The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
As expected, Governor Holden vetoed the concealed carry bill passed by the legislature. In September, there will be an attempt to override the veto. As a firm believer that the Second Amendment guaranties an individual right, I guess I’m supposed to hope the override attempt is successful. I don’t, for reasons that involve both individual rights and political reality.
The concealed carry provisions contained in this measure don’t promote individual rights; they’re a joke. They are much more restrictive than those in most other states, which, by the way, haven’t seen the shootouts in the streets promised by urban editorial writers. The training requirements are designed to discourage people from pursuing a permit. The limits on where people can carry weapons eliminate times when they could be most useful in self defense, such as the recent factory shootings near Jefferson City. I fail to see why Missourians would be more violent and less trustworthy than Texans or Floridians; that may have been true in the 1850s-80s, but certainly not now.
Politically, failure to override the veto raises a number of intriguing possibilities. Several of what I call “country Democrats” who supported the original bill will have to vote against an override. If some of those “lame duck” senators switch sides, we’ll have a year to see if they get appointed to cushy high-dollar state jobs in recompense. Second, the pro-gun citizenry (the majority in most of Missouri) will concentrate on electing true friends of the Second Amendment to the Governorship and legislature. The actions of the “country Democrats” will have told us whether they are true friends and we can vote accordingly.
We may also learn something about the state of the Gov. Holden’s bid for reelection. If leading “country Democrats” like Senators Caskey and Mathewson vote to override, that will likely indicate that he has lost influence in his own party and may presage a major primary challenge to Gov. Holden. I’m sure the Republicans are licking their chops over that prospect.
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