Kansas City Star. 6 December 2023.
Editorial: Governor Parson: Do it right missouri And sign Blair's Law to punish celebratory gunfire
In a few weeks, revelers in the Kansas City area will ring in the New Year with all kinds of festivities — parties, celebrations, fireworks and, if history is any guide, wild shootouts.
That history also shows that so-called “celebratory shootings” are dangerous and sometimes deadly.
Lane would be an adult today. He should still be alive.
“To be told she was hit by a bullet, I mean, even to this day, it's absolutely incomprehensible,” her mother, Michelle Shanahan Demos, told The Star in 2019.
A year after Lane's death, Missouri lawmakers introduced a bill, "Blair's Law", that would toughen penalties for criminally negligent shootings within city limits: such violations are now subject to local law. Prosecutions are made under the ordinances, but the bill would make violations a state crime.
This law was not passed that year, nor in the years that followed. During its most recent session earlier this year, the Missouri General Assembly ultimately passed the bill as part of a larger crime bill that also included several other initiatives — but it was vetoed by Governor Mike Parson in July. .
That's why we fully expect Blair's legislation to ultimately pass with the Governor's approval in 2024.
Both versions would make it illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits – there are reasonable exceptions for firing ranges, self-defense, etc. – and both would include increasing penalties: the first offense would count as a misdemeanor. Each violation after that would be a felony, ultimately punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine for repeat offenses.
The Kansas City Star editorial board has spent much of the past decade advocating for passage of Blair's legislation.
And in July, we took Parson to task for vetoing a bill that ultimately made it to his desk. , What goes up must come down, Governor Parson," we argued. "As a former lawmaker and supporter of the Second Amendment, Parson should know better than anyone about the danger of indiscriminate shootings."
Blair Lane's family has spent the last decade moving around Jefferson City, and have shown a steadfast commitment to making sure the tragedy that changed their lives doesn't happen to any other Missouri family. They have come very close. 2024 will be the time when their efforts will be successful.
So we take Gov. Parson's word that he's willing to sign a standalone bill, independent of any other priorities. Blair's Law is too late. Ultimately it is up to the Governor and Missouri legislators to turn the law into reality.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 5 December 2023.
Editorial: Who opposes 'safe and appropriate placement' for LGBTQ children?
Life is difficult enough for any child who ends up in foster care, and perhaps especially for teens who are questioning their sexual identity. It goes without saying that foster parents in such a situation must be knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues and support the child's emotional and medical needs and preferences.
Yet there are 19 state attorneys general, including Missouri's Andrew Bailey challenging A proposed federal rule that would require states to ensure that foster parents raising children with sexual identity issues will be trained in those issues, provided access to appropriate services, and respect the child's preferred pronouns. Will agree on things like doing.
The Attorney General claims that such a rule would be an unconstitutional infringement on foster families' freedom of religion and speech. This is a bizarre argument that attempts to turn abused children into ideological fodder for culture wars.
The proposed rule under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is based on the claim that LGBTQ youth are statistically more likely to end up in foster care due to conflict within their biological families. However, on November 27, the Attorney General said that this claim defies common sense. alabama-et-al.-Foster-Care-Comment-SUBMITTED.pdf">Letter to the agency, challenging that the agency's data is incomplete.
In any case, there is no doubt that suicide rates among LGBTQ youth are significantly higher than other populations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report This year found that overall, 22% of high school students say they have considered suicide, but among LGBTQ teens, it was 45%. This alone seems to support the creation of additional protections when those youth are placed in foster care.
Below proposed rulesState agencies making placement decisions for children who identify as LGBTQ must "ensure that a safe and appropriate placement is available if the child requests it".
"Safe and appropriate" is defined as "an environment free from hostility, abuse or mistreatment based on the child's LGBTQI+ status", with foster parents who are "trained ... in addressing the needs of the child themselves To meet" -sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression were identified. The rule requires children to be made aware of their right to request such placement.
How could Bailey and 18 other attorneys general oppose that rule? According to their letter, the problem is that it infringes on the religious freedom of prospective foster parents because it would "remove faith-based providers from the foster care system if they conflict with their religious beliefs on sexual orientation and gender identity." Will not conform." ,
This is misleading and inflammatory. The proposed rule would not require all foster parents to accept LGBTQ children, only those foster parents who wish to be approved to care for such children. The proposal specifies that "it would not (for emphasis) be required that every provider be designated as a safe and appropriate placement for LGBTQI+ children" – only that each foster system must have "a safe and appropriate placement for LGBTQI+ children." Adequate placements are included that meet these standards."
The Attorney General is essentially arguing that foster parents who are not strongly accepting of LGBTQ children's self-proclaimed identity (based on religious objections or some other reason) should still be allowed to have charge of such children. Should be made. Thus would they elevate the right of foster parents to act on an exclusionary belief system above the right of abused or neglected children to live in an environment free from such judgment.
Again: Nothing in the proposed federal rules says that foster parents who refuse to accept self-identified LGBTQ children on their own terms cannot be foster parents, only that They cannot be foster parents of LGBTQ children who have specifically requested an environment accepting of their own identity.
Why wouldn't foster parents who have a problem with LGBTQ issues agree to take in other children instead? Heaven knows there are a lot of troubled kids out there who have a lot of problems. HHS must reject this effort by Bailey and his colleagues to elevate religious intolerance above the welfare of abused children and stand behind the proposed regulations.
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