The Kansas Legislature went to great lengths to pass inane pro-gun laws in its recently concluded session. And Gov. Sam Brownback is naively signing them.
Unfortunately, these bills could have actual effects on the people of Kansas. And they won’t be positive.
• Prairie Village officials aretrying to decide
how to handle a new law that requires a city — if it wants to ban concealed weapons in public buildings — to provide “adequate security measures” to make sure no weapons are brought into those buildings. In Prairie Village, that would include the public swimming pool and city hall.
In other words, the state has mandated huge, new costs on Prairie Village and any other city that logically wants to retain bans on carrying weapons into public buildings.
My favorite part of this debate: City Council member David Belz noted that the city might be able to get exempted from the bill for up to four years after developing security proposals for public facilities.
“We could develop these plans, tell the state this is what we’re planning on doing, and then hope that four years from now the goofballs who passed this thing are out of office and we get a better law,” Belz said.
Gosh, I don’t normally condone name-calling, but Belz made a pretty decent point given the low quality of the gun legislation passed in the 2013 Kansas session. Plus, let’s hope his wish comes true, and the law is thrown out or rescinded in the future.
• The Topeka Capital-Journalreported this week
that the main insurer of school districts in Kansas “won’t insure districts with armed employees,” which a new Kansas law will now allow.
“We understand that school districts have every right to decide which way they want to go,” said Bernie Zalaznik, a top executive for EMC Insurance Companies. “But we have to make the decision based on what we perceive to be our best financial interest.”
Sensibly, EMC understands that allowing more guns into the schools increases the risks that more people will get shot — teachers by teachers, students by teachers, teachers by students — you name it.
The absolutely ridiculous notion that arming teachers is somehow going to make schools safer is undermined by EMC’s decision. It knows better than the National Rifle Association what the risks are of putting more and more guns into schools.
So would a school district risk losing its entire insurance plan just to make a few NRA supporters happy?
Or would districts that take this route have to pay far higher insurance rates if they decide to arm their teachers, costing school patrons more money? (Thanks, NRA.)
Given the bullheadedness of some districts in Kansas, we may find out.