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McCaskill, Bond split on concealed-carry amendment

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 22, 2009 - By two votes today, the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal that would have allowed people with concealed-carry permits in one state to carry those weaspons in another concealed-carry state, even if that person wouldn't qualify for a permit in some other states.

Missouri's two senators split on the issue. Republican Christopher "Kit" Bond favored the proposal, while McCaskill opposed it.

McCaskill said it was a states' rights issue. She explained her stance in detail on her regular radio broadcast Wednesday, in which she asserted that approving the amendment could lead to Missouri being forced to accept other states' actions on gay marriage or other controversial issues. (Her concealed-comments are midway through the broadcast.)

"I think it is a bad idea for us in Washington to tell a state they have to accept what another state has done,'' McCaskill said. She noted that Vermont now allows gay marriage, while Missouri has banned it.

She also jabbed at those who "pound the table about states' rights,'' unless they have an issue in which they want to circumvent states' rights.

Bond took an opposing view. He explained in an e-mail: “This amendment was very straight forward: it would have allowed law-abiding Americans to exercise the right to bear arms in states with similar regulations on concealed firearms.”

Supporters of the amendment said it would not have, as some asserted, set national standards for concealed-carry permits. The amendment would not have overruled concealed-carry bans in two states.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.