Politicians lack integrity in debate over nullification

Reprinted with permission by the Columbia Missourian.

I did something a bit different here; I included the comments made in the paper since yesterday’s publishing, including my rebuttal. I thought they deserved to be read by my “other readers.”  Oh, and before I forget, I have owned both hand guns and a Corvette. Go figure…


Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT   BY DAVID ROSMAN

When supporting a political candidate, I look for integrity as much as I do for agreement in policy. I don’t have to agree 100 percent of the time, 90 percent is usually nice.

The lack of integrity is why I cannot support those who seek to nullify federal law through state statute. That was tried before and through war and the courts has failed every time.

The law as passed during the regular session says that if any federal agent seeks to enforce any federal gun law, that person is subject to arrest, prosecution, fine and imprisonment. It says the federal laws concerning firearms regulations, limitations and control are not legal in Missouri.

Now, we all understand the federal supremacy laws. The Constitution Article VI, Clause 2; “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

That is simple and straightforward. So much so that it makes me wonder how my very patriotic GOP friends just do not understand it.

They, of course, will refer to the Second Amendment, that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” but they have already missed the boat. It was the conservative movement that demanded expanded gun background checks to prevent criminals and terrorists from purchasing guns. It was the Republican-led House of the 1920s that outlawed the ownership of fully automatic weapons.  

And please do not tell me that you would use an AR-15 for deer hunting. You don’t and won’t.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the law because it was in violation of federal law, and would cost the state unnecessary time and money to defend in federal courts only to lose in the end.

Yet, in its zeal to prove that it is smarter than the feds, the Missouri GOP will attempt to override the governor’s veto during the special session. It does not matter that there is little time for such imprudence or that the law will be shot down by the courts (pun intended). The Grand Old Party will show its lack of common sense and dismissal of the very Constitution they so praise

Worse, four Democrats in the state House have decided that they will cross the line to vote for the veto override. The only reason why House Democrats TJ McKenna of Festus, Keith English of Florissant, Ben Harris of Hillsboro and Jeff Roorda of Barnhart will side with the GOP is fear of losing their elected seats. There are another four Dems who are still not decided.

“Being a rural area Democrat, if you don’t vote for any gun bill, it will kill you,” Harris told The Associated Press. That is coming from a spineless politician who would rather save his own job than to do the right thing; who is neither a supporter nor a defender of the Constitution or the people he represents, and who does not deserve the support of the Missouri Democratic Party or of its members.

If about 10 percent of the Dems and almost all of the GOP members of the state House vote for the override, what does that say about the integrity of the representatives? With the coming of new leadership of the Missouri Democratic Party, I hope that a strong chair is selected, one who will slap the wretched turncoats up the side of the head, to beat some sense into their brains and integrity into their hearts.

Let the GOP gather in a crying huddle when its members are blamed for spending unnecessary taxpayer dollars to defend an undefendable law they passed. It is not time to share the blame, but time to let Missouri understand that the GOP is not working in the interests of its people. Do not let the four wretched collaborators blur that distinction.

It is time we demand that integrity return to the hallowed halls under the Gray Dome. There are more important things to do, like shore up the budgets for education, infrastructure and health of our citizens.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics.


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Allan Sharrock August 7, 2013 | 8:35 a.m.

David there are many states that are passing pro-pot laws and are ignoring federal immigration laws. I don’t think (and I am sure you agree) that both parties choose what their priorities are and ignore the feds. The question is whether people should be pushing for more states rights vs. federal rights.

Jimmy Bearfield August 7, 2013 | 10:07 a.m.

“That is coming from a spineless politician who would rather save his own job than to do the right thing.”

Politicians are now considered spineless when they act based on the wishes of the majority that elected them?

As the saying goes, free and worth every penny.

Michael Williams August 7, 2013 | 3:41 p.m.

Rather than write some long missive, I have just two questions of Dave:

(1) In the Supremacy Clause, what does the following phrase mean to you: “…and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof;”?

(2) In the 2nd Amendment, what do the words “shall not” and “infringed” mean to you?

PS: I actually had a third question, but AllanS and his comment about state nullification of federal pot laws beat me to it. Dave’s answers should be interesting since the entire theme of the article is “integrity”.

Skip Yates August 7, 2013 | 5:08 p.m.

Lack of integrity in politicians….surely you jest. There was a local favorite son, and temporary Governor, that unfortunately and suprisingly, lacked such, yet other respected politicians….Chris Kelly, etc., strongly supported him. So, it would seem integrity in politicians is a fluid concept….depending on the political party!

stephen Kightlinger August 7, 2013 | 10:45 p.m.

The states legalizing and decriminalizing pot have not, to my knowledge, subjected DEA agents to being arrested and fined for doing their job.

J Karl Miller August 8, 2013 | 10:55 a.m.


I have no quarrel with your opinion concerning the integrity of our politicians—it is your opinion and, right or wrong, you have a perfect right to express it. I do believe you should give more consideration to the electorate of those pols you castigate–after all, the voters expect to be represented accordingly.

Nevertheless.I find your “And please do not tell me that you would use an AR-15 for deer hunting. You don’t and won’t.” petty as well as out of place. The Second Amendment concerns the right to bear arms–nowhere does it state “the right of the people to hunt shall not be infringed”

Additionally, most people purchase AR-15’s and similar weaponry for sport shooting and competition–personal enjoyment. Individual preferences are not necessarily based on need. If that is the criteria, there would be no market for Corvettes, Jaguars, or even yachts.

David Rosman August 8, 2013 | 7:12 p.m.

Gentlemen – Thank you for your comments and showing how out of touch you are with the laws of this nation and the difference between a object designed to kill and one design to travel.

Unlike the proposed law nullifying federal gun laws, local and state marijuana laws are not designed to nullify federal law, but to put into place laws supported by the constituents. The feds can and do still close down marijuana operations licensed by California and Colorado. Those sates do not threaten the federal law enforcers with arrest, fines and jail.

At last count, over 58-percent of Missourians are in favor of legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

As to the Second Amendment, your rights to weapons ownership is already abridged (as I have written). And if you wish to take the Amendment as it was written, the only weapon you should be able to own is a single shot, muzzle loaded handgun or long rifle.

The AR-15 deer hunting argument is one that has been thrown at me more than once this year alone and it is only August. The “new” category of sport rifles is interesting and appears only to justify the ownership of semi-automatic military look-alike weapons.

And comparing a AR-15 to a Corvette, well you can see the silliness here, can’t you?

Really? Can’t you?

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About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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