A few days after Missouri Republicans passed photo voter ID legislation, Rep. Mike Leara, R-St. Louis, trumpeted that success in a news release:
The goal of these proposals is to protect the sanctity and integrity of the election process, not to restrict anyone from voting. Acceptable forms of identification under these measures include: non-expired Missouri driver's or non-driver's license; a document issued by the federal or state government that contains the individual's name, signature, photograph and expiration date; or a photo ID issued by the National Guard, US Armed Forces or US Department of Veterans Affairs. There are also provisions in the statutes that would help Missourians who might not have or be able to afford an ID obtain a proper form of identification. Even still, a voter can cast a provisional ballot should they not have the required identification - allowing everyone to partake in the democratic process while safeguarding against voter fraud.
All of this despite the fact that there have been no cases of voter fraud in the Show-Me State since 1936.
Rep. Leara is the same legislator who sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to file gun control legislation. When it comes to guns, Leara thinks differently.
He is one of 17 representatives listed as co-sponsors to a bill filed by Rep. Mark Parkinson, R-St. Charles, which specifies what identification gun dealers must accept, whether they are selling handguns or assault rifles.
HB 640, filed Tuesday, includes the following:
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a federally licensed firearms dealer shall, consistent with the laws of this state, conduct a federal background check and sell a firearm to any person who has presented one of the following forms of identification to such dealer:
(1) Identification issued by the federal government, state of Missouri, or a local election authority;
(2) Identification issued by a Missouri institution of higher education, whether public or private, including a university, college, vocational and technical school;
(3) A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that contains the name and address of the individual;
(4) A driver's license or state identification card issued by another state; or
(5) An attestation from two or more federally licensed firearms dealers that they know the individual.
Let me see if I have this right. If you want to exercise your constitutional right to vote, representatives Leara, Parkinson, and the rest of the co-sponsors, including Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, and Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, from the Joplin area, demand a specific government-issued photo voter ID.
If you want to buy a gun, you don't have to have a photograph, just something with your name on it.
There have been no problems with voter fraud in the state of Missouri, so we are making it more difficult for a quarter of a million people to cast a ballot. At the same time, if Rep. Parkinson's legislation passes, any felon, person with a mental illness, or heaven help us, even a terrorist, can show his or her name and walk away with enough firepower to level a city block...or another elementary school like Sandy Hook.
As the rest of the country tries to deal in a meaningful fashion with the aftermath of the murders at that Connecticut school, the Republican legislators in the state of Missouri continue to try to appeal to the survivalists and those who believe that guns are the answer to all of society's ills.
If some of the bills filed in this state are passed we will no longer have to follow federal gun laws, it will be illegal to file any type of legislation trying to deal with gun violence, and anyone who has a laundry list with a penciled-in name of a government agency on top will qualify to buy an assault rifle and a few thousand rounds of ammunition.
This is not the Second Amendment in action. This is madness.