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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Tend to business

March 15, 2013

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It seems that, every day, one finds in the Journal-World another example of our esteemed legislators at work sponsoring bills that do little or nothing to enhance the general welfare of the state or the residents thereof.

The latest example of such inane foolishness is a bill “supported by the NRA,” and others, which would limit lobbying for gun control. Supporters argue that “taxpayer funds should not be used to lobby for restrictions on legal products.”

What about regulations on the sale and use of liquor and cigarettes, both of which are legal and heavily regulated? By the above lame, myopic argument, the National Institutes of Health (a government entity) should not be allowed to inform the public of the known dangers of use of such products, both of which are known to be lethal. Well, guns are also lethal and do the job much more quickly. 

Please lay to rest the lame old argument that guns do not kill people; people kill people.  It is much easier to avoid or counter killers who do not have access to a gun.

We do wish for, but hold little hope of, a return to sanity by those who are duly elected to represent all of us rather than whichever special interest group is making the most noise. Our legislators need to spend more time and effort tending to the business of the state and the welfare of the general public, i.e. school funding, coming together to find a sensible budget, solving the state budget crisis and correcting the state’s broken tax structure. They need to spend less time, thought, energy and effort pushing the agendas of minority segments of their constituency. 

Comments

Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Well, we wouldn't want research to muddy the waters of our preconceived notions about anything, would we? The NRA has a history of actively squelching research money that might be used to investigate the relationship between guns, violence, socioeconomic dynamics, prevention measures, etc. They want to be able to frame the issue on their own terms, bereft of any complicating facts.

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

Love how you respond to the argument against rhetoric with the old "if criminals" rhetoric. Priceless... If guns made a place safe, America would be the safest place on earth, but people still feel so unsafe they refuse to enter a building with a sign on it. What are we so afraid of?

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

And, of course, the argument that we shouldn't have laws because criminals won't obey them is an odd one for the right, usually "law and order" folks, to make.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

"Only law abiding citizens follow laws so passing more law is pointless".

Criminals, by definition, are those that don't obey the laws. If the reason not to pass laws is because criminals don't obey them, then why have them at all? Why are you all for the current gun laws which criminals don't obey?

voevoda 1 year, 8 months ago

LarryNative, you imagine that your truism that criminals don't obey gun laws is a convincing argument against having gun laws. You are mistaken. On the contrary, that truism forms a cogent argument in favor of having gun laws!

It is because we have laws that we as a society can distinguish between lawful and unlawful behavior. From this perspective, criminals are a necessary consequence of having laws. A law that nobody violates is a law that has no purpose.

So what are the implications for gun laws? We currently have a problem in the enforcement of gun laws. Partly this is a result of the lack of sufficient resources to identify, arrest, prosecute, and imprison criminals. Partly this is a result of poorly-designed gun laws that cannot be enforced. Some gun laws are even designed explicitly to prevent the enforcement of gun laws; House Bill 2199 is Exhibit 1!

If we had rational gun laws that have national jurisdiction (criminals do not respect municipal or state lines in their movement), then we could do much better in keeping weapons out of the hands of lawbreakers, both those who use guns deliberately to break laws (criminals) and those who use guns negligently so that others are harmed by them (civil torts).

Greg Cooper 1 year, 8 months ago

Well, why don't we try not having any gun laws. How do you suppose that might work out for you?

voevoda 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, LarryNative, those laws are working: they allow us to distinguish between people who are criminals and people who are law abiding, and they allow us to arrest, convict, and imprison criminals. If people like you and our State Legislators would stop getting in the way, we could refine gun laws so that they can be enforced more effectively. Instead, you are making it more difficult to prevent criminals from getting hold of weapons--and thus allowing for the perpetuation of the current problematical situation. So my question for you, LarryNative, is this: why are you in favor of continuing to allow criminals such easy access to guns?

voevoda 1 year, 8 months ago

A law that makes gun owners responsible civilly and criminally for allowing their weapons to fall into the wrong hands. That would definitely make it a lot harder for criminals to get hold of guns.

Similar laws about proper use of ammunition would quickly render most firearms in the wrong hands useless.

Other countries have had a considerable level of success in curbing misuse of guns while preserving individual liberties. The US doesn't need to reinvent the wheel on this--just learn from the best practices of our foreign friends.

As I have already explained, LarryNative, laws do not need to be 100% effective in order to be valid and beneficial. A law that is never violated isn't a successful law--it's a useless law. I don't understand why you would rather keep laws that aren't working to your satisfaction rather than replace them with laws that would work better. If you really don't oppose gun laws in principle, why are you so unwilling to countenance changing them?

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree whole-heartedly with the author. That being said, however, this is the representation that was promised and advertised during an election in which candidates argued over who was the most extremely "conservative" candidate. We (the voters) have created this group of "representatives," and we're getting what we deserve, I guess. The push to politicize everything to the extremes, right, left, whatever, has led this state to become an experiment for every policy that can be pushed upon us by this legislature. And the supporters are eating it up. While some of us cringe to open the paper every morning, some undoubtedly are cheering every misguided step of the way. Facts? We don't need any facts. We have rhetoric. Rhetoric was what they were elected on and unadulterated rhetoric is what we're going to get. Face this fact...our state is pushing to become the most ultra "conservative" state in the union. The question is for how long will there be anything left to conserve.

Joe Hyde 1 year, 8 months ago

The Bodles bring up an interesting point: Almost daily we learn of one or more new bills introduced in the legislature, most seeking to impose some new social control, or remove a common sense regulatory control already in place. Nearly all of the bills being oblivious to the state's imminent budget shortfall.

In reality there's nothing oblivious about this technique. Continuously jarring the public's sensibilities with multiple "social change bills" is calculated to stun voters, make voters less sensitive to recognizing the "conservative" master plan of imposing an old-style colony exploitation model on the state of Kansas. Conservatives are desperate to return our state to the gilded age of the industrial Robber Barons.

In the months leading up to the next general election, always bear in mind that the invisible puppetmasters jerking our chains are multi-billionnaires and multi-millionnaires who've launched a war of total socio-economic control. Whatever deep-seated psychological reasons motivate them to this endeavor is their business.

What makes the puppetmasters aggressive behavior everybody's business is their willingness to spend unrecorded millions training selected state legislators in secret to do their bidding. In Kansas, it is at this point beyond any doubt that Republican conservatives view this contest as a war to the death.

Katara 1 year, 8 months ago

Gone to other states that give a crap about their citizens.

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