In the wake of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the nation has watched Missouri with a close eye — taking note of the police brutality, the lack of transparency between residents and law enforcement, and the way Missouri officials have handled unrest in the past weeks.
But that surveillance has exposed a bevy of issues coming out of Missouri, from racism to incompetence to the passing of laws that just make us go “hmm?”
Which begs the question — is the Midwest state coming for Florida’s spot on the crazy states of the nation list?
To be fair, Missouri probably hasn’t reached this level, but here are some recent developments that many aren’t happy with.
More Guns In Missouri:
In what many have taken to Twitter to denounce as a terrible idea following the nation’s recent gun violence, Missouri lawmakers passed legislation to allow teachers to bring guns to schools, and for residents to openly carry firearms.
From the Huffington Post:
The new law will allow specially trained school employees to carry concealed guns on campuses. It also allows anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry guns openly, even in cities or towns with bans against the open carrying of firearms. The age to obtain a concealed weapons permit also will drop from 21 to 19.
The vote makes Missouri the 10th state to pass legislation allowing armed school employees since 20 children and six adults died during a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
While proponents argue the new legislation offers protection to teachers, others contend that more guns mean more violence.
“The reality is we’re making our cities less safe,” said state Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City.
Read more about gun bill SB656 at http://www.senate.mo.gov.
The War On Women In Missouri:
On Wednesday, Missouri lawmakers enacted one of the nation’s most stringent abortion waiting periods, requiring women to wait 72 hours after consulting with a doctor before undergoing a procedure.
Missouri is the third state to force women to wait three days before being allowed an abortion. Did we also mention there is only one abortion clinic open in the entire state?
From Think Progress:
Missouri voters have been protesting the proposed restriction for months, saying that it’s demeaning to women to assume they need three days to make up their minds about whether to end a pregnancy. When the measure first came up for consideration, women delayed their testimony against it for 72 hours to make the point that it’s a totally arbitrary amount of time. Then, once the bill started advancing in the legislature, activists held a 72-hour “citizen’s filibuster” to speak out against lawmakers’ attack on women’s reproductive health care. During this week’s vote, protesters rallied on the Capitol steps and flooded into the rotunda to chant pro-choice slogans.
According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, eight out of ten Missourians are concerned the 72-hour waiting period intrudes on women’s private medical decisions…
…lawmakers have considered more than 30 different anti-abortion bills this session.
Now, with one operating clinic, women will be forced to travel twice — once for counseling and another for the procedure. For many women, that means traveling more than 100 miles.
Gov. Jay Nixon (D), who has come under fire for the state’s response to the Michael Brown shooting, actually vetoed the legislation, saying it “serves no demonstrable purpose other than to create emotional and financial hardships for women who have undoubtedly already spent considerable time wrestling with perhaps the most difficult decision they may ever have to make.”
For more information on the legislation, click here.
More Arrests In Ferguson, Missouri:
On Monday, Missouri police arrested 35 protestors during a demonstration that briefly shut down Interstate 70. Which means Missouri authorities are still more comfortable arresting citizens exercising their right to free speech, than the officer who shot an unarmed teenager.
The Shooting Of Mike Brown In Missouri:
Police brutality isn’t new to Ferguson, but the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown sparked weeks of protests from residents frustrated with the continued violation of civil rights in their community.
But in the weeks since Brown was shot by Officer Wilson, Missouri officials have yet to arrest the shooter (first, declining to even release his name) and declined to offer information surrounding the incident to create a transparent distribution of information to the city.
This month, a grand jury will hear evidence to determine if Wilson will be arrested, but with a month standing between the shooting and the formation of the grand jury, trust that justice will be served in a timely manner, or at all, is strained.
The Shooting Of Kajieme Powell:
Just days after Michael Brown was shot, police in St. Louis shot and killed a man wielding a knife.
Yep, that happened. At the height of unrest between police and residents in Ferguson. You can read more about the shooting of Powell at the hands of law enforcement here.
And Really, Anything The Police Have Done In Missouri In The Past Month:
And yes, this:
For more information on Ferguson police and their questionable tactics, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Screengrab