Guns, strippers steal legislative focus

Editorial Board / Washburn Review

There’s no place like home for Kansas lawmakers.

According to an article by David Klepper in the Kansas City Star, Kansas lawmakers are sitting on a $467 million deficit and Gov. Mark Parkinson has cut more state spending than any governor in Kansas history— to the point where they cannot cut any more. While Parkinson and Senate GOP leaders have agreed that raising taxes is a good solution—specifically on tobacco, alcohol and soda—Klepper said that House GOP leaders say that raising taxes will hurt families and businesses.

Their family friendly solution? Reducing funding for schools and other state programs, an area that has been tapped nearly dry as it is.

Perhaps instead of raising taxes or cutting school funds, Kansas lawmakers should start taking a look at themselves. Kansas has traditionally been “conservative” on the national scale, continuously electing Republican senators, representatives and presidential nominees. However, it’s about time that these so-called conservatives spent money more…conservatively.

In Kansas, the main topics concerning lawmakers seem to be abortion, immorality and guns—all things that they have very little expertise or say on, with perhaps an exception on the immorality thing.

Kansas legislators recently approved two bills dealing with immorality. One of the bills, which was written to protect victims of child pornography, was a great move by legislators and we applaud their efforts on that front. However, the second bill made us all go “WTF Kansas?” The bill proposed that sexually oriented businesses, such as strip clubs, would have to close from midnight to 6 a.m., that nudity would be outlawed completely and that dancers could be semi-nude, but would have to remain at least six feet away from patrons (in other words, no lap dances). While we all have different views on strip clubs and sexually oriented businesses, we can all agree that lawmakers have more important things to worry about than strip clubs. We also find it strange that, in a time when the number one concern in the nation is the economy, lawmakers are pressing to close businesses and put people out of work.

The House also passed a bill by a vote of 65 to 57 that would allow concealed carry on Kansas campuses.  While there are “statistics” on both sides of the concealed carry debate about how it makes campuses either safer or more dangerous, it is important to point out that the last school shooting in Kansas was a 1985 shooting at Goddard Middle School that resulted in one death. While it is true that it can happen anywhere at anytime, it doesn’t make much sense to fix a system that doesn’t appear to be broken. Allowing concealed carry on campus has no direct correlation to a university becoming safer. It will not prevent an event from happening, and if anything it makes the likelihood of a school shooting increase. Logically, more guns on campus means more chances for those guns to be used. So why did the House pass it?

Because it’s the “conservative” thing to do.