President Barack Obama's gun control initiatives were met with skepticism for the most part among prominent Missouri politicians and authorities throughout the state. Senators, representatives, county sheriffs and local leaders spoke out for and against the measure. As a largely Republican state, much of the reaction to Obama's points was against his proposal for further restrictions on gun sales.
What did Missouri's senators say about Obama's initiative?
Sen. Roy Blunt , a Republican from southwest Missouri, believes more must be done to help those with mental illnesses. He said, "The president's proposals... fundamentally fail to address ways that we can prevent tragic events like Sandy Hook... ." Government funding "should include finding ways to spend federal dollars more wisely when it comes to treating and identifying people who are mentally ill, and ensuring that we intervene before they do something that tragically impacts their lives and the lives of others."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reveals Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from St. Louis, believes expanding services for the mentally ill and expanded background checks for gun owners should be part of a better system to ensure safety.
What about the Show-Me State's representatives to Congress?
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer , a Republican from Missouri's Third District near St. Louis, called out Obama's "decision to circumvent the elected representatives of the American people is surely not the right way to approach an issue of constitutional significance. It would be more productive to have a thoughtful, national discussion on how to better determine when young people are becoming troubled... ."
Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat from Kansas City, supports a ban on military-style assault weapons, according to St. Louis Magazine . Clay also wants limits on the number of bullets in one magazine.
Rep. Billy Long, a Republican from Springfield, claims criminals who use guns "are not getting their guns from shows or auctions." Long doesn't want any of Obama's proposed gun limits to become law, according to the Springfield News-Leader .
Did any prominent mayors speak out regarding the gun proposals?
University City Mayor Shelley Welsch, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, issued a statement published by Patch.com . She prodded Congress to act in a bipartisan manner by saying, "There are 33 Americans murdered with guns every day, and there's something we can do to stop the bloodshed. So why in the world would we wait?"
What did county sheriffs say about limiting guns?
Sheriffs in three Missouri counties sent similar letters to Obama expressing "concern" regarding the "tone of [the] administration with respect to the Second Amendment... ." KCTV reports sheriffs in Livingston and Johnson Counties wrote identical letters. Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay also sent his regards to Obama. His letter states those without gun rights are "ripe for government oppression" before citing Syria, North Korea and Mali as modern examples of how citizens can become victims of armed criminals. DeLay used Johnson County Sheriff Chuck Heiss' letter as a template.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.