Republican Governor-elect Eric Greitens and his wife are modeling good behavior. Sheena Greitens was robbed at gun-point recently. According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, she and her husband are responding to the teenage perpetrators, who were quickly apprehended, in a level-headed and compassionate fashion – although Greitens did feel obligated to do a little macho posturing, proclaiming that he’s glad the police got to the boys “before I did.” It is nevertheless refreshing to hear the Greitens express concern for the parents of the youths involved in the robbery.
The Post-Dispatch article noted that Sheena Greitens will, in the future, be provided with “security from the Missouri Highway Patrol.” The Greitens have also received expressions of concern over their ordeal from the Vice-President -elect, Mike Pence.
All well and good. If I were the victim of a robbery attempt, I would be shaken up as well – anyone would. We all sympathize. Such incidents are, as characterized by Claire McCaskill, “disgusting.”
But from what I read in the paper, they happen with some frequency. And, apart from Sheena Greitens, I haven’t heard of any of the victims getting a Highway Patrol security detail – nor do various national and state dignitaries call to express their concern for the tender sensibilities of uninjured victims.
Here let me remind you that Eric Greitens is the guy who undermined Democratic governor contender Chris Koster’s NRA endorsement with pictures of himself blowing things up with big guns. You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words and somehow Greitens managed to outgun the NRA. And we know that it’s all about guns out in the Missouri hinterlands.
But we pay the price for those guns here in St. Louis as well as in Kansas City – as Sheena Greitens found out. Somewhere I read recently (and I can’t relocate the source) where some city official said that guns were as common as candy in in St. Louis and anyone who wanted one could get one. Sadly, we have too much evidence that this contention is true; every day the local crime reports are replete with stories about gun violence.
It even happens in full daylight. In the last few months I-55 seems to have become a midday hunting ground where armed individuals chase down and shoot into the vehicles of their targets – and possibly, as in the mysterious shooting death of pub-owner Patrick McVey, hitting random passers by. Who knows? What we do know is that, as St. Louis police Capt. Mary Warneke told the Post-Dispatch apropos the highway shootings, “we have guns in our community […] I’ll leave it at that.”
And, given the new bills filled for the next session of our state legislature by members of Greitens’ political persuasion, we’re likely to have more guns in our community with even less control. SB656, for instance, would extend the “castle doctrine,” lessen penalties for carrying guns into gun-free zones, and make it easier and cheaper to acquire guns. SB589 would permit guns in colleges and universities, currently gun-free zones. These are just a few examples of the direction our gun-loving legislators want to take us.
It’ll be interesting to see just where Greitens’ compassion takes him when it’s time to really put the pedal to the metal.