Fair or Foul: Filibuster compromise; gun control gone wild

2013-01-25T15:00:00Z 2013-02-07T20:36:27Z Fair or Foul: Filibuster compromise; gun control gone wild stltoday.com

FAIR: There are a lot of people unhappy about the filibuster compromise reached last week by U.S. Senate leaders Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The far right is mad anytime the word “compromise” is used. On the left, folks think Mr. Reid should have used his Senate majority to make it much harder for the minority party to block the president’s appointments and the majority’s will.

We wish the deal would have included the requirement for a “standing filibuster,” which is what works pretty well in the Missouri Senate. But the very fact that Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell are starting the new Congress finding some common ground is worth applauding. Republicans have found a bit of sanity post-election, refusing, so far, to hold the nation’s economy hostage over the debt ceiling. The GOP is moving in the right direction on immigration. Mr. McConnell is willing to work with Mr. Reid to improve the ability for the Senate to function. Hopeful signs all.

FOUL: Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, has filed a bill that would punish parents for not keeping their firearms away from children. The spirit behind Senate Bill 124 is a good one. But Ms. Chappelle-Nadal goes too far, and contributes to pushing the gun control debate off the rails, by proposing that all parents who own guns will have to notify local schools simply that they are gun owners. Such an invasion of privacy would clearly be unconstitutional. Opponents of any reasonable gun control laws are pointing to this provision as the overreach that it is. It’s not as bad as the Republican proposal to criminalize enforcement of federal gun laws, but it falls into the same category: Bills aimed more at drawing publicity than actually solving a problem.

— Tony Messenger

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