Senator Eric Burlison’s Legislative Column Concerning Recent Springfield Walmart Incident
As a devoted husband and father of two young children, I cannot imagine the pain many are feeling this week after the tragic events in Dayton and El Paso. I cannot imagine what it would be like to find out a loved one has been senselessly killed by a rampaging mass-murderer.
Once again, the press and politicians are calling to limit the Second Amendment. The latest call has been for “red flag” gun confiscation laws and more extensive background checks. In fact, the entire field of Democrat presidential candidates have proposed what I believe to be unconstitutional gun control and gun confiscation programs. In my opinion, the passage of such hasty and ill-conceived laws would allow for a judge to strip a person of their Second Amendment rights before that person has even been guilty of a crime, which is a direct assault on due process.
With all the media attention, cooler heads need to prevail. I want to provide you with a few facts to consider. While the media covers mass shootings, they do not cover the stories of the estimated 5,000 murders committed in the United States where no firearm was present. The media does not cover the fact that by all measures violent crimes and property crimes in America have dramatically and consistently declined by 74 percent since 1993, which was when states started relaxing laws on guns thus allowing citizens to protect themselves, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
This week, a very foolish individual walked into the Walmart in Springfield, the same store my family shops at each week. Whatever ideas or intentions he had were ill advised and dangerous. Thankfully, because of Missouri’s constitutional conceal carry laws, a law abiding conceal carry holder was able to bring the situation to a safe conclusion. The good news is that for every bad guy with a gun there are many times more good guys/gals with a gun.
What happened in Springfield happens hundreds of thousands of times every year in America. In 2013, President Barack Obama issued an executive order, directing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to study gun violence. The study showed that defensive gun use (DGU), when a victim uses a firearm in self-defense, happens more than 500,000 times a year. I believe these numbers illustrate the importance of firearm ownership in the United States.
Evil and murder has been occurring since Cain and Abel. No laws we pass will eliminate the hateful nature within the human condition. Our nation was uniquely founded on the idea that this was the inevitable condition, and thus created a framework for citizens to be responsible to seek self-virtue, to govern their own affairs and this includes the ability to defend their own lives.
Our country was founded on many principles, the most important idea being that life is sacred. We have an opportunity to stand up and say we will not tolerate losing our rights and ability to defend our lives because of policies made due to media hysteria. We will not tolerate laws that violate the sanctity of life and our ability to protect it.
Encourage your legislators to strengthen the Second Amendment in Missouri and the United States. You are the true leaders in our country, not the politicians. Stand up and make your voices heard. Our safety and country’s future depend on it.
Please visit Sen. Burlison’s official Missouri Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/burlison for more legislative and constituent resources.