Thanks to a bill introduced by state Rep. Mike Lear (R-MO), we know the legislative language that would be used to describe a scenario in which the 2nd Amendment took the 1st Amendment aside and fired round after round of hollow point bullets into its lifeless body.
It would read much like the legislative summary of Lear's proposal: "HB633 specifies [that] any member of the general assembly who proposes legislation that further restricts an individual's right to bear arms will be guilty of a class D felony."
So if you're a pro-gun control member of the Missouri General Assembly, best to watch out.
One day you're just a law-abiding state legislator, sponsoring milquetoast bills like ones that require "all sales or transfers of firearms be processed through a licensed firearms dealer" and patiently waiting for some Member of Congress to die so you can run for higher office and get the hell out of Carson City. The day after Lear's legislation goes into effect, your bill becomes contraband and you're looking at a sentence "not to exceed four years," without having even engaged in some fun/profitable corruption that could have made the prison term worthwhile.
Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Crime, Guns, Missouri, State Legislature
Remember Dale Peterson, the Republican candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner who released one of the greatest campaign ads of 2010, attacking the "thugs and criminals" that "don't give a rip" about the state? According to Walmart security, he's one of those criminals, charged with shoplifting beer from a Hoover, Alabama store…
Tags: Agriculture, Alabama, Crime
Georgia state Rep. Earnest Smith (D-Can't Take a Joke) found himself the "victim" of a photo manipulation recently when an Atlanta blogger pasted the politician's face onto the body of a male porn star. And instead of taking the compliment, Smith is cosponsoring a House bill to make "obscene" photo manipulations subject to a $1,000 fine:
"No one has a right to make fun of anyone. You have a right to speak, but no one has a right to disparage another person. It's not a First Amendment right," [Smith] said.
First of all, though there are plenty of constitutional limits on free speech, obnoxious Photoshops of politicians have been around much longer than even Photoshop (and Lincoln in a dress is supposed to be a pro-Lincoln cartoon!).
Second, I doubt that's the real Rep. Smith in the blogger's photo. The real life Smith seems to have skin so thin, it's see-through.
Photo via Keen Collection/Getty Images
Tags: Crime, First Amendment, Georgia, State Legislature
Last night, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to consider reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Overwhelmingly, but not unanimously. Eight Senators–all dudes–voted against reauthorization, having forgotten that the people most likely to suffer from domestic abuse or sexual violence also vote. Why, according to "numbers," they even make up a majority of the American electorate.
Who are these dudes?
Tags: Crime, Men and Women, Republicans, Senate, Women's Rights
Dear America, Oregon has a story to tell you about what happens when some of your legislators quit smoking tobacco and start puffing slightly more psychedelic substances: they decide that effectively criminalizing cigarettes would be a swell idea.
Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portlandia) has filed a bill that would make nicotine a Schedule III substance, placing it in the same category as ketamine, lysergic acid and anabolic steroids, and would make having it without a doctor's note a crime. Nicotine-containing products would only be available from pharmacies with a prescription.
Tags: Crime, Health, Oregon, Smoking