest bill, but a protest against what? A ginned-up fear that jack-booted federal agents will drop from black helicopters, kick in doors and confiscate guns?

We don’t see that happening.

A second component of the bill would allow certain school personnel to carry concealed weapons. In other words, the solution to the epidemic of school shootings is to allow more people to carry more guns. A better solution is allowing — but not mandating — schools to hire an armed and trained police officer to staff schools when class is in session.

In Kansas, meanwhile, a bill would restrict the rights of cities and counties to pass and enforce local ordinances governing the purchase, sale, ownership, storage, carrying or transporting of firearms and ammunition.

Kansas last year passed its Second Amendment Protection Act, claiming the federal government had no authority to regulate guns or ammunition made, sold or kept in Kansas. It also banned federal agents from attempting to enforce those laws.

Again, we’re not seeing local governments acting in ways that undermine the rights of gun owners, so this is more overreaction.

While all Americans — at the local, state and federal level — need to work together to ensure Second Amendment rights, these bills are bad public policy.

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Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Too many questions on No. 5

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  • Your View: Beware the wolf

    The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).

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  • Your View: Dally for Division 5

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  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed

    On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

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  • Other Views Other Views: Open the primaries

    Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.

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  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

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  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

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  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

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  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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