The outlaw Josey Wales didn’t have much time for Senators or any kind of politician. Thanks to the movie starring Clint Eastwood he became an iconic legend embedded deep in the psyche of many a young American boy. Josey Wales was from Missouri. He was a rebel and an outlaw, but a sympathetic one, as he was driven by the death of his beloved wife and son. Every time I go to Missouri and see the rolling hills of fields surrounded by hardwood forests and rough brush, I half expect to see Josey disappear over a hill in the distance.
I am an Iowan. Missouri is the southern border of my state. It’s no secret that many an Iowan looks down on Missouri as a little bit more redneck or hillbilly than us. My Grandma grew up dirt-floor-poor in Missouri. She was as tough as they come. She rode a horse to school and hit a bully with a sock full of rocks. That’s how I imagine Missouri. They hunt deer with high-powered rifles and come across as a fairly rural state. That is why it came as a surprise to me when last week some Missouri Dems filed a bill with some of the most extensive and over-reaching gun control legislation found anywhere in the country.
This bill contained things like, confiscation, registration, destruction of certain kinds of weapons (AR’s), backed up with felony charges for non-compliance.
I must say I was rather stunned by this attack upon the second amendment from Missouri.
I have a good friend who loves Missouri, and not just for the giant Arch. She has a home in both Iowa and Missouri but her heart belongs to Missouri. She is a Mizzou grad and has endeavored to convince me what a wonderful state Missouri is. She even attended a New Year’s Eve party that ended in fireworks and shooting guns into the night sky. I must say, that sounded pretty cool to me. That kind of New Years celebration doesn’t happen in Iowa. So I began to think, maybe she has a point; Missouri is a fine state after all. Then this attack on guns happened, and I realized how justified I was in my disdain for Missouri.
Here’s where the story gets interesting. Missouri Representative Mike Leara (R-St. Louis) decided to go Josey Wales on the Dems of his beloved state. He marched into the chambers, ivory handled six-guns tucked into his suit coat, butts sticking out and asked, “Are you gonna pull them pistols or whistle Dixie?”
Okay maybe that part was just an awesome fantasy of mine, but he did swagger into the Missouri house and file a bill of his own. His bill throws down the gauntlet for Missouri gun lovers. It proposes that “any member of the general assembly who proposes legislation that further restricts an individual’s right to bear arms” guilty of a class D felony.
Bam! You got to love this guy. He quick drew on his fellow lawmakers and declared them guilty of a felony if they try to restrict the free gun toting folks of Missouri. I must say that all but saved my opinion of Missouri. We can watch and see who wins out, but it looks like there’s going to be a good fight in the Missouri Assembly.
I may have to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales again in respect for the honorable Representative Leara. If you are a Missouri Democrat, you might want to watch it as well. It’s not going to work out well for you in the end. The free people of Missouri like to protect themselves and hunt things in their beautiful state. In my opinion, trying to take that from them would be a mistake along the lines of Captain ‘Redlegs’ Terrell.