Just when you thought Kansas couldn't get any wackier and more dangerous, those Kansas lawmakers up the ante. Despite opposition from Kansas Board of Regents, the League of Kansas Municipalities, Kansas Association of Counties, Kansas Peace Officers Association, Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Association of Police Chiefs, the Kansas House passed an expanded concealed guns law on March 24, by a vote of 65-57, which would allow those people with conceal carry permits to carry guns into most state and city buildings including university and college campuses. Who wants to go to school in a state where any average Joe can bring a gun on campus legally? This is a prescription for violence.
Reginald Robinson, the president of the Kansas Board of Regents which oversees all of Kansas public universities had this to say:
"It is our firm belief that allowing weapons on campus would significantly increase the risk of violence and harm to students, faculty and others, rather than making anyone safer."
All of Kansas public universities and schools had prohibitions against carrying guns and weapons of any kind on campus. Under the new law, these rules would not be enforceable for those who carry gun permits. The only avenue universities would have would be to buy and install extremely expensive security screening equipment which in this time of budget cuts is very unlikely.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, responded to Mr. Robinson's remark with this:
Why are they worried about law abiding citizens" carrying weapons?
Gee, I don't know, weren't the two young teenagers at Columbine High School law abiding citizens until they walked into their high school with guns that were legally obtained and massacred 21 of their fellow schoolmates? Click on that link above and scroll down and take a look at their pictures. Do those two look like killers?
Mr. Knox is apparently of the belief that if some college student had been carrying a concealed weapon at Virginia Tech in 2007 they could have prevented the massacre there. BTW, Seung-Hui Cho purchased those guns legally too.
Students at several universities including Kansas University in Lawrence and Washburn University in Topeka have expressed concern and fear at the new legislation.
The legislation has yet to be passed by the Kansas Senate and signed by the Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson who is a Democrat and may likely (hopefully) veto the measure.
Here are a couple of articles about the expanded gun law:
WU students react to gun bill Topeka Capital Journal
House approves concealed carry on campus Lawrence Journal-World
Update: For the comments below: The purported reason for passing this law was to create greater security on university campuses and in government facilities. But here is the fact, violent crimes are very rare at these locations (the massacres mentioned above being the extremely uncommon exceptions). So how is having a gun going to create greater security in an environment where violent crime is fairly rare? On the other hand, the presence of larger number of guns will certainly create the opportunity for more violence than had previously existed. It may not be a 'river of blood' but you can expect violent crime using guns to rise. The United States has one of the highest homicide rates caused be gun violence among the industrialized nations. The majority of these homicides using guns were committed by persons known to the victim.