Tag Archive: Missouri


Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 7.07.54 PMWith a 109-49 count, the Missouri House voted to change Missouri’s motto to the “Shoot Me State.” In essence, the highly conservative Missouri State House overrode Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of house measure HB 436 (federal gun law nullification).

The latest Missouri measure would declare invalid any federal policies that “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.” Federal authorities who attempt to enforce those laws could face state misdemeanor charges punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Similar penalties would apply to anyone who publishes identifying information about gun owners.

In essence, the legislation:

  • Declares any federal policies that “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms” shall be invalid in Missouri;
  • Allows state misdemeanor charges to be brought against federal authorities who attempt to enforce those laws;
  • Allows state misdemeanor charges against anyone who publishes the identity of a gun owner; and
  • Would lower Missouri’s concealed-gun permit age to 19 instead of 21 and allow specially trained teachers or administrators to serve as a “school protection officer” able to carry a concealed gun.

Does anyone really believe it’s a good idea for Missouri or any state for that matter to start declaring which federal laws it believes it has to follow and which ones it doesn’t? Do individual Missouri towns, for example, get to decide which Missouri laws it wants to follow, nullifying any state law it chooses to disagree?

The Missouri legislation goes on to specify some, but not all, of those federal acts which would be “rejected” by Missouri, and considered “null and void and of no effect:”

  • Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
    • The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
    • The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
    • Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
    • Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
    • Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
    • Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
    • Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

The main problem I see with Missouri legislators and the citizens who elect them is ignorance. Because of personal bias and ignorance, legislators project their fear and turn those who are different into enemies. Politicians know that once you demonize gun control advocates and federal law enforcement, they become less human, allowing one to inflict a certain amount of future pain without guilt or shame.

Politicians who seem to know what they’re doing as they spew contempt, consciously provoking their citizens with fear and hate are enthralled by conflict and power. From a Buddhist perspective, this level of ignorance appears to have a purpose, but ends only by leading to further suffering.

~ “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you.” ~

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche

—————————————– 9:33 PM Update —————————————–

Missouri State Senate fell one vote short of approval.

Screen-Shot-2012-08-20-at-6.17.36-PMWhen America’s thirty-fourth president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, began his administration, he instructed his aides and his executive assistant that there should be only two stacks of papers placed on his desk in the Oval Office. The first would be a stack of those things that were urgent, and only the extremely urgent. The other was to be a stack of the important, and only the extremely important. Years later, Eisenhower commented his bewilderment at how many things were extremely urgent, but never very important.

I think of Eisenhower as I close my time helping to implement parts of the Affordable Care Act. Due by October 1st, Healthcare Insurance Exchanges across the country are estimated to enroll 7 million new healthcare applicants by March 0f 2014, with 24 million new recipients total by 2015 or 2016. In short, that’s a whole lot of new members in such a short period of time.

Of course complications have occurred throughout my tenure on this project. Failures have occurred on all leadership levels. Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming have all notified the federal government that they will not be policing the health law.

Missouri has prohibited active involvement by most state agencies. If you’re in Missouri and want information on the health insurance exchange, good luck in finding it.  Missouri also requires insurance counselors to get state licenses before they can help people search for health plans on an online marketplace. The counselors must be trained by Oct. 1, but the state has no regulatory framework to license the insurance navigators. Even if it can quickly create a licensing structure, the law bars insurance navigators from recommending specific plans. Additionally, if Missouri insurance regulators decline to approve any exchange health insurance plans because of concerns about the anti-exchange law, it’s not clear what plans an HHS exchange will be able to sell in Missouri.

In Texas, John Greeley, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance, said his agency cannot enforce regulations tied to the federal insurance exchange or market reforms because it is not authorized to do so. Texas, along with Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming have notified the federal government that they will not be policing the health law.  Texas’ decision will create an “administrative burden” for insurance plans and could result in confusion for Texans who purchase health insurance under the federal exchange.

So when I think of all this, the conflict between the urgent and the important is inescapable. It is common for us to think that by staying busy and working hard to implement something important, leadership fails. Our ego and rarely represents the things most important. And therein lies the reason so many people today feel such a lack of satisfaction after working so hard for so many people. When we substitute the urgent for the important work, exhaustion replaces satisfaction.

Urgency is a dance. In horizontal perspectives of Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming, urgency of the ego has taken center stage. Yes urgency of the ego is popular. But rather than solve problems, it’s intended to drain time, energy and attention. It’s an all-too familiar voice in everyone’s life.

For Texas, Missouri and others like them, it is important to remember virtue, good conduct, morality needs to be based upon the key fundamental principles:

  1. The principle of equality. That means all living entities are equal; and
  2. The principle of reciprocity: This is the “Golden Rule” in Christianity — to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you. It is found in all major religions.

For those caught in the urgency, “Are you really following the “Golden Rule.“” What is the voice to whom you listen?

News : NPR

A Buddhist Blog

%d bloggers like this: