Public employees will be able to travel the streets of Wichita and other Kansas cities with concealed firearms starting Friday.It is hard to see why school employees should be singled out for discrimination. Why should children be chosen as a group that must remain undefended? The answer to this question comes from the strategy of those who oppose an armed population. The premise was pushed that more guns equal less safety. It sounds somewhat plausible on its face. But the statistics and facts do not back it up.
Empowering state and municipal workers to conceal and carry on the job is one of many new laws passed by the Legislature that take effect July 1.
Among others: a shortening of the time someone can receive welfare, transparency reforms and a ban on use of tanning beds by people under 18.
HB 2502 will enable public employees, except school employees, to conceal and carry on the job without any gun safety training. They were already allowed to carry in public office buildings in most cases, but this change enables them to carry weapons when they go out into the community on official business.
The number of guns in America have nearly doubled while the number of murders have fallen over the last 22 years (1993 to 2014. Expressed as rates, the per capita number of guns has increased by 33% (.89 to 1.176) while the murder rate has decreased by 54% (9.8 to 4.5), per 100,000.
The argument that more guns means more gun accidents does not hold for fatal gun accidents. The rate of gun accidents has dropped by 91% (1.84 to .16 per 100,000) while the per capita number of guns has tripled (.351 to 1.148)(1945 to 2013).
That leaves suicides, which most people do not see as a significant issue, as there are numerous substitute methods. The percentage of suicides with guns has decreased by 16% while the per capita number of guns has increased by 56% (1981 - 2014).
School employees have been singled out because anti-Second Amendment stratigists claim "its for the children" and conflate adults who have guns with children having access to guns. It is an easy slip of logic for those who do not examine the issue closely. The long term strategy is to teach children that guns are bad. They are so bad, that we do not allow them in schools.
It is not working. When children grow up, they want to try things they have been deprived of. Millennials are not adverse to guns.
The concealed carry movement swept the country over the last 30 years. The number of people with carry permits increased geometrically. At the same time, accidents with guns, murders with guns, and the percentage of suicides with guns have all fallen. Records kept on carry permit holders show that they are far more responsible than non-permit holders.
Legislatures have responded to grass roots pressures by restoring more and more Second Amendment rights that were infringed during the "progressive" era.
Public employees are one of that last groups to regain their rights, because they were one of the most easily stripped of them. A mere change in the terms of employment was required. No legislation needed to have been passed.
With members of the public armed, often visibly, public employees asked why they should be deprived of their rights. No one can reasonably explain why, so their rights are also being restored. Numerous counties have preceded Kansas in restoring these rights; I expect other states will follow.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.