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Gun Prohibition and Abortion on the 2024 Ballot
How to Fight Both


TSee the Call to Actoon a the end of this page.

Look up your state senator here.

Look up your state Rep here.

Missouri First Home

Sept 02, 2023


Please bear with me as I try to explain a complicated situation.   It would be best if you read this all the way to the end to get the big picture and find out what YOU can do, but let's start with a brief executive summary. (Read this email and supporting documents at: www.mofirst.org/issues/ratification/special-session.php)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ABORTION PETITIONS: There are now 17 - 11 submitted by one group and 6  just submitted by another group on August 30.  ALL of them would create a constitutionally protected "right" to abortion for the full nine months of pregnancy - some outright, and others with a "health of the mother" exception. At least four of them would actually REQUIRE the legislature to fund healthcare providers seeking funding. That move might be intended to secure funding from deep-pocket organizations, like Washington University.

GUN CONTROL PETITIONS:  On August 16th, a group with some leverage submitted 3 petitions that would constitutionally allow the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City, and any county that chooses, to "regulate the possession or carrying of firearms" within their jurisdiction, both for residents and non-residents.

These measures would over-ride the state gun control preemption statute and the Second Amendment Preservation Act.

One of the abortion proposals will almost certainly make in on the 2024 ballot, and there is a very good chance one of the gun control measures, will, too.

FACTS:

  • The only legislative action that can effectively protect the Missouri Constitution from these attacks is to raise the bar on ratifying proposed amendments.

  • The Ratification Reform proposal that has the most support from the most legislators is Concurrent Majority Ratification.  (Read about it, below.)

  • The Governor can place proposed amendments on special election ballots held on any day he chooses.

  • Both the abortion and gun control measures are least likely to pass if on the August, 2024, ballot.

  • Historical precedent supports the idea of the Governor choosing to put a proposed amendment to establish Concurrent Majority Ratification on a special election ballot all by itself prior to the August ballot.

  • The Governor has the power to call a special session to take up ratification reform in September.

THE MAIN OBSTACLES:

Speaker of the House, Dean Plocher, and the Missouri Realtor's Association were the primary obstacles to passing a meaningful bill last session, and continue to be the main problem.

Plocher wants the Realtor's support in his bid for Lieutenant Governor, and the Realtors, who have successfully amended the Constitution by petition with two (good) measures don't want the bar raised. The irony is, both of the Realtor's measures would have passed under Concurrent Majority Ratification.

Skip to the end if you are ready for the CALL TO ACTION.



A DEEPER DIVE INTO DETAILS

For years I have defended the right of the People to use the petition process to rein in abusive or unresponsive government.

Each year as I witness the stranglehold the special interests have on state government, especially the legislative process, my commitment grows stronger to the declaration in Section 1 of Missouri Bill of Rights -- that all political power is vested in the People and that they loan it to government.

And I remain committed to defending Section 3, too, where is says that the People of Missouri have the right to alter their own Constitution.

Short of violence, the petition process is the last recourse the People have to assert these powers.

But...

Year by year, we face an ever increasing threat from well-funded special interests -- often from out of state -- who appeal to voters in just a few urban areas to undermine the core common ground values of Missourians with amendments to the Missouri Constitution. (Past votes have proven that you can get a simple majority statewide vote primarily from the urban areas.)

ABORTION

Right now, one organization with deep pockets has submitted eleven petitions, and another organization submitted six petitions, for the 2024 ballot that, if St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and a chunk of Springfield support, will provide constitutional protections for a "pregnant person" to kill their unborn baby right up to the moment of delivery. Although the language is deceptive in some of them, every one of the petitions would permit abortions for a full 9 months.

Some of the versions of their petition even allow abortionists to decide that a minor's parents' consent is not necessary for an abortion.


GUN CONTROL

To make matters worse, another group has filed three petitions that would allow St. Louis, Kansas City and ANY COUNTY to enact laws that regulate the possession or carrying of firearms in their jurisdiction whether you are a resident or not. These local laws would supersede state statutes and negate our current excellent constitutional protection of gun rights.

These petitions were approved for circulation on August 16th 2023 and will be on the August or November 2024 ballots if they get enough signatures.


WE MUST FIGHT BACK WITHOUT SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT

Some say we need "IP Reform" -- make it harder to use the petition process. There are at least three problems with that idea: 
  1. It would undermine the most fundamental aspects of our Republic by giving government even more power with less ability for the People to rein it in.

  2. You can make it twice or three times as hard to do a petition and it will hardly slow the special interests with deep pockets while killing any grass-roots petition effort. 

  3. Making it harder to do petitions is a loser at the ballot box -- such proposals fail in state after state.
The real clincher is that changes to the petition process won't affect the gun control and abortion petitions already under way.


THE PRINCIPLED AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTION

The answer is in "Ratification Reform."

It's crazy to allow a simple majority statewide vote to change the fundamental law of the land, especially when it takes only the leftist urban vote to reach that simple majority. One of the most basic tenets of an American Constitutional Republic is the protection of minority interests from "tyranny of the majority."

