Archive for Monday, July 21, 2014

Editorial: Gun grandstanding

The state law exempting Kansas-made guns from federal regulation raises some interesting legal questions.

July 21, 2014


A state law that exempts firearms manufactured in Kansas from all federal regulations has drawn a lot of attention recently — from both supporters and critics.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed a lawsuit about the 2013 law that declares the federal government has no authority to regulate guns, ammunition and accessories manufactured, sold and kept in Kansas. The Brady Center said the law is an unconstitutional attempt to nullify federal gun laws.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign used the lawsuit as a springboard to send out a fundraising email saying the Brady Center was suing the governor “for protecting the Second Amendment rights of Kansans.”

Regardless of which side of this debate you’re on, the “Second Amendment Protection Act” certainly raises some interesting issues.

The statute makes it a felony for any federal employee to enforce federal gun regulations on Kansas only-weapons. It also says no state or local officials can attempt to enforce any federal gun regulations on Kansas-only weapons.

The Brady Center lawsuit already guarantees that this state law is headed to federal court. What will happen if the state tries to charge a federal official with a felony for trying to enforce a federal law?

The law declares that Kansas-only guns are exempt from any federal regulations. So what, if any, regulations will those firearms be subject to? Will Kansas manufacturers now be allowed to make guns without serial numbers, making it difficult to trace any gun involved in a crime? Can they legally make guns that can elude mental detectors or other security devices? Can such guns be sold without the background checks required by federal law?

Eliminating federal regulations without setting any state regulations on Kansas-only guns poses a significant safety issue for Kansas residents. However, setting and enforcing a set of Kansas-only regulations likely would represent a new expense for state taxpayers.

It’s pretty obvious that the Second Amendment Protection Act was intended more as a political protest than as a practical benefit for Kansans. Only time will tell how many tax dollars the state will spend to defend a law that has little chance of standing up to constitutional scrutiny.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 9 months ago

This law has nothing to do with guns or Federal Law. It is our governor pandering to the sublime racial hatred that exists in many parts of the state against the black senator from Illinois who was elected President of the United States over a corrupt and unqualified white man with a well-known family association.

The use of the very term "Obamacare" in reference to the Affordable Care Act is one glaring example. A law to help all Americans get health insurance, something that the Republicans could never manage to accomplish is sticking in the craw of every GOP supporter and the fact that President Obama managed to get it done is something that there political wonks simply cannot stomach.

This stupid illegal gun law is merely another "in-your-face" attempt and is eventually going to make the state of Kansas a further laughing stock of the nation when it is thrown out by the courts.

This governor has clearly been bad for Kansas for many reasons, but this willingness to attempt to overthrow the authority of the Federal Government is so far out of whack that I think that every Kansas Republican that ever thought this would work should be impeached.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 9 months ago

What is stupid, Fred, is the notion that health "insurance" was the answer to a broken healthcare system. The selling point was people without healthcare will now be able to get it. In reality, we don't know who has what at this point. All of the promises about saving money, keeping your doctor, keeping your health plan, etc., have all turned out to be false. The ACA has turned out to be a glaring example of government at its worst. It is the epitome of, "We're from the government and we're here to help." Backing a president with so many lapses in character and judgement, is intellectually dishonest, or stupid.

Don Brennaman 3 years, 9 months ago

"health-care providers could not." Are you sure you didn't mean would not?

Joshua Cain 3 years, 9 months ago

"We know that most got to keep their doctors....." Brett

But most wasn't a selling point. It was "you get to keep your doctor period". If you're going to chastise others and their alleged lies can you at least own up to the lies told to pass the ACA?

There are plenty of lies on both sides of the ACA conversation...but it was this administration that told the most damaging lies. No matter which side of the argument you fall on....Keeping your doctor and your health plans are in fact verifiable lies told to garner support for a piece of legislation few in congress read.

The ACA is a glaring example of what typical politicians do....misinform & lie to get what you want.

Bob Smith 3 years, 9 months ago

You forgot to drag in a reference to the Koch brothers. Perhaps the greatest folly of the disappointed progressives is their bitter clinging to the notion that any disagreement with the current resident of 1600 Penn Ave has to be motivated by racism.

Greg Cooper 3 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps the greatest folly of the disappointed progressives ( I assume the opposition would then be the regressive a?) is their silly belief that people truly want the best for all rather than the few with money and those who are deluded enough to believe those few have their best interests in mind.

