Missouri concealed-weapon permits on target

Friday, June 25, 2004

Missouri's concealed-weapon law apparently is on target, law officials say.

Most of the following information is from an article by Wes Johnson in the May 25 Springfield (Mo.) News Leader.

As reported in the article, St. Charles County had 549 applicants, Greene County (Springfield area) 483 applicants, Jefferson County 470, Cape Girardeau County 170 and Butler County (Poplar Bluff) 164.

Background checks are taking less than 25 days. Statewide the Missouri State Highway Patrol had received 6,778 background checks as of late May.

This June the Missouri Department of Revenue will begin issuing new driver's licenses with concealed-carry designations on them.

Potential criminals and terrorists should think twice about actions against possibly armed citizens. Missouri law also recognizes any concealed-carry permit issued by other states, but other states might not do the same for Missouri.

Reportedly people have been pleased with the mandatory training they've received.

Violent crime has reduced in other states where the law has been in affect. We'll now see what develops in Missouri.

In solidarity: Excerpts from a column in The Wall Street Journal by Lech Walesa, winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize and president of Poland from 1990 to 1995.

"When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.

"Poles fought for their freedom for so many years that hey hold in special esteem those who backed them in their struggle. Support was the test of friendship. President Reagan was such a friend. His policy of aiding democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe in the dark days of the Cold War meant a lot to us. We knew he believed in a few simple principles such as human rights, democracy and civil society. He was someone who was convinced that the citizen is not for the state, but vice-versa, and that freedom is an innate right.

"I often wondered why Ronald Reagan did this, taking the risks he did, in supporting us at Solidarity, as well as dissident movements in other countries behind the Iron Curtain, while pushing a defense buildup that pushed the Soviet economy over the brink. Let's remember that it was a time of recession in the U.S. and a time when the American public was more interested in their own domestic affairs. It took a leader with a vision to convince them that there are greater things worth fighting for. Did he seek any profit in such a policy? Though our freedom movements were in line with the foreign policy of the United States, I doubt it.

"I distinguish between two kinds of politicians. There are those who view politics as a tactical game, a game in which they do not reveal any individuality, in which they lose their own face. There are, however, leaders for whom politics is a means of defending and furthering values.

For them, it is a moral pursuit. They do so because the values they cherish are endangered. They're convinced that there are values worth living for, and even values worth dying for. Otherwise they would consider their life and work pointless. Only such politicians are great politicians and Ronald Reagan was one of them."

Actress Jane Wyman, who didn't speak to the media about her former husband, Ronald Reagan, while he was alive, recognized him as "a great president" after his death, according to a statement from a friend.

Virginia Zamboni, a fellow parishioner at St. Louis Catholic Church in Cathedral City and an event planner who worked with Wyman on several local charity fund raisers, said Wyman authorized her to tell The Desert Sun, "America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man."

Wyman, who was married to Reagan from 1940 to 1948, has long declined to give interviews. They spent many weekends in Palm Springs as a married couple, but Wyman was an active Democrat while Reagan became leader of a revitalized Republican Party.

Higher fossil fuel prices are giving nuclear energy a big boost.

In the works: A 50 percent jump in nuclear power by 2020, a based on plans by utilities. Helping to drive these efforts are advances in technology that make plants safer.

Also faster federal construction permitting, which will make investing in new nuclear power plants more attractive.

Approval times for plants may be cut in half in many cases, a needed incentive for utilities and their financial backers.

New construction will generate billions of dollars in business for suppliers of concrete, steel, wiring, computer equipment, security devices, etc.

Electricity from nuclear power is less costly than that made form natural gas. In addition, the process doesn't product greenhouse gases.

Nuclear-based electricity now costs 3.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. Natural gas: around 5.5 cents to 6 cents. -- Private newsletter.

Gary Rust is the chairman of Rust Communications.

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