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Archive for Sunday, October 31, 2010

Controversy nominal over proposed constitutional amendments

October 31, 2010

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— The last time Kansas voters changed the state constitution was in 2005 when they approved an amendment that said marriage shall be between one man and one woman.

Nothing that controversial appears on Tuesday’s ballot.

But there are two proposed amendments before voters.

The first one deals with the rights of gun owners, and the second one removes a provision that would allow the Legislature to deny the right to vote to people with mental illness.

Kansans have been owning guns for generations, but supporters of the proposition say it is necessary to clarify a 1905 Kansas Supreme Court ruling, which they say can be interpreted to mean that the right to keep and bear arms is a collective right for militias. The proposed amendment would establish that Kansans have an individual right to own a gun.

If approved by voters, the Kansas Constitution would read:

“A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose.”

The second proposal is needed, supporters say, because the current Kansas Constitution stigmatizes people with mental illness.

The state constitution now says that the Legislature has the authority to prohibit people with mental illness from voting. The Legislature has never tried to approve a law that would do this, but mental health advocates say the language in the constitution needs to be stricken.

“Two of four presidents carved on Mount Rushmore — Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt — struggled with mental illness,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, national director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “No one has ever suggested that they should have been denied the right to vote.”

Supporters of the amendment say the term mental illness is too broad and could extend to people who simply suffer from depression or attention deficit disorder.

“If we live long enough, it is foreseeable that each of us could acquire some mental health issue,” said Dr. Roy Menninger, who is chairman of the Kansas Mental Health Coalition.

There has been no organized opposition to the amendment, and it has been endorsed by Republican and Democratic candidates for governor.

Still, mental health advocates, worried about what voters will think because of misperceptions about mental illness, launched a statewide campaign to educate the public about the measure and urge support.

Comments

grammaddy 3 years, 11 months ago

I didn't realize Kansas 'Constitution banned Gay Marriage.Where can I join up to help get that reversed?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 11 months ago

It'll get stricken down just as the bans on interracial marriage were when such prohibitions are ruled to violate the federal constitution. It's only a matter of time.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 11 months ago

The voters of Kansas are not allowed to violate the US constitution.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course, what you mean by activist judges, is a judge who upholds the Law and the Constitution of the USA, even when you disagree.

Of course, that does not make the judge bad, it just makes you a traitor.

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jayhawktownie 3 years, 11 months ago

hahahahhaha. good point. we really need to protect against all those wackos who want to get rid of traditional marriage.

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Horace 3 years, 11 months ago

I was just thinking the other day that we need more crazy people voting.

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DillonBarnes 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank you Vertigo. The term "mental disorder" is so misunderstood and misinterpreted.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 11 months ago

Yea, voting Republican is clearly a mental disorder, but taking away their right to vote would create more problems that it would solve.

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 11 months ago

If we took Repubs voting rights away, imagine all of their other in-capacities that would be justified. Can't work. Can't keep a home. Can't drive. Can't afford heath insurance.

Welfare, HUD, "T" busses, Medicaide will cost the country Billions.

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beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

So if the gun law gets struck down, will that mean that only militia members can own?

The gun proposition is a stupid waste of time and money. It does nothing for gun ownership that hasn't either been covered already on a federal level through the supreme court, or can just as easily be undone should federal winds change. The state law wouldn't override federal law, even if it passes by 100%. Silly gun folk.

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pace 3 years, 11 months ago

I find the head line offensive. It is radical politics trying to make being different than a gun toting white homophobe (that isn't smart enough to get help when they need it) lose their rights. NO thanks. Vote no on these little changes. (good god,"nominal". The right use to at least respect that every American has rights. Civil rights should be defended not destroyed through changing the constitutions of the states and the country.

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DillonBarnes 3 years, 11 months ago

What are you talking about? 1. You are stereotyping. 2. No one is forcing you to buy a gun.

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