There, fixed that for you.

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 9 months ago

But for far too many, racism is what drives their disagreement.

MerriAnnie Smith 3 years, 9 months ago

Since it IS racism on the part of the Republican voters (and it's plain lying on the part of the politicians who're lying to their racist voters, pandering for votes), it's an easy thing to say and an easy thing to see is true.

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 9 months ago

See Obama haters are in full mindless rant early in the day.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

When nothing else works and facts stand in the way of nonsense repeat the zombie lie. Repeat the conservative lie that has been debunked with facts ad nauseum because low information people tend to believe zombie lies. What are the conservative going to do when the zombie lie doesn't work anymore?

Joshua Cain 3 years, 9 months ago


I know of a few Liberal lies you might not be willing to bring into the conversation. Is it because the side you support is guilty of the same crime? What did you do when the administration's zombie lie was exposed?

You get to keep your doctor period. You get to keep your plan. - Can you debunk these?

At least the death panel lies were creative. The two lies I list above put a lot of supporters in the ACA's pocket and helped this poorly thought out legislation get signed into law.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

I've kept my doctor and have ACA coverage and know enough about today's events that this will be at least a year down the road if the SCOTUS even bothers with it. Knowing the meddling partisans they probably will do so. Ask Canada or any other Western European Country how and ACA type of insurance situation works for them. They don't have as many problems with it because three centuries ago they sent all of the skeptical low information people here to the new world to cause the conservative misinformation that's repeated until some uninformed people assume it's a fact.... you know.....a zombie lie.

Joshua Cain 3 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations Mike...I guess as long as you got what you wanted then the people that lost out on the Democrat zombie lie are SOL? How....Republican of you. As long as you're not affected and get what you want the ends justify the means.

"the conservative misinformation that's repeated until some uninformed people assume it's a fact.... you know.....a zombie lie." - Mike Ford

That's strange...I don't recall Conservatives telling me I can keep my Doctor & Plan.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

that's funny I remember a healthcare plan put forth with the Contract for America by Newt Gingerich and the GOP that no one in the GOP will claim because amnesia always works best with dumb voters. Other than that I don't think the amnesia clowns in the GOP had an alternative healthcare plan. The healthcare plan that exists now was based on the plan the GOP amnesia clowns don't recall. Better yet one can dispose of this keeping your doctor nonsense because from 2011 to 2014 I had no health insurance. Your GOP profiteers and United Healthcare decided my company plan had too many old people and sick people so they dropped us. I had health insurance I paid for from 1998 to 2011. I had to take two jobs to pay for my health insurance from 2007 to 2009. You can take your "I can't keep my doctor nonsense" and deal with not having any insurance at all like I did for a couple of years. I know many of you Limbaugh devotees like to be harsh so it's nice to redirect the harshness back at the fake issue people.

Joshua Cain 3 years, 9 months ago

The GOP amnesia is a relevant point. It speaks to the hypocrisy of the party logic....BUT you still haven't been able to persuade me that the Democrats are any different than Republicans when it comes to misinformation and lies. Do the ends justify the means? Can the democrats be held to the same standard with regard to lies? If you refuse equally applying the same logic then you're no worse than the GOP and their amnesia.

As for the plan is better than a bad plan.

If the keep your doctor is nonsense then why did the administration try to guarantee something that was never a reality in the first place? The same goes for keeping your plan. Health Insurance companies change the plans all the time.

Unless you can admit that the Keep your doctor was a lie....I think you suffer from amnesia yourself, in that either you actually have it or are selectively forgetting the facts. The latter is the sad reality that speaks to the unwillingness of the Democrats to at least do their part in being honest about the passage and the motivations behind it. The Republicans have their share of misinformation and lies.....but they didn't win the battle and the calculated misinformation to pass this law is squarely on the Democrats.

The Dems got everything they wanted in the ACA and they still screwed it up! A gift wrapped piece of legislation passed with NO bipartisan support that does not grant the IRS the ability to extend subsidies to those who buy insurance through the federally run exchange.

