Kansas loves the Second Amendment, as the Senate proved again this week when approving the “gun-rights bill,” 34-2, and sending it to an equally receptive House.
Once again, our state is being touted as a model for how to strip others of their rights. First we became a model of making it cumbersome to register to vote, just in case some undocumented alien should wish to sneak into a voting booth. Now, the National Rifle Association is holding Kansas up as a model state for telling its communities they cannot ban open firearms in public.
It appears gun control laws adopted in the Wild West days of the 1870s would be much too strict for today’s standards. Imagine Dodge City officials erecting a sign on Front Street admonishing, “the carrying of firearms strictly forbidden.” An even earlier sign warned visitors to Wichita to “leave you revolvers at police headquarters and get a check.” Old Abilene’s “check all guns” sign wouldn’t we acceptable.
Local officials will still be allowed to prevent the open carrying of firearms inside public buildings, but apparently if our freedom loving lawmakers want to ride into Topeka and hurrah the town – like cowboys riding into Dodge City, guns blazing – that will be OK. (At least up to the point where they actually fire the weapons.)
Local officials know what is wanted and what works best in their communities, but our lawmakers continue churning out weird bits of legislation while ignoring important issues.