Gun resolutions – Governments of Ulysses, Syracuse and Lakin recently passed resolutions endorsing the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Grant and Seward counties did the same. In doing so, they’ve raised a simple question from many observers: Why bother? Even though such resolutions may be viewed as a way to ward off attempts to restrict the Second Amendment, it’s safe to say they wouldn’t stand up against firearms-related changes in federal law. Over in Sedgwick County, where another Second Amendment resolution narrowly passed, County Commissioner Dave Unruh took a more realistic stand in voting against the resolution. Unruh – a supporter of the Second Amendment – said the resolution wasn’t necessary because the U.S. Constitution and Kansas Constitution already protect those rights. Unruh said he favors fewer laws and regulations, and considered the resolution needless duplication. He’s right.
Garden City Telegram
Gun vote – Polls show that 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks. Even 84 percent of Wichita and Hutchinson residents support it. Clearly, U.S. senators – including our own Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran – don’t reflect the general populace on this issue. Either that, or they are simply cowards who care more about getting re-elected than what their constituents think.
Drug tests – Opponents of a new law that allows drug testing of Kansans who receive cash assistance or unemployment benefits contend the measure is a punitive one designed to harm the poor and needy. But assigning such a motive to every legislator who voted for the drug-testing bill is a stretch, and unfair. The state has legitimate reasons for trying to ensure the money it transfers to people is used for its intended purpose, and that isn’t to purchase illegal drugs or use prescription drugs illegally. The law places no burden on those receiving cash assistance that most Kansans don’t encounter when they apply for a job.
University funding – Kansas Board of Regents member Robba Moran lamented: “I know there are states that are increasing their higher-education budgets right now. I’m having a really hard time with a supposed ‘pro-growth’ philosophy.” That pro-growth approach being pushed by Gov. Sam Brownback and fellow conservatives in the Legislature is code for starving state government and hoping for an economic miracle. For colleges and universities attempting to prepare the next generation of skilled employees and leaders, the decreases could result in larger class sizes, fewer offerings and higher tuition. That hardly appears to be a successful formula for recruiting or retaining students.
Hays Daily News
Coaches’ pay – Good for Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder for speaking out about runaway salaries for university football and basketball coaches. Snyder said, “College athletics – particularly football – have changed dramatically throughout my career. I think it’s in a bad place for a variety of different reasons.” He added: “We’ve allowed it to become money-driven. We’ve allowed it to become TV-driven. We’ve allowed athletic programs or football programs to mean more money to a university than what the university was really supposed to be all about. The last I heard, these were educational institutions, and that’s what it needs to be about.” It’s refreshing to hear one of the nation’s most respected university coaches speak out about the ongoing arms and salary races among Division I universities.