February 10, 2016

Council gun-carry decision stalls the inevitable

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.


  1. Walter H. says:

    The bothersome issue here was how utterly ill prepared the some of the Council members and some of the city staff were for this topic. Mrs. Harrison spoke of her concern about people being able to CC at Celebration Park, something that has been legal for sometime. Mr. Freeman asked a question about the law that no one could answer. The attorney for the city had not read the law nor did he have a copy of it. At one point there were asking for citizens in attendance if they had a copy of the law. Mr. Sutton who actually signed the law clarified it but because he did not read it directly from the law itself that was not good enough for Mr. Freeman. Mrs.Harrison voted for the 6 month extension in order to give city hall employees adequate time to get their CC permits. That reason did not make sense.
    Captain Moore was the main presenter of the topic and he also did not have a copy of the law and seemed to be unsure of the facts he presented when questioned. Many at the meeting also agreed that the city cannot now and would not in the future be able to afford guards or metal detectors. We are now going to study something that was admitted as not feasible.
    This is something we cannot afford and the alternative costs less and is equally effective.

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    I see no reason whatsoever for us not to have an armed policeman or metal detectors at our City Hall. This lack of money is BS. We have money up the gut to take care of the thieves constantly and much more that I don’t agree with. One thing is for sure and that is I do not want anyone coming into our government buildings with guns and I certainly don’t want this open carry and all of the conceal carry wingnuts – the Red Kansas Republicans sure have shown what they are – pretty low in my estimation.

    All of this NRA propaganda and rhetoric and the lowlife legislators and other worthless politicians supporting and enabling it are not to my liking.

    These gun extremists claim to be law abiding citizens when in reality, in my opinion, they are just extremists who are whipped up (even by our lawmakers, no less), ignorant cult followers and undermining the lawful and peaceful communities across America.

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