Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kansas Follows Principles and Texas on Concealed Guns in Statehouse

Kansas legislators have decided to live by the same law and principles that they have required of communities around the State.   They welcome armed people who have obtained concealed carry permits into the Statehouse.  It is not as if there is any serious risk involved.   People who go to the trouble of obtaining concealed carry permits have repeatedly shown themselves to be many times more law abiding than the general population.   They commit murder at only a fraction of the rate that police officers do.   If the legislature trusts armed police officers in their Statehouse, they certainly should trust armed people who have concealed carry permits.  From

“There will be no one in the Capitol who doesn't have a license to carry,” Wagle said. “A license to carry requires a background check and education.”
She said renovation of the domed structure resulted in security upgrades that should make employees and the public feel safer, but the new conceal-and-carry status should promote peace of mind.

The Statehouse shouldn’t be viewed any differently than other state buildings, county courthouses or university facilities across the state in terms of concealed weapon law, she said.

"We can't be hypocritical," Wagle said. "We either believe that it increases safety and that anyone who has a license is a legitimate individual who seeks not to harm anyone else or you don't believe it."
 People opposed to an armed population have often accused legislators of hypocrisy.  This comment is from the huffingtonpost, commenter Bob B:

Since the gun lobby and their politicians think its such a great idea to have guns in schools, restaurants etc, why dont they start by allowing people to bring guns into the senate, congress and federal buildings.
 This one is from   Commenter NUFF SAID! writes:

If the legislators are so convinced that guns are the solution, I would suggest that they allow guns in the legislative sessions. They are eager for everyone else to have the "benefits" of carrying, why not apply the logic to themselves?
This one is concerning the Kansas situation directly.  Fred Ziffel comments from from about a year ago:

If C.C is so safe, what happened to C.C. (even open carry) in the capitol building? It was there in the House version. Could legislators be hypocrites?
Those opposed to an armed population are not giving the legislators any credit for acting responsibly in accordance with the principles that they have espoused.    The AP story frames the issue as the legislatures "failure to exercise the power granted to them":
Visitors will be allowed to bring concealed guns into the Kansas Statehouse starting in July because legislative leaders on Thursday refused to exercise the power granted to them by state law to prevent it.
 Commenter Patty Nolte from the UMKC writes:
Isn't it hypocritical to have preventative measures in place to disarm a suspicious member of the public? To be fair, the Capitol police should only be able to intervene when there is an obvious attempt to fire a gun, the same as for everyone else.
The measure that she is referring to is only one proposed by the minority leader in the article, not one included in the law:

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said he’s concerned about the change. The Topeka Democrat said he'll work on a policy to allow the Capitol police to confiscate weapons from visitors they mistrust or who appear “agitated” when they enter the building.

Read more here:
Texas already has a law in effect that is similar to the Kansas law, and has not had any problems with it.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan allow guns in their state capitols in the Midwest.   It appears that at least eight states follow the practice, as reported by the huffingtonpost a year ago.

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