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Senator Monroe: NRA Rating More Important than Real Security Concerns

Senator Jeff Monroe (R-24/Pierre) made crystal clear what all the guns bills in South Dakota's Legislature are really about. The Pierre Senator opened his commentary on Senate Bill 162, the Capitol gunslinger bill, with this statement:

I can see both sides of this, I could vote both ways, one to keep my rating, and the other to try to keep things with the way the state patrol goes [Senator Jeff Monroe, Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, South Dakota Legislature, 2015.02.12, timestamp 44:18].

Keep my rating—as in NRA rating. Senator Monroe cast the sole vote in favor of SB 162, indicating that for him, keeping his NRA rating up is more important than listening to the expert security assessment of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Senator Monroe places your physical safety behind his electoral safety.

Alas, even those sensible enough to vote against such bad legislation feel the need to ply the NRA line. Freshman Senator Art Rusch (R-17/Vermillion) opened his speech on SB 162 by saying that he is not anti-gun, that he has a concealed weapons permit, and that he has had gun training. Senator Troy Heinert (D-26A/Mission) prefaced his remarks similarly: "I too am a gun owner, have a permit for concealed carry, but I also signed up to legislate." Senator Mike Vehle (R-20/Mitchell) didn't mention his gun ownership during his initial, intelligent critique of SB 162, but after Senator Monroe's NRA reminder, Senator Vehle returned to the mic with this hasty addendum:

I just wanted to add that I'm not anti-gun. I own a lot of guns, and I have a concealed carry permit, so I am—that was not my point, if anyone wants to think of that. I just wanted to make that clear [Senator Mike Vehle, Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, South Dakota Legislature, 2015.02.12, timestamp 45:26].

Sorry, Mike, Troy, Art—you voted against a gun bill. Someday, someone in a primary is going to point to that big nasty minus next to your NRA A. Woe unto thee for trying exercise good sense!


  1. Tim 2015.02.14

    "Senator Monroe places your physical safety behind his electoral safety."

    He's a republican, don't expect anymore from any of them.

  2. grudznick 2015.02.14

    The younger of the brothers Novstrup voted Nay. He's a Republican. I wonder if everybody named Tim is a libbie.

  3. Tim 2015.02.14

    grudz, for most of my adult life I was a republican, then about 8 years ago 90% of them decided to jump out of the plane without a parachute, that's when I came to my senses. Sorry you, and more like you, are unable to see what happens when you jump without a chute, it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom called reality. Good luck with the stop.

  4. larry kurtz 2015.02.14

    Tim, we greeted one another at Rickstock, right?

  5. crossgrain 2015.02.14

    These sorts of bills are purely political theater. The legislators proposing the bills know there's no way they'll ever get any traction, but they're fully cognizant of the fact that how they voted will show up on a report card someplace. The legislators then get to wave their straight A's in the faces of their C- constituencies, and pat themselves on the back for their achievements. What's next - bumper stickers for the mothers of these clowns that say "MY CHILD IS AN HONOR STUDENT AT THE STATE CAPITOL"?

  6. Tim 2015.02.14

    I was at the west river one Larry, met a lot of people that day, were you there?

  7. larry kurtz 2015.02.14

    Well, the Tim i saw at Rickstock and i have known each other for thirty years: not you apparently.

  8. mike from iowa 2015.02.14

    From New Hampshire Journal in January,2015. Sounds like South Dakota lege nearly verbatim- Concealed carry reinstated

    The House voted, 228-149 to again allow members to carry concealed firearms in House. Concealed carry had been allowed when O’Brien was speaker in 2010 and 2011 but was banned when Democrats regained control of the House after the 2012 election.

    Rep. Laura Pantelokos, D-Portsmouth, noted that weapons are not allowed in state courthouses, so they should not be allowed in the New Hampshire General Court.

    But Rep. Fred Rice, R-Hampton, said it would be a move to protect House members.

    “We have a right under the United States Constitution and the New Hampshire Constitution to keep and bear arms,” Rice said. “And there is important phrase in the Second Amendment that that right shall not be infringed. We have a right to do this in our daily lives every place else – to carry a concealed weapon for the defense of our own person.”

    But Rep. Len DiSesa, D-Dover, a former police officer and former Deputy Police Chief in Portsmouth, said the proposal to allow concealed carry was “misguided at best and dangerous at worst.”

    Rep. John Burt, R-Goffstown, countered, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, whether it’s a state trooper (stationed in the House gallery) or a state representative.”

    Shurtleff noted that several years ago, a House member (Kyle Tasker) had a weapon drop out of his holster and onto the floor during a committee meeting. He said he did not want to witness such an incident again.

  9. Lynn 2015.02.14

    Again after listening to the testimony on this bill why is it automatically assumed that the "bad guy with the gun" is a visitor to the Capitol? The "bad guy with the gun" could be a legislator.

    Cory sorry to disagree with you on this but if these legislators are illegally sneaking in guns thinking they can get away with it because they are legislators than some type of security screening needs to be set up at entrances.

    Lets make sure the only ones armed in the Capitol are law enforcement and charge those who illegally sneak guns in. No one is above the law!

  10. Tim 2015.02.14

    That must be correct, to the best of my knowledge Larry, we have never met.

  11. Jenny 2015.02.14

    Ooops! Monroe just made a gunny boo boo! Good god, the Pierre Capital does not have metal detectors. With these bozos, you wonder.
    "Never doubt that the obsessed gun culture in this country can't get any worse. Oh yes, it can." Bill Maher on the culture of ammosexualism (I just love the term).

  12. Joan Brown 2015.02.14

    Lynn, I agree with you about carrying guns in the capital and I also think there should be some kind of detection system at the entrances, being all of a sudden a lot of people in SD think we are back in the old days of gunslingers.

  13. Douglas Wiken 2015.02.14

    Even legislators carrying a loaded mouth are dangerous...especially when connected to their empty brain.

  14. Donald Pay 2015.02.15

    Senator Monroe gets an A+ for exposing the dirty little secret about the NRA's feckless legislative strategy and his own gutlessness on this bill.

    I'm sure there will be other opportunities (known as votes on crazy legislation) for the other legislators to show their own gutlessness, so they don't need to fear this one vote.

    In fact, an A- is actually what the NRA prefers. They don't want folks to be seen as in their hip pocket on every crazy bill. That exposes the person as a complete toady. They'd rather a person turn down one crazy bill, so they don't look as cowardly as Sen. Monroe.

  15. grudznick 2015.02.15

    Mr. Monroe is a Howite. Insaner than most.

  16. Taunia 2015.02.15

    crossgrain has the best snarky comment I've seen today, although there's more truth to it than snark.

    Medicare covers penis enlargement and when that word gets out there won't be anyone in Pierre.

  17. mike from iowa 2015.02.15

    Better check Medicare again. It covers pump implants to aid in erectile dysfunction in medically necessary cases. Penile enhancement would be considered cosmetic and I don't think Medicare covers that.

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