Editorial Roundup: Missouri

Kansas City Star. June 3, 2021.

Editorial: Back the blue? Right. Roy Blunt snubs mother of officer who died after protecting him

If shame still existed, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt would be swimming in it. He has no excuse for refusing to meet the grieving mother of a U.S. Capitol police officer who lost his life after defending Blunt and all of his colleagues during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Blunt, the top Republican on the Senate Rules Committee, was one of 20 GOP senators who turned down a request from Gladys Sicknick, mother of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, to meet with her. She was in Washington to advocate for creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that deadly attack.

We do understand why he couldn’t look her in the eye.

He didn’t show up for her, and didn’t show up for the vote, either.

A spokesperson for Blunt told The Star that “Sen. Blunt has extended an invitation to meet with Officer Sicknick’s family to discuss the findings and recommendations included in the bipartisan report on the January 6th attack that will be issued jointly by the Senate Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees next week.”

Gosh, that’s so kind of him. But now, after he couldn’t be bothered to show up to vote on whether to investigate what happened on that awful day, why would she want to meet with him?

His lack of availability when it would have mattered was just gutless.

Last Friday, the Senate batted down legislation that would have formed an independent commission. Blunt didn’t vote at all, and we’d love to know what was more important. His fellow Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley opposed the bill, of course.

Brian Sicknick died of a stroke hours after being attacked while defending you. And all because of the lie that the 2020 election had been stolen.

Sure, it would have been hard to tell Mrs. Sicknick why you not only see no reason to look into what happened on that day but why you couldn’t be bothered to stand up and be counted either way.

Unfortunately, this came as no surprise. When you can’t even crawl out from under the bed to meet with Mrs. Sicknick, it really is time to retire.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 5, 2021.

Editorial: Missouri’s cowardly senators opt to hide from truth rather than learn from it

The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was one of the most serious challenges to American democracy since the nation’s founding. Americans need to hear the truth about what happened, who was behind it, and how such assaults on democracy can be prevented in the future. Missouri Republican Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley had a chance to demonstrate their loyalty to the Constitution and to prioritize law and order over blind partisanship. Sadly, Hawley chose partisanship while Blunt opted to slink away. Both chose the way of the coward.

Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol police officer who died after right-wing rioters attacked him on Jan. 6, requested meetings with every GOP senator to urge creation of a bipartisan investigative commission. Brian Sicknick died a hero, having defended the very people who now stand in the way of the commission’s creation and are trying to sweep the insurrection into the dustbin of history.

Missourians who permit this without challenging their senators to honor the higher calling demonstrated by Brian Sicknick’s sacrifice — and the preservation of American democracy — ultimately will reap the consequences in the form of cowardly representation in Washington. The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was one of the most serious challenges to American democracy since the nation’s founding. Americans need to hear the truth about what happened, who was behind it, and how such assaults on democracy can be prevented in the future. Missouri Republican Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley had a chance to demonstrate their loyalty to the Constitution and to prioritize law and order over blind partisanship. Sadly, Hawley chose partisanship while Blunt opted to slink away. Both chose the way of the coward.

Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol police officer who died after right-wing rioters attacked him on Jan. 6, requested meetings with every GOP senator to urge creation of a bipartisan investigative commission. Brian Sicknick died a hero, having defended the very people who now stand in the way of the commission’s creation and are trying to sweep the insurrection into the dustbin of history.

Missourians who permit this without challenging their senators to honor the higher calling demonstrated by Brian Sicknick’s sacrifice — and the preservation of American democracy — ultimately will reap the consequences in the form of cowardly representation in Washington.

At least 20 Republican senators did not meet with Sicknick’s mother, including Blunt and Hawley. Blunt’s spokesperson said he had “extended an invitation to meet with Officer Sicknick’s family” — provided it occurred after two Senate committees issued a joint report on the attack.

Hawley’s office said he had offered to meet with Mrs. Sicknick but “did not hear back from her.” It’s not clear whether Hawley offered the same provisos as Blunt. But knowing Hawley, Mrs. Sicknick never stood a chance.

In a letter to GOP senators, she stated, “Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day.” She added: “Because of what they did, the people in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families.” She urged those who opposed the commission to “visit my son’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery and, while there, think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be there for them going forward.”

Hours before the Memorial Day weekend, when Americans honor the sacrifices of those in uniform who died serving the nation, Senate Republicans blocked the commission’s creation. Blunt didn’t even show up for the vote, and his office didn’t respond when asked why. Hawley voted against the commission.

Cowards hide from the truth. Honorable men and women embrace it and learn from it. At least Hawley had the courage to cast his vote and be on the record as wanting to hide from the truth. Blunt avoided accountability altogether, perhaps his most shameful action as his Senate tenure comes to an end.

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Jefferson City News-Tribune. June 5, 2021.

Editorial: Take steps to prevent pedestrian deaths

In Missouri, 128 pedestrians were killed and 316 were injured in 2020. These are deaths and injuries that didn’t need to occur and shouldn’t have.

In Missouri, 128 pedestrians were killed and 316 were injured in 2020.

These are deaths and injuries that didn’t need to occur and shouldn’t have.

The top contributing factors? Failure to yield, alcohol or drug impairment, and distraction/inattention.

So we support the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety’s new public awareness campaign, “Every Step Counts.” The weeklong campaign starts tomorrow, focusing on drivers and pedestrians.

Just as it takes two to tango, it takes pedestrians and motorists to ensure pedestrian safety.

For drivers, the advice is: buckle up, phones down, slow down and sober up. We would add one more: pay attention. If drivers heeded these simple tips, most accidents could be avoided.

Drivers and pedestrians need to make eye contact with each other. Don’t assume the other one has seen you.

If your vehicle is stranded, remain in the vehicle with your seat belt on. If you must exit a stalled vehicle alongside the roadway, do so on the opposite side of traffic and do not attempt to walk across the oncoming traffic.

For walkers, the coalition offers these safety tips:

Only cross at an intersection or crosswalk. Stepping out from between parked cars or other obstacles by the road can keep a driver from being able to see you and stop in time.

Look left, right and then left again before crossing an intersection or crosswalk. Always double-check the lane you’ll be entering first.

Be aware of drivers even when you are in a designated crosswalk. Drivers can look and use their mirrors, but there are always blind spots.

Avoid walking while wearing headphones or earbuds. You won’t be able to hear if a car is coming.

Wear brightly colored clothing for visibility when exercising along roads.

Walk against the flow of traffic rather than with the traffic.

Be cautious when exiting parking lots and be on the lookout for pedestrians.

Put your cellphone down and don’t look at it when driving or walking. Stay alert to all the challenges of the road.

Let’s work together to protect each other. Many of the above tips seem like common sense, but they go unheeded year after year. If we all heeded them, we could all but eliminate pedestrian-vehicle wrecks.

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