The editorial points out two notable things about the bill, which was supported by every senator and representative in the Joplin area:
It allows us to say that we're so afraid of immigrants of a different color, and we're so ignorant of existing state law and how the state conducts its business, that we'll make an unnecessary change to our constitution because it makes us feel better. It allows us to say that the constitution of the state of Missouri is a meaningless piece of paper that is about one thing: making statements.
Especially when you consider that English was made the official language of the state of Missouri in 1998.
Sadly, this was not the only piece of legislation employed for that purpose. Consider the so-called Castle Doctrine law, as offered by Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, and Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin. Even though Missouri already allows people to protect themselves when they are in danger, our local legislators unanimously approved this unnecessary law.
Again, the major reason appears to be to make a statement to a certain segment of the voting public that our legislators, no matter how much real good it may be doing, are looking out for their interests.
They are also doing that by hiding behind vague generalities. Ms. Ruestman, for instance, has said numerous times that she proposed her version of the Castle Doctrine bill at the request of numerous constituents, So far, I have not heard of anyone who claims to have asked Ms. Ruestman to file this bill. On the contrary, the bill, just like the earlier concealed weapon legislation passed by the legislature (after it was defeated at the polls by Missourians), appears to have come directly from the National Rifle Association playbook, with both being initiatives started by a female NRA leader from Florida.
Both Ms. Ruestman and Goodman claim the bill was necessary to prevent frivolous lawsuits from intruders who are shot by law-abiding citizens. Neither provided any specific examples of such lawsuits. In fact, Goodman even said that none existed in southwest Missouri.
Missourians already have the right to protect themselves under the current law, so why was this legislation necessary? Apparently to send a message to potential voters that Ms. Ruestman, Goodman, and other legislators who voted for the bill are on the side of all gun-carrying voters.
It's a shame that our legislators spend so much time touting bills that are actually political statements, and less time passing bills that could improve our lives and correct wrongs that actually exist.