Political Theater - The Missourian: Opinion

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Political Theater

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Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013 6:32 pm

We hate to blow a few holes (pun intended) in the manufactured controversy that is sucking up all of the oxygen in the state Legislature, but no one is going to take any one’s guns away in Missouri.

Sorry to burst the bubble of more than a few politically opportunistic state lawmakers, but there will be no gun restrictions passed in the Show-Me state — not this year or anytime in the near future. Not going to happen.

Your guns are safe from Jay Nixon, Barrack Obama, and the ubiquitous, jack-booted, federal agents circling our state in black helicopters.

So is the sanctity and integrity of your conceal and carry permits.

There likely will be an expansion of gun rights in Missouri vis-a-vis the state legislature as there has been over the past few years.

Why?

Because that is the way we want it in Missouri. And that isn’t a pro-gun or anti-gun statement. It is the current political reality.

We revere guns and value the Second Amendment in our state which is duly reflected in the political composition of our state Legislature.

Sure, there are bills floated by legislators from urban areas like St. Louis or Kansas City that would purport to place restrictions on gun ownership. But they aren’t going anywhere even if they did make good public policy.

In reality, they don’t stand a chance of passing the Republican-dominated, pro-gun Legislature. That is the case even after a tragedy like the one that occurred in the Sandy Hook School shooting.

Which is why we don’t get too excited over the revelations that the state Department of Revenue has scanned driver’s license documents including concealed carry permits or that the Highway Patrol attempted to share a list of conceal and carry permits to federal investigators who requested it in the course of a fraud investigation.

Some lawmakers are attempting to manufacture these two separate issues into a conspiracy by the government to impose restrictions on gun ownership. Some are convinced the federal government is behind it and its only a matter of time before they show up at your door to confiscate your weapons.

When you learn all of the facts of these two separate incidents, the conspiracy crumbles but that hasn’t stopped some politicians from ginning up fear for political gain.

Lawmakers are vying to see who is the staunchest supporter of gun rights in the battle against this pretend threat. It is a tailor-made controversy for politicians like our State Sen. Brian Nieves who has staked his political career on his support of the Second Amendment and his hatred of President Obama.

It makes for interesting political theater and is a godsend for fund raising but it is also a colossal waste of time.

But unfortunately, as the Kansas City Star noted this week, the preoccupation with this pseudo-scandal has kept the Legislature from dealing with more important matters like the budget or creating jobs.

/opinion