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LETTER: Are concealed weapons allowed in the House?

Monday, April 27, 2009 | 11:38 a.m. CDT; updated 1:59 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 27, 2009

Karl Miller’s last column ended with the statement: “a gentle reminder: 64,999,987 American gun owners killed no one yesterday, nor today, nor will they do so tomorrow.” Unfortunately, we must have 65,000,080 gun owners because 95 of them did kill someone on each of those days (assuming those days are average). At approximately 34,500 gun deaths per year, according to StateMaster.com, we average 95 per day. That is 285 for the 3-day stretch mentioned in Mr. Miller’s column. About one-third are murders.

Mr. Miller’s stats indirectly reveal that there are 235,000,000 Americans who do not own a gun. His “gentle reminder” would have been more revealing had he said: 235,000,000 American non-gun-owners killed no one yesterday, or today, nor will they do so tomorrow.

Perhaps my opinion is selfishly influenced by my inability to conceal my own Browning 16 gauge shotgun in my pants. But for the record, I am opposed to concealed weapons in Missouri because Missouri voters voted against them and I do not like the notion of our state legislators overturning the outcome of that referendum.

In closing, I have a couple of questions: Are concealed weapons allowed in the house chamber of the state capital building? If not, why not?


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Comments

Mark Parkinson April 29, 2009 | 12:50 a.m.

Mr. Cunningham,

Yes, concealed firearms are allowed in the house chamber of the state capitol building. Any State Representative or State Senator can carry a concealed firearm anywhere in the Capitol he or she wishes, and many do.

Mark A. Parkinson
Missouri State Representative
District 16

(Report Comment)
Lane Ryan May 1, 2009 | 9:25 p.m.

Bob, see you can find even one instance of a registered CCW permit holder using their firearm in the commission of a crime. I doubt you can.

(Report Comment)
Bob Cunningham May 6, 2009 | 6:22 p.m.

Thank you for responding, Representative Parkinson. I believe any response to my letter should begin with, "The people of Missouri voted against allowing concealed weapons, but their wishes are not important because . . . . ."

When I asked if concealed weapons are allowed in the house chamber, I was actually referring to people in the visitor gallery. So I contacted the Capital Library and learned that concealed weapons are NOT allowed in the house chamber of the state capital. Nor are they allowed anywhere else in the capital building. Nor are they allowed in the building in which your office in located. In fact, they are not allowed in any state office building.

Please consider introduction of legislation that would allow concealed weapons in the house chamber. Doing so would remove the extrodinary hypocracy related to the current law, which (always remember) overturned the will of Missouri voters.

The results of the referendum were split; rural vs. urban areas. Why not have different laws in those different environments and make everyone happy?

(Report Comment)
Bob Cunningham May 6, 2009 | 6:56 p.m.

Hi Mr. Ryan:
Thanks for your comment. I believe that any response to my letter should begin with, "The people of Missouri voted against allowing concealed weapons, but their wishes are not important because. . . . ."

I do not have access to information about crimes committed by permit holders. But it is hard to imagine 8 hours of training and a background check that would offer assurance that an applicant would not commit a crime (with a gun or otherwise). Every criminal commits a "1st crime." Perhaps some of them will have the foresight to get a permit beforehand, which would provide immunity from police intervention until the crime is in progress.

To judge whether guns make society safer or more dangerous, the logical comparison would be the USA vs. other industrialized nations, all of which have stricter laws than ours. When you do that, you see that gun deaths in the USA are expotentially higher.

Which of the following people do you think would have been denied a concealed weapon permit:

Timothy McVeigh
Steven Rios
James Keown

What would you think if the concealed weapon referendum had been successful, and our state legislators arbitrarily overturned the results? Regardless of your position on concealed weapons, you should join me in condeming them.

(Report Comment)

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