Gun lovers 1 and common sense 0, but Kansas campus carry issue still alive

gunsGun supporters won the first round of the battle in the Kansas Legislature on Tuesday as they promote putting dangerous weapons on campuses later this year.

A Senate panel essentially let stand a 2013 law that allows conceal carry starting July 1 at public colleges and medical centers.

UPDATED 2 p.m. Wednesday: A House committee heard testimony on a bill that would prevent that law from taking effect.

But members did not vote on the issue; that will come later, possibly in the next few days. As happened on Tuesday, it was encouraging to see that the majority of speakers favored keeping weapons off campuses.

Common sense needs to prevail eventually. Kansas lawmakers should listen to the people who matter — the majority of students, teachers and administrators who oppose campus carry — and stop currying favor from the National Rifle Association.

After the Senate panel rejected its measure Tuesday, gun zealots celebrated, without having a good reason for why they wanted to ignore college instructors and the kids they teach. This is also the same legislature where careless Rep. Willie Dove left a loaded gun last week in a committee room open to the public.

The House measure heard on Wednesday also would put off indefinitely allowing concealed guns to be carried on campuses.

Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton

Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton

As Overland Park Republican Stephanie Clayton has pointed out, the Legislature relaxed Kansas’ gun laws even more in 2015. The members inanely decided that people didn’t need permits or training to carry loaded weapons that could kill men, women and children.

(Clayton was the target of a death threat over her stand on this issue.)

So Clayton wants to review the 2013 law, which she points out her Johnson County constituents tell her  they overwhelmingly reject.

I hope the House panel eventually has more courage to defy the pro-gun forces in Kansas. At the very least, the issue needs to be debated by the full House and Senate.

That way, the people of Kansas can get  recorded votes on a crucial issue. That would enable them to see who’s on the side of sanity — and who’s been bought by the gun industry.

2 Thoughts.

  1. Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent to Representative Dove.

    Dear Representative Dove,

    I live in Basehor, KS. You are my elected representative.

    As an elected representative in the State of Kansas I would assume you consider yourself a wise, thoughtful and responsible man.

    As a 60 year man myself I consider myself much more wise and responsible than when I was a young adult of 18-22 years old. I you assume you would probably feel the same way about yourself.

    With this feeling I would expect you might have an epiphany considering allowing guns on college campuses. You have demonstrated perfectly why it make no sense to allow guns on college campuses. Even you at your age, mistakes happen. To remove a gun and leave it laying around accessible to anyone to find or use is irresponsible. Mistakes will happen.

    I would hope that you use your mistake as a personal learning experience. College students should not be caring guns on college campuses. Mistakes will happen. Some of the outcomes may not be as good as yours. Your mistake resulted in no one hurt other than maybe some personal embarrassment. You were lucky.

    Let’s not depend on luck for student safety on our campuses.

    Ron Grover

  2. perhaps what we need is a continuous vigil of college students, NRA members all, walking the streets of Topeka, the same sidewalks as our legislators, carrying their automatic weapons. Let’s let the lawmakers see and feel what the world they are creating on college campuses will be like. Sit outside the statehouse with your rifle on your lap and, as they walk by, keep your finger on the trigger as you thank them for defending your Second Amendment rights.

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