While one can never feel secure while the legislature is in session, it is good to have your state come in near the top as a free-er state. We have a LONG way to go, but this is compared to the other states which can all be found here.
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While many Missouri law-makers are sponsoring a bill that would tell the federal government what they can do with their firearms laws [See Will Missouri nullify federal firearms laws?], a St Louis County Democrat has filed a bill that would require parents who own firearms to provide that information to their children’s school.
Senate Bill 124, filed by State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal creates several new crimes. This law mandates that any parents or guardians of a child must notify the child’s school in writing if such parent or guardian owns any firearm. This registration must occur withing within 30 days of enrolling the child or within 30 days of obtaining a firearm. Violators would be subject to a $100 fine.
The effectiveness of this provision is certainly questionable since the risk of a $100 fine may not be sufficient to encourage thoughtful people to tell the government where the guns are. On the other hand, one can anticipate the inevitable–and Orwellian–classroom scene where the teacher quizzes the children: “Today we will talk about firearm safety. How many of your parents have guns at home?’ That should keep the county busy prosecuting parents who get snitched out by their kids.
The bill also creates the offenses of: 1) parental failure to stop illegal firearm possession by anyone under 18; and 2) the negligent storage of a firearm. These are class A misdemeanors unless death or injury results, in which case it is a class D felony.
Many changes to the interlock law are set out here from the Missouri Bar legislative digest regarding Senate Bill 480:
IGNITION INTERLOCK ENHANCED REQUIREMENTS – Under this act, a person whose driving privilege has been denied for 10 years for 3 or more DWI offenses, or for 5 years for 2 intoxication-related traffic offenses within a five-year period shall be required to use an ignition interlock device that has photo identification technology and global positioning system features when their license is reinstated or whenever a limited driving privilege is granted (Section 302.060). If monthly monitoring reports show during the period of reinstatement that the ignition interlock device has registered blood alcohol concentration readings above the set point established by the Department of Transportation, or that the person has tampered with or circumvented the ignition interlock device, an additional 6 months will be added to the person’s reinstatement.
Under current law, a person who has been convicted of a first time DWI or BAC is assessed points and receives a license suspension of 30 days (“hard walk”), followed by a 60 day restricted driving privilege. Under this proposal, a person who chooses to install an ignition interlock device shall serve a 15 day suspension, followed by a 75 day period of restricted driving privilege. The person’s license will be reinstated following the 75 day period if otherwise eligible by law. If the monthly monitoring reports show a violation during this 75 day restricted driving privilege, the person’s license will not be reinstated until the person completes an additional 75 day period of restricted driving privilege without any such violations. The act provides similar measures for persons whose driver’s license have been suspended under the administrative process.
Under current law, a person who has two or more DWI or BAC convictions, must have an ignition interlock device installed in order to have his or her driver license reinstated. The ignition interlock device must be maintained on the offender’s vehicles for a period of at least 6 months. Under this act, if monthly monitoring reports show during the period of reinstatement that the ignition interlock device has registered blood alcohol concentration readings above the set point established by the department of transportation, or that the person has tampered with or circumvented the device, then an additional six months will be added to the person’s reinstatement.
Under current law, persons with 5 year or 10 year license denials because of multiple DWI or other intoxication-related traffic offenses may seek a limited driving privilege after serving 2 or 3 years of the license denial. Under the terms of this act, such persons may seek a limited driving privilege after only serving 45 days of the denial or disqualification period. In addition, this act allows a person who has his or her license revoked for 2 alcohol-related enforcement contacts within 5 years to seek a limited driving privilege after completing the first 45 days of the 1 year revocation. Currently, such a person is not eligible for a limited driving privilege.
The ignition interlock provisions have an effective date of October 1, 2013.
While taser use continues to kill people here and there, the most common abuses tend toward simple electronic attitude adjustment of people who apparently did not get the memo about bandying words with a cop. The variety of people who dare to differ with a police officer is fascinating: children, old ladies, pregnant women. Here are a just a few that have appeared recently. Don’t miss the last one!
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Let’s start with this pathetic deaf guy who was taking too long to use the toilet in a public restroom. They called the police.
The police–as always–demanded his identification.
Being deaf, however, he had trouble understanding all the commotion over his using the toilet. So . . . they tased him. Here it is:
Like the man said, “We were worried about his well-being and we want this man to be able to trust the police.“ So we broke into his stall while he was taking a dump, tased and maced him.
