Thursday, April 06, 2006
Ruestman bill set for final House vote
The Missouri House Wednesday perfected Rep. Marilyn Ruestman's frontier justice bill, HB1461, which would give permission for Missourians to kill home invaders and carjackers, setting the bill up for a final vote. Those in favor of the legislation say it will serve as a deterrent to felons who know they may get their heads blown off if they commit crimes, while those opposing the bill note that state laws already give permission for people to defend their lives and property.
It appears to be another of those election-year bills designed more to ensure reelection than to actually address a serious societal problem.
In the Feb. 12 Turner Report I quoted from an interview Ms. Ruestman gave to Wes Franklin of the Neosho Daily News. "It seemed kind of ridiculous to tell a woman to stop and determine if the assault could be deadly," Ms. Ruestman said. "That's something men don't think about. I mean, for me, a man's hands could be considered deadly force. When you're being attacked, you don't have time to decide if your attacker will kill you or not and you have the right to defend yourself. You have the right to fight force with force."
To repeat what I wrote at that time, I don't like the idea of telling people they don't have to think, just shoot. Of course, there are occasions when that may be the only recourse.
What bothered me then and now the most was Ms. Ruestman's explanation of how this bill came about. "I had several ladies come up and ask me, 'is is true you have to run away if attacked?'"
I still find it hard to believe that several ladies came up to Ms. Ruestman and asked her that question. That seemed to be a self-serving excuse for election-year demagoguery.