Francis Slay and Sam Dotson are KOOL-AID DRINKERS. These fools obviously don’t understand the Second Amendment or the brilliant changes to the Missouri Constitution wrought by the voters. See the changes below. Slay and Dotson stupidly whine that people should have to report guns stolen from them. These men refuse to admit that people WOULD report the theft IF the cops would find and return them without repercussion. But gun owners know the cops will come looking for them if someone else uses a stolen unregistered gun to commit a crime. And once the cops know a person had a gun, they know he probably has more, and that “heads-up” will make them dangerous to the gun owner in any of a variety of ways.
Slay and Dotson whine that felons can possess firearms under the amended text. How Stupid! Of COURSE they can, but they, being felons, probably flout the law anyway, and will get firearms anyway if they please. Even so, felons have paid their debt to society. And while society might not trust them (because most become repeat offenders), felons have a right to self defense just like anyone else does. Felons should have the right to own and possess firearms.
Furthermore, the amendment wisely removes the proscription against concealed weapons. Most people feel nervous seeing others walk around with a pistol strapped on. Most would prefer not seeing it, and concealment is a good idea for many reasons. But if EVERYONE knew people might be armed, concealed or not, then EVERYONE would treat others with more respect. Thugs would become very careful about holding others up, mugging, carjacking, becoming violent and disrespectful, etc.
Bottom line, unrestricted right to own and possess and bear weapons should remain intact until our society begins to impose laws controlling procreation of and by the stupid and mentally defective, and controlling procreation by parents who cannot support their brood without public assistance or private charity, controlling procreation by parents ignorant of the principles of family maintenance and child-rearing, and controlling the hiring and training of police so as to guarantee that they know and respect constitutional rights.
Of course, that might not happen for the next few thousand years. Therefore the right to keep and bear arms and normal accessories (including silencers, huge magazines, automatic rifles and shotguns and pistols, lasers, tasers, and protective gear) should mean exactly that.
Missouri Constitution Article I
Section 23. Right to keep and bear arms—exception.—That the right of every
citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when
lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not
justify the wearing of concealed weapons.
The Right to keep and bear arms changed recently…
Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.
March 02, 2015 5:15 pm • By Francis Slay and Sam Dotson
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Since its adoption, scholars and lawyers have debated what the Second Amendment means, and how it applies. Until recently, there seemed to be a consensus that reasonable regulations on guns, the purchase of guns, and the use of guns were both constitutional and wise policy.
That consensus no longer exists in our state.
Last year, we argued against a proposed constitutional amendment that made Missouri law far more protective of guns than the federal Second Amendment requires. We spoke out against the new state amendment because there are too many guns on the streets. Guns are too easy to get, and the plentiful supply of legal guns means they are readily available to criminals. Hundreds of guns are stolen from law-abiding citizens each year: In 2014 alone, more than 470 guns were reported to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as stolen. The number of unreported stolen guns in Missouri is not known, because even the simple requirement that legal owners report stolen guns to local police departments is apparently too controversial to be a law.
We also argued that the proposed state constitutional amendment was ambiguous. We warned, loudly and in many venues, including the courts, that it could lead to unforeseen results, results that could endanger our city.
But despite the warning and even though the language was ambiguous, sponsors of the proposed amendment were not dissuaded. They asserted that the amendment could not be used to protect the “right” of a convicted criminal to carry a gun anywhere he pleased. One of the amendment’s proponents, a state senator, even said explicitly that the intent of the amendment was to leave in place the laws prohibiting convicted criminals from carrying guns.
Reassured by this, voters of Missouri adopted the new amendment. Now, we are starting to see the troubling results of that decision.
Last week, a state judge in St. Louis declared that the law banning criminals from carrying guns was unconstitutional, based on the amendment. He ruled that a convicted felon in undisputed possession of a firearm cannot be charged.
The judge’s decision will be appealed, though the law will still be enforced, and the city will follow the case closely through the court system. Also pending in the Missouri Supreme Court is a challenge brought by law enforcement officials and an advocacy group of parents to declare the amendment itself invalid. The outcome of neither case is certain.
The Missouri Legislature, therefore, should not wait.
Many voters took legislators at their word that Amendment 5 would not make it more dangerous for police officers and more difficult for prosecutors to their jobs. It has. Legislators should act immediately to restate the law barring felons from possessing firearms.
In the meantime, we should be resolved as a region to take a hard look ourselves at gun laws. We cannot stand by and allow careless state policy to trump reasonable regulations aimed at keeping our families safe. We must begin to push the limits at the local level, looking at all of our legal options, whether that is a new ordinance, new policing strategies, or a new gun docket in the court system to track those gun criminals that are prosecuted. And we must press our legislative delegation to either fix the law, or to revisit the constitutional amendment in 2016, and let the voters decide whether they want to keep this amendment on the books now that we know how bad its results are.
Francis Slay is mayor of St. Louis. Sam Dotson is the city’s police chief.