They Biden'd the legislation.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

do you conveniently ignore ALL of the harassment that the GOP has done for six years of more like a mad 5 year old in a grocery store? You act as if there was no pressure in constructing or passing this bill? I remember a Vietnamese GOP Congressman, Joseph Cao, from New Orleans, LA, voting for the ACA. He's an ex congressman now and he represents what I've always said. This isn't about the healthcare bill. This is about race and stopping a president from succeeding and piling on this president constantly. You even try to do the false equal thing like much of the GOP does to duck their own sins. The Democrats care about people as a whole.....the GOP cares about individuals in a very selfish manner. I grew up in the me first gimme gimme culture of Reagan and I saw this firsthand. The greed is good culture of Gordon Gecko right? I've been a Democrat since 1988. I'm tired of the GOP getting in office to dismantle the US Government and acting innocently like the government is bad when the reason it's bad is that they're full committed into running it into the ground. I have an ex uncle from Mississippi who stated in 1965 as he was mad at federal integration that someone should get into office cut off all services and protections and start over with very little. He was a very states rights guy and racist to boot. He doesn't sound any different than the GOP or the Tea Party now.

Joshua Cain 3 years, 9 months ago

"do you conveniently ignore ALL of the harassment that the GOP has done for six years of more like a mad 5 year old in a grocery store? " - Mike

Ummmm... No. I'm quite aware of the harassment. That's not what we're talking about. You started out with Zombie lies and can't own up to to the party you support and it's lie.... In many ways the democrats in charge are no better than the GOP and are guilty of the same crimes.

My mistake on Congressman Cao...the one lone savior of the bipartisan effort that was the ACA. The shining example of bipartisanship through compromise. What was it that the Dems compromised on again?

There's no race component. To say so without evidence is as desperate as some of the things coming out of the Republicans' mouths. The positions are different but the tactics are the same.

It really does come down to the ACA. The Dems rammed it through congress without thoughtful and thorough review. I'm not convinced that the entire republican party in DC is racist and couldn't be persuaded to come across the isle. I think the ACA vote count speaks to the true efforts of compromise on the Dems part. Why try your hand at compromise if you have the majority? That's the poison of true democracy. Mob rule.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

why compromise with a losing party? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney surely didn't. You must have total amnesia to not realize that this administration has never used a VP tie breaker situation vote instead playing fairly using the 60 vote threshold for passing a bill. I remember a couple of times when Darth Cheney was the tie breaker vote in a 50-50 Senate vote situation during W's tenure. Your amnesia doesn't remember or acknowledge this right? I'll give you an equivalent situation of you can keep your doctor......remember WMD's? remember the incredibly quick reaction to Katrina? btw my former relatives on the MS Gulf Coast lost homes in this hurricane and spent a couple of years in FEMA trailers. My grandmother had an aneurism and died from the stress of Katrina and my mother died going to help on a home taken over by mold by Katrina flood waters in a car accident. I'd say I was hurt worse by the GOP lies during Bush and those were REAL and were not part of the smearing debacle being practiced by an idealess GOP at this point.

David Reber 3 years, 9 months ago

Nice to see an LJW editorial make sense for a change. Near as I can tell, the right-wing whackadoodles love to cry "Constitution" at every turn; but they seem to think the document contains nothing beyond freedom of religion and the right to bear arms. (And they think freedom of religion means nobody else can live a life incongruent with their beliefs, but I digress...). Maybe if these yahoos would actually READ the US Constitution, they would understand how our government is designed to function and then stop wasting all our time and money with childish attempts to put themselves above the law.

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 9 months ago

Brilliant solution, if you're totally clueless as to what the government does.

MerriAnnie Smith 3 years, 9 months ago

Did you skip high school Civics? There is a lot you don't know about government.

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 9 months ago

Think that is an ongoing problem with most GOP party members.

MerriAnnie Smith 3 years, 8 months ago

Bart, put your aluminum cap back on. You're sounding a bit maniacal.

Don Brennaman 3 years, 9 months ago

I thought the governor stamped all federal funds "return to sender."

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 9 months ago

"Once you see the government as a criminal organization writ large, it all makes sense"

And once you see statements like this, you know, without error, how people like Brownback get elected.

I seriously doubt that the writer believes this, although there are very disconnected and angry individuals among this who are grasping as straws for their own lot in life. Too bad..

Corey Williams 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for not voting. Doing your civic duty and you didn't even know it.

Cheryl Nelsen 3 years, 8 months ago

I would appreciate some coverage about the possibility of a conflict of interest. Now that Kobach got the state law passed, it has come out that he is a part of a company that plans to manufacture Kansas guns. Do you suppose he was thinking of that BEFORE the law was passed? Yeah, right.

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