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This next one shows mom getting tased in front of the kids. She should have stayed in the car. This one is a great example of the principle that if the cop–however foolishly–says you are under arrest, then by heaven, no power can change it. The law enforcement principle here seems to be that if the motorist is upset, the cop’s job is not to de-escalate the situation, but instead to bring it to a boil . . . and use his taser.
It seems this mom was having trouble with her 14 year old daughter and brought her to the police station “to get help” but the girl ran out to a nearby park, where the police chief caught up with her and tased her in the head and the probe went into her BRAIN. Here you go:
In this one, the police break up a kids family baptism party. Too noisy they said. They tased the grandfather who was “disorderly” and didn’t identify himself in his own backyard. Then they tased a pregnant mother who tried to help Grandpa when he went down.
Here is a tiny great-grandmother getting tased. She is a mouthy one. I can honestly say I’ve known a few cops who could have avoided tasing her, but not many.
Finally, this last one is not for the squeamish. I guess it’s easy to second guess decisions that officers have only seconds to make. You be the judge:
OK, just kidding.
The media is full of the story about the black Harvard University professor who was arrested for disorderly conduct after a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer investigated a report of a break-in at the professor’s home. It turns out that the reported burglar was just the professor trying to get his own door open. Police Report is here.
The police argue that the officer was just doing his job, but the professor accused the officer of being racially motivated.
It seems as if Professor Gates ought to have been a bit more understanding (and appreciative) of neighbors and police who were only keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood, including the professor’s house. But from his viewpoint, he was just minding his own business on his own property. Maybe he had a bad day at the office (leading up to an even worse evening at home).
The bottom line, however, is that at some point the police officer became satisfied that Professor Gates was the homeowner and that there had been no burglary. At that point, the officer’s business was concluded. He did well in walking out of the residence.
I understand that the officer probably felt that the Professor was an ungrateful jerk. What I cannot understand—and perhaps this will become clear at some point—is why the officer did not JUST KEEP ON WALKING and LEAVE.
The homeowner was irate and abusive and making racial accusations, but he was not violent. Once the police knew there was no break-in, they had no right and no authority to remain on his property at all. I don’t know what they wanted to prove by arresting the professor for: 1) yelling at them; 2) while on his own property; 3) after their business was finished. There was no point in it, except to have the last word.
We all like to have the last word. If you have a gun and a badge, I suspect you get it more often than the rest of us.
There is a news story about a Baptist pastor who was driving home to Phoenix, AZ from San Diego. He was stopped at a customs checkpoint (not actually at any border, apparently). He informed the agents that his business was his own and he would not answer their questions, but just wanted to be on his way.
They brought up a drug dog up to sniff his car trunk and then informed him that the dog indicated that he had drugs or a person hidden in the car trunk and that they were going to search it.
[Note: the indication of drugs turned out to be false, but not soon enough to do this guy any good]
After a trip to the emergency room to stitch up his face, they took him to jail (I’m not sure for what).
When he later asked why they had done it, he was told it was because he did not answer their questions.
Here is some local coverage of the story: Pastor Claims Border Agents Beat Him
Here is a YouTube video of the guy telling his side of the story:
In the news story the border patrol claims they never use tasers. Here is a video that the pastor made showing one of his taser wounds (looked real to me –and I’ve seen taser wounds) and some of the spent taser wires that he collected from inside his car after the incident:
I really admire this guy. It takes guts to refuse to answer police questions about one’s personal business. Even when you know you are completely innocent, this can still happen to you. It is so much easier to give them what they want. I fear our police state will get worse before it gets better.
State Senator Yvonne Wilson, Democrat from Kansas City, is back this year with three crime-related bills that we’ve seen before. There is not much new to say except the bills have not been improved from ones that died in earlier years.
- Senate Bill 83 makes it crime to own, possession, or discharge a taser or stun gun
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I have never understood why the federal government needs any laws (especially criminal laws) for things that can be adequately handled by the states themselves.
I’ve always believed the constitution strikes a nice balance between our freedom and government intrusion, and so am naturally opposed to giving up any more freedoms.
But if we do, let’s admit that we are trying to trade liberty for security. Every time I read this quote from the former NYC mayor it makes me uneasy. He seems to believe that freedom is the willingness to submit to tyranny:
” . . . Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”