Missouri, which is home to the Council of Conservative Citizens and Sovereign Citizen Movement as well as hosting way too many right wing extremist attacks just passed a bill in the House that nullifies all federal gun laws in their state. You may remember when The Missouri State Highway Patrol released a report called The Modern Militia Movement, documenting the extremist problems in their state and the typical backlash politics that followed? And it's usually law enforcement that feels the brunt of the violence. Are Conservatives just trying to arm all the lunatics in Missouri?
Now that both the Missouri House and Senate have passed versions of a bill nullifying federal gun laws, it appears likely the Republican-led Legislature again will have a showdown with its Democratic governor over gun rights.
The Missouri House on Thursday passed its version of the Second Amendment Preservation Act by a vote of 110-41. The Senate passed a similar measure earlier this session. Both chambers need to approve an identical version to send it to Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed a similar bill last year.
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, said it was “interesting” that the House was looking to pass this bill as news broke that a shooter opened fire on Fort Hood in Texas Wednesday, killing three and wounding 16 others before committing suicide.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Doug Funderburk, R-St. Peters, allows residents to sue federal agents for enforcing past, present and future federal gun laws.
It also would allow conceal carry permit holders to carry firearms openly, even in municipalities with ordinances banning this act. It would lower the minimum age to obtain a concealed carry permit to 19 from 21. School districts could designate school protection officers to carry firearms. Those volunteers would receive the same training as a police officer.
Funderburk said on the floor that the bill is designed to protect the constitutional rights of Missouri residents.
“This is what our founding fathers intent was (with the second amendment) and this is how we push back on a federal government that is running out of control,” Funderburk said
(h/t Alan for Facebook photo)
Here's some information about Missouri's right wing extremist problems and how Conservatives freaked out when a report came out documenting those problems from the pages of our book, "Over The Cliff," that Neiwert and I wrote.
Concerned about what their own officers were seeing in the field in terms of increasing militia-type activity, the Missouri State Patrol's information arm in the early months of 2009 compiled a report about militias, largely as a way of helping to inform their officers in the field – the people most at risk when it comes to random encounters with armed right-wing extremists. The February 20 report was titled "The Modern Militia Movement," and it specifically mentioned such warning signs as political bumper stickers for third-party candidates, including Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (who attracted a significant bloc of support from white nationalists) and Chuck Baldwin, the official presidential candidate of the Patriot-friendly Constitution Party. It also pointed to talk of conspiracy theories (such as the supposed plan for a “North American Union” and a “NAFTA superhighway”) and possession of white-supremacist and subversive literature.
Due to the current economical and political situation, a lush environment for militia activity has been created. Unemployment rates are high, as well as costs of living expenses. Additionally, President Elect Barack Obama is seen as tight on gun control and many extremists fear that he will enact firearms confiscations. White supremacists from within the militia movement have further become angered due to the election of the first African American President. Many constitutionalists have claimed that President Elect Obama does not meet the residency requirements to hold the office of president, and therefore his election is unconstitutional.
The report, however, created a small firestorm among conservatives and libertarians who suddenly found they had more of a resemblance to right-wing extremists than they thought. "It seems like they want to stifle political thought," Roger Webb, president of the University of Missouri campus Libertarians, told the Kansas City Star. "There are a lot of third parties out there, and none of them express any violence. In fact, if you join the Libertarian Party, one of the things you sign in your membership application is that you don't support violence as a means to any ends."
Of course, the point of the report was not to point out reasons for engaging subjects – that is, it didn’t suggest that any of the signs were cause to pull someone over – but rather to give police officers some potential warning signs of trouble when they did engage people for ordinary law-enforcement situations, such as traffic stops. State law-enforcement officials defended the report, pointing out that it was being obviously misinterpreted. The report, they said, was compiled by the Missouri Information Analysis Center in Jefferson City, a "fusion center" combining resources from the state law enforcement and federal Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, set up in 2005 to collect local intelligence to better combat terrorism and other criminal activity. The report simply comprised publicly available trend data on militias and other far-right extremists.
"All this is an educational thing," Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol told the Star. "Troopers have been shot by members of groups, so it's our job to let law enforcement officers know what the trends are in the modern militia movement."
Nonetheless, the conspiracist right – led by radio talker Alex Jones – saw the report as an indication of a looming government crackdown on right-wing extremists like himself, and soon the air around the report was thick with black helicopters and jetstream contrails.