Editorial Roundup: Kansas

Kansas City Star. May 25, 2022.

Editorial: Texas to Kansas to Missouri, ‘pro-life’ politicians do nothing as gun violence rages

The mind reels, words falter, anger rises, and nothing is done. Nothing. Nothing. American children are dead, and still nothing.

This time, it’s Texas — an elementary school. Kids. At least 19 children dead, not counting the killer. Two adults as well.

Ten days ago it was a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Before that, a church. At other times, a concert, a nightclub, a shopping mall, a movie theater, a high school, a workplace, a military base, a baseball diamond, a home. Still, nothing.

“What are we doing? Why are we here?” Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy asked Tuesday evening. “This only happens in this country and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day.”

To which we must answer Sen. Murphy, in words appalling and shameful: We are doing nothing.

Nearly 10 years ago, a gunman killed 20 kids at Sandy Hook Elementary school, and six adults. Surely, most Americans thought, the nation’s political community would come together and do something to prevent a similar slaughter, in another place, at another time.

Those Americans were wrong. Congress, and state legislators, were unmoved by the thought of dead children in Newtown, Connecticut. Somehow, the promise of guns at any time, for any reason, in any place, proved more important.

And so they acted. In Missouri, legislators have declared all federal gun regulations null and void. The state said it would prosecute law enforcement officers who took steps to reduce the carnage, even as the blood flowed in the state’s two biggest cities.

Kansas passed its own Second Amendment Protection Act. It does not have a Second Grader Protection Act.

Americans know some gun regulations work. Universal background checks, and a ban on the sale and manufacture of some multi-round weapons, would not prevent every mass shooting, but they might prevent one. Just one. Or save one life.

This is a pro-life position you will not hear from pro-life politicians.

It’s also constitutional, no matter what the gun lobby tells you. “The right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” conservative Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia wrote in 2008. “The right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

That is not what lawmakers believe. It is not how they have acted. Their enthusiasm for expanding weapons ownership, no matter the cost, has aided and abetted the slaughter of innocents, including children in Connecticut, Florida and now Texas.

The Second Amendment, it seems, is absolute. If school children must die to protect it, so be it.

We all know what comes next. Gun fetishists will accuse Americans of “politicizing” a tragedy. Now isn’t the time to talk about this, we’ll hear. It’s reckless. Provocative. Unconstitutional.

Americans of good faith — those tired of fearing for their lives, and their kids’ lives — will reject this nonsense. America does not have to be the only place where children are cut down in cold blood. Americans must demand accountability and gun reform, and toss out politicians who pay lip service to the dead, but make more bloodshed inevitable.

Sen. Roy Blunt has taken $4.5 million from the National Rifle Association and related entities, according to the nonprofit Brady Campaign. Sen. Josh Hawley: $1.4 million. More than 1,000 people die from gun violence in Missouri, every year.

Sen. Roger Marshall got an A+ rating from the NRA, and bragged about it.

And kids are murdered, and we do nothing.

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Topeka Capital-Journal. May 27, 2022.

Editorial: It’s time for Kansans to talk about background checks, waiting periods and assault weapons

Needless gun violence on Tuesday ended the lives of 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, elementary school. This comes only 10 days after 10 Black men and women were gunned down in a Buffalo, New York supermarket.

These tragic and unnecessary stories have played out countless times over the past few decades. Places like Parkland, Florida; Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; Las Vegas; and Columbine, Colorado, have been essentially just another horrific statistic in America’s gun violence epidemic. Churches like Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Charleston, South Carolina

In Kansas, too — three people were killed and 14 others injured in a series of shootings in Hesston and Newton in 2016. In 2014, three people were shot to death at two Jewish facilities in Overland Park.

It’s unfathomably heartbreaking.

Words can’t begin to express our frustration with this situation.

How many more schoolchildren and teachers have to die? How many grocery store shoppers, churchgoers and theater patrons?

We can prevent this from happening again. Politicians are choosing not to.

It’s pretty telling we have a nationwide problem when an NBA coach has more meaningful words to offer on the topic than those in Washington, D.C.

“There’s 50 senators, right now, who refuse to vote on HR 8, which is a background check rule that the House passed,” Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said during his news conference before a playoff game. “There’s a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold on to power.”

The Kansas delegation needs to call for or sponsor sensible gun control laws in the U.S.

Background checks before purchasing a weapon would make sense.

Waiting periods before making a gun purchase would make sense, too.

These policies are a common-sense approach to solving our nation’s problems with gun violence. Thoughts and prayers, while appreciated, aren’t going to cut it when gun violence could be prevented easily.

We’re not in favor of legislation that would take away all guns and ammunition from Kansans. That doesn’t make sense either.

Here in Kansas, we understand and appreciate the need for guns. Hunting is an important part of rural life and the Kansas economy.

That being said, we struggle to understand why a Kansan would legitimately need an assault weapon. Maybe the time has come that we as Americans take a hard look at why we want them in the first place. How sporting is it to kill a deer with an AR-15 anyway? It’s not.

Let’s pass gun legislation that protects Kansans.

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