It all comes down to the sticker on the door. That’s the bottom line of a debate about whether to allow license holders to carry concealed weapons in public buildings.
A new law requires public entities to allow the practice, but many entities including the city of Gardner, are seeking temporary exemptions. In order to receive a long term exemption, the city must provide adequate security at public buildings, which could include metal detectors and armed guards.
The cost is prohibitive, and there’s a much less expensive option: Take the sticker announcing that city hall is a ‘Gun Free Zone’ off the front door. It’s easy, free, and the end result is a tiny change that will go largely unnoticed. There is nothing to fear from licensed, law-abiding citizens carrying concealed weapons.
A sticker on the door doesn’t make city hall any safer, though it may give some people a false sense of security. That can also be accomplished by purchasing t-shirts, stickers or buttons reminding people that shooting others is illegal. The t-shirt solution allows individuals who need that sense of security to retain it while still adhering to the new law.
Yes, that’s a snarky response, but we can’t believe the time and money city staff is about to dedicate to researching the cost of implementing security measures. We already know the city can’t afford it, and it appears that citizens overwhelmingly support allowing conceal and carry in public buildings.
We’re not basing that on the handful of people who showed up at a city council meeting in support of the new law. We’re basing that on the elected representatives in Topeka, who overwhelmingly and bi-partisan fashion supported the law.
All of that said, we appreciated the careful and thoughtful consideration and discussion on the topic by council members. That is how reasoned debate is conducted.
We could have lived without the audience members who burst into applause at sarcasm and hyperbole.
City council meetings aren’t sporting events, and those in attendance should show more respect for the process by making their comments and then listening quietly.
We’re disappointed with the council’s decision, because it seems like a waste of time and energy with the same end result – the signs will be taken off the doors, and licensed, law-abiding citizens will be allowed to carry their guns into city hall.