A primary concern amongst Missourians — and all Americans — is figuring out the best possible solutions to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and to keep our children safe. We are still mourning the tragic loss of life from the school shooting in Connecticut last December. It’s revolting to think of an individual turning a gun on innocent people, particularly vulnerable children. When the 2013 legislative session began, many knew that firearms safety would need to be a priority. Taking away people’s guns will not solve any problems; brushing a problem under a rug is not a solution. Criminals would still find ways to obtain firearms, and good, law-abiding citizens would be unable to protect themselves and their loved ones. What we need to do is to educate people on how to use firearms correctly and safely, and prepare ourselves if, God forbid, tragedy finds its way to Missouri.
A measure was considered in committee this week to promote firearms education and help schools prepare for potential attack. Senate Bill 75 would establish the Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training for Schools Program. By July 1, 2014, Missouri school districts and charter schools would need to train teachers and school employees on how to respond to information about a threatening situation and how to address a potentially dangerous or armed intruder or active shooter in the school or on school property. The measure would also require school districts and charter schools to teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program every year to first-grade students, or use a substantially similar program. The purpose of the program is to promote the safety and protection of children and emphasize how students should respond if they encounter a firearm. I can’t stress enough the importance of gun safety. Even if you prefer not to have guns in your home, your child could still come across one at a friend’s house or elsewhere, and he or she needs to know how to be safe.
Another bill introduced in the upper chamber is my co-sponsored SB 150, which helps enforce Missourians’ Second Amendment rights. The bill would declare certain federal firearms laws unenforceable, and would make it a crime for public officials, licensed firearms dealers, and other such individuals from enforcing these laws. This measure is a response to the federal government’s misguided attempt to enforce increased gun control.
Our right to keep and bear arms has been passed down from generation to generation of Americans; infringing this right would let the bad guys win. When faced with tragedy or challenge, our country does not bow down in fear. We brush ourselves off and stand up tall, while we let the memories stay clear in our hearts. We need to establish good policy that will keep our precious loved ones safe, while ensuring our constitutional rights are unscathed and preserved for our posterity.
Welcoming Guests To the Capitol
It’s always a pleasure to meet with constituents who come to visit me in Jefferson City; I appreciate seeing friends and neighbors from back home. This week, multiple groups came to say “hello” and discuss state policy. Those groups included the Missouri Optometric Association, Missouri Land Title Association, and Missouri Foundation for Health. I also was pleased to meet with the director of the State Milk Board.
I would also like to express my congratulations to three businesses in our community that received an “Excellence in Business Award” from the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. Those businesses are C&M Contractors in Doniphan, Mo.; ECO Recovery L.L.C. in West Plains, Mo.; and Henson Enterprises, Inc., also in West Plains. I applaud these Missouri businesses for their diligence, hard work, and for creating a positive economic impact in our community.
If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, please don’t hesitate to contact my capitol office at (573) 751-1882.