Tuesday, September 02, 2014

What’s afoot in Topeka?

6/14/2013

I commend Jeanny Sharp and The Herald staff for alerting readers to the outrageous law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons into and onto public property, including libraries and swimming pools.

Who with a grain of intellect or decency can fail to despise the crass, cowardly hypocrisy in which the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback acted to exempt the Statehouse from the requirements of this brazen imposition on the citizens and other government units of Kansas? And are we supposed to ignore the news that our own statehouse delegation stained itself in this dishonorable idiocy?

I commend Jeanny Sharp and The Herald staff for alerting readers to the outrageous law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons into and onto public property, including libraries and swimming pools.

Who with a grain of intellect or decency can fail to despise the crass, cowardly hypocrisy in which the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback acted to exempt the Statehouse from the requirements of this brazen imposition on the citizens and other government units of Kansas? And are we supposed to ignore the news that our own statehouse delegation stained itself in this dishonorable idiocy?

The absurdity only compounds itself when we realize (as Sharp’s editorial emphasized) that the only way local governments can protect themselves from the full force of this law is to dip into our tax dollars for expensive security measures nobody asked for.

Before they can post a simple logo banning guns from their offices and premises, they must first jump through all kinds of elaborate hoops promoting little more than public confusion and frustration with the normal course of public business. It’s no wonder government units all across Kansas are up in arms about this nonsense.

A serious approach to gun control would, of course, cleanse the preposterous toils of such a law, but that’s just exactly what it’s designed to thwart and abort. Gun safety in Kansas means we must first bow and scrape to the loud screamers for guns in every nook and cranny of public space. There’s the measure of the betrayal and cowardice afoot in this business.

As Caryn Tyson explained, her vote in the Kansas Senate for this noxious measure expressed her view of gun rights in the Second Amendment — as though, to her, only gunslingers matter — and as though she had some special privilege to defy the stark fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has never defined that amendment to mean that states have no power to impose an absolute ban on the possession of deadly weapons in public places.

When will sober, informed Kansans wake up to what’s afoot in Topeka? The whole power of our government system has been seized by a disorderly mob of reactionary radicals, egging on the rabble. These people are not serious conservatives. Unless at some point they are decisively overthrown, we are going to find our whole public life mired in self-destructive conflicts and the trashing of everything great about our public sector.

The place and time to start is next year when a destroyer and demagogue named Sam Brownback is up for re-election. The cowards in Kansas public life who refuse to stand up to this imposture of statesmanship and ethics will have only themselves to blame if Kansas ends up in the filthy pit that so many commentators around the country say we are being led into by the wanton irresponsibility that is by now his indelible trademark.

— David A. Lee,

Ottawa

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