Each year the Hoisington Labor Day parade draws hundreds of people. In this political year, it even brought opposing candidates to hand out their flyers. No reason for controversy, right? We believe in freedom and encourage candidates to campaign.
My objections is why did Kris Kobach bring the .50 caliber machine gun replica to the parade? There were Military personnel carrying flags and possibly rifles. That’s normal, even patriotic. Soldiers are trained to carry rifles properly. By contrast to see a civilian with .50 caliber displayed in a parade, even if it is a replica, sends a message that is neither normal nor patriotic.
This struck me as I watched kids picking up candy along the route. Kids and families feeling safe at a hometown parade, safe until the machine gun replica went by. That is not normal. Mr. Kobach has attended other parades in the state and received extreme criticism and yet he chose to attend Hoisington’s parade with the weapon. It was not a rifle for hunting or target practice, it was an assault rifle which has only one use.
My point is this, a weapon, even a replica, brought to our hometown parade is not acceptable. I pray that this is not the way of the world. People want to feel safe, not intimidated. Anyone running for office does not need to display a weapon, pretend or otherwise, to gain votes. There are other ways to get their point across.
If no one objects to this behavior, then he is given permission to continue or anyone else may do the same. I decided to speak up, to object. That machine gun is similar to those that have killed many people including children. The uncompromising message conveyed by Mr. Kobach is hard to overlook.
Mary Ann June