Will guns on campus increase risks?
As a current student at Wichita State, I am extremely concerned about the legislation regarding concealed handguns on campus that will take effect on July 1. Considering Kansas does not require permits or training to carry, I feel that this will make college campuses more dangerous than they are currently.
Allowing untrained and very stressed young adults to carry firearms into crowded buildings poses a higher risk than the rare occurrence of a shooting by someone carrying illegally.
Many argue that students and staff have the right to protect themselves. However, a large number of college students are under the age of 21 and, therefore, cannot legally carry. This legislation puts those at an increased disadvantage. In order to protect themselves, they may choose to illegally carry, further exacerbating the misuse of firearms.
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Additionally, allowing campus carry will increase the access of underage people to borrow or steal handguns from others.
Up to this point, colleges across Kansas have been able to enforce policies that regulate handguns on campus. There is a reason why these schools have prohibited firearms. Each of these schools has unique security needs and should continue to have the power to regulate firearms on campus.
Sara Slifer, Wichita
Save Big Bird
Public radio and television have been targeted for defunding by the Republican Party. Even before President Trump was elected, some Republicans were determined to drive Big Bird to extinction.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I believe that KMUW and KPTS provide programming unavailable anywhere else. It isn’t just “Sesame Street,” “Downton Abbey,” the “Car Talk” guys and “Prairie Home Companion” that distinguish these stations; it is the variety of news and music, special reports and local programming that make them truly public.
Those of us who have watched and listened to KPTS and KMUW for years need to defend and protect their existence and our access to well-researched news and artistic performances of all sorts.
Lately, the objectivity of some newscasts has been questioned because, in an effort to survive earlier budget cuts, stations have accepted donations from some individuals and organizations that have attacked the very principals of public broadcasting. The only way for our neighbors to survive is to step up local, individual support. Let’s protect our friends and their neighborhood and make Mr. Rogers proud.
I want to keep driving from one public radio station to the next as I travel from here to anywhere.
Vernette Chance, Wichita
Expansion too costly
Medicaid, by itself, was almost a quarter of the Kansas state budget in 2014. That’s a couple billion dollars.
We don’t have to guess what expanding Medicaid would look like, because 31 states have already done it. Josh Archambault of the Foundation for Government Accountability pointed out on a Forbes magazine blog that every state that expanded Medicaid saw significantly more people enroll than they expected or budgeted for. These states are now struggling to find billions of dollars to pay for their share of the Medicaid expansion.
The 19 states that have chosen not to expand are primarily poorer Midwestern and Southern states. These are states that know how hard even a couple hundred million dollars can be to find.
Gov. Sam Brownback is not out to deny people health care. He is protecting Kansas from bankruptcy by seeing “free federal money” for the lie that it is. This state cannot afford the additional 10 percent share of the Medicaid expansion we would have to fit into our state budget.
“Free” health care is a lovely idea, but it is also very, very expensive.
Brian Blackman, Moundridge
Glad about Gorsuch
Regardless of whether one likes or dislikes the so-called “nuclear option” used by the U.S. Senate to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, the filling of this vacancy has been sorely needed. It has been more than 400 days since the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
It was appropriate that former President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. The Senate should have taken a vote on the man, even if he was voted down. Then Obama could have nominated another candidate, and the Senate could have voted up or down on any subsequent nomination. Stalling by Republicans left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
On the bright side, although I don’t approve of some of President Trump’s actions, I do support his nomination of Gorsuch, who received the highest rating for competency by the American Bar Association. With his recent swearing-in ceremony, we once again have a fully staffed Supreme Court. I am hopeful that this will help all three branches of our government function better.
I have high hopes that Gorsuch will serve many years on the High Bench.
James A. Marples, Esbon
GOP OK with that?
Our elected Republican officials are so excited to have control of the House, Senate and White House that they are ignoring any sense of right and wrong and their responsibility to the American people. Instead, they are filling the pockets of their big donors and special-interest groups.
The Trump campaign had numerous questionable contacts with Russia during the election. They lied about these contacts, even as the Russians were hacking the Democratic National Committee. Republicans are OK with that.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about his contact with Russia during the