The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 25, 2013

Our View: It’s a mockery

— History-making moments have given way to histrionics in Jefferson City; statesmanship has given way to stunts.

Recently, state Rep. Mike Leara, R-St. Louis, proposed a bill that would make it a felony for other legislators to so much as introduce any type of gun-control legislation.

He later acknowledged it had no chance of passage and was intended as an articulation of “principle.”

It was, rather, an articulation of lunacy — an attempt to protect the Second Amendment by shredding the rest of the U.S. Constitution.

His bill was an in-your-face attack on gun-control bills.

State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, sponsored a measure that would require guns to be sold by a licensed dealer and also would force that dealer to conduct a background check. State Rep. Rory Elinger, D-St. Louis, also introduced a bill that would require Missourians to forfeit semi-automatic rifles.

Democrats responded with their own bill that would make it a felony for lawmakers to propose legislation that would ban some union rights.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, took a copy of a gun-control bill to a gun range and shot it full of holes, and then posted a video of the juvenile affair on YouTube.

Democrats responded in kind.

State Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, introduced a bill that would send any of his colleagues to prison if they proposed any kind of legislation limiting collective bargaining rights.

Roorda says he was “inspired” by the GOP approach to protecting gun rights, and he wants to do the same for his base.

If this is the best he can do for inspiration, he needs to resign his seat.

Leara’s and Roorda’s measures would give lawmakers prison terms of up to four years for proposing gun restrictions or anti-union bills.

It’s not the four years we’re worried about; it’s the next two years.

None of these men has demonstrated the wisdom, temperament or judgment we need from our elected leaders.

This isn’t about gun rights or union rights. This is about legislators making a mockery of the political process, and embarrassing themselves and their state.

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