Because of her close proximity, I have concentrated more on Rep. Marilyn Ruestman's so-called Castle Doctrine (more accurately termed Frontier Justice) bill. The Senate also has a version of the bill, proposed by Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon.
Much of my criticism of the Ruestman version has been her claim that she has had constituents come to her claiming there is a great need for this bill. So far, not one of those constituents has ever stepped forward to be identified. Ms. Ruestman also claims this bill is an absolute necessity since Missourians might get sued if they shoot someone while defending their lives and property. She has not produced any incidents of this happening.
I have more than a sneaking suspicion that Ms. Ruestman's support of the bill comes from the fact that it is a priority for the National Rifle Association, an organization that receives Ms. Ruestman's dues directly from her campaign account.
The Joplin Globe and the local television stations have never made any effort to pin down Ms. Ruestman on her claims, but Goodman has not been that fortunate. Dave Catanese at the KY3 Political Blog touched on the Castle Doctrine bill, among other topics, during a wide-ranging interview posted Tuesday:
Is this a widespread problem?
"There have been not a lot of cases, but there have been some cases in Missouri of people who were victims of home intruders, being sued as a result of injuries they inflicted defending themselves," Goodman said. "Not a lot of cases, but some."
Has this happened around here?
"Not in this immediate area that I'm aware of, but they have been in the state of Missouri," Goodman said.
I'm a bit skeptical of this claim. If it has not happened in southwest Missouri then why are two southwest Missouri legislators pushing it so hard? Goodman and Ms. Ruestman need to show us these cases so we can be convinced of the need for this law. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.