That's why we have an electoral college - we don't allow New York, California, Massachusetts, and Chicago to select the President.

And we don't have a national popular vote to amend the U.S. Constitution!

The principled solution is for Missouri to mimic the process for amending the U.S. Constitution -- that is, require a broad geographical consensus before ratifying (adopting) a constitutional amendment.

The Founders called that establishing a "concurrent majority."

Concurrent Majority Ratification in Missouri would look like this: 

In order to adopt a proposed constitutional amendment, two conditions would have to be met.  1) A majority statewide popular vote, and 2) a majority vote of the people in more than half the state House Districts.

That would raise the bar for changing our state Constitution by requiring a much broader consensus, geographically, and finally give rural Missourians some say in amending the Constitution.


IMPLEMENTING THE SOLUTION

There's more...

In order for a change to the ratification process to affect any given ballot measure (like the abortion and gun control petitions), the vote for the ratification change must happen at least 30 days before those ballot measures are voted on. That means we need to enact Concurrent Majority Ratification well before the August 2024 primary election.

Governor Parson is the key to making that happen.  He needs to do two things the people have empowered him to do:
  1. Call a special session of the state legislature for the express purpose of putting a Concurrent Majority Ratification question on the ballot for the people of Missouri to adopt.

  2. Once the legislature has passed a resolution to put a Concurrent Majority Ratification question on the ballot, the Governor has the power to call a special election any time he chooses.  He should call that election for sometime between February and April, 2024 with ONLY the Concurrent Majority Ratification Question on it.
Two weeks ago, eight conservative senators asked the Governor to do exactly those two things.  The letter was from Senator Jill Carter and signed by senators Bill Eigel, Denny Hoskins, Andrew Koenig, Rick Brattin, Mike Moon, Nick Schroer, and ben Brown.  Read the letter here: https://www.mofirst.org/emails/Special-Session-Letter-to-Governor-Parson-Signatures.pdf


HISTORICAL PRECEDENT

Won't there be political ramifications for the Governor if he tries to raise the bar before the progressive ballot measures are voted on?

Yes, but there will be political ramifications if he doesn't, as well.  He will need to decide which political ramifications matter more -- those from progressives or those from conservatives.

Fortunately for the Governor, putting Concurrent Majority Ratification on a ballot all by itself is both the RIGHT thing to do AND there is historical precedent for doing so.

You see, every time Missouri voters have been asked a momentous question, like whether to adopt a new constitution or, in 1924, whether to adopt a couple of dozen amendment proposed by a constitutional convention, those questions have been on special election ballots all by themselves, without the distractions of a lot of candidates an other issues.

What the eight conservative senators are asking the Governor to do is actually the norm, when compared to the whole history of Missouri.


CALL TO ACTION --  WHAT YOU CAN DO

  1. So far, the Governor has not agreed with the conservative senators' request.  He need to hear from you, too!

    Please call the Governor and politely tell him that you agree with the senators' request for a special session and that this is his chance to protect our Constitution from the anti-life and anti-gun agenda.

    Governor Parson's phone number: (573) 751-3222

  2. Also, call your state rep and senator and tell them you want them to support the special session call, and especially tell them to support Concurrent Majority Ratification using state House districts as the second metric.  They will know what you mean.

    Do the same as you run into them while they are campaigning!

  3. Call and email Speaker Dean Plocher, and tell him not to throw unborn babies and our gun rights under the bus in his pandering to the Realtors and pursuit of higher office.

    Speaker Dean Plocher's phone number: (573) 751-1544
    Email: Dean.Plocher@house.mo.gov


  4. Call the Missouri Realtor's Association and tell them to get out of the way of the people's effort to protect life and our right to self-defense. Tell them to stop supporting the abortion and anti-gun agenda

    Missouri Realtors Phone: (573) 445-8400
    Email: missourirealtors@morealtor.com





Resources

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Virtually every law in American is made by Concurrent Majority, other than ratifying amendments to state constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is not ratified by a popular vote -- it is ratified by a concurrent majority consensus of the states. Every legislature is made up of representatives of citizens from districts from a broad geographic area and it takes a consensus of those areas to pass a bill.

Even the president is selected by concurrent majority – that's what the Electoral College is.

SJR 28 and SJR 33, would require a concurrent majority to amend the Missouri Constitution.

It requires two conditions be met for ratification: 1) A statewide majority popular vote, just as we have now, and 2) A majority popular vote in more than half the state House districts.

This requirement applies to initiative, legislative, and convention proposed amendments (or entire constitution in the case of a convention).

SJR 28 -- Senator Jill Carter

SJR 33 -- Senator Mike Moon

"That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole."

"That the people of this state have the inherent, sole and exclusive right to regulate the internal government and police thereof, and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided such change be not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.."

"The people reserve power to propose and enact or reject laws and amendments to the constitution by the initiative, independent of the general assembly, and also reserve power to approve or reject by referendum any act of the general assembly, except as hereinafter provided."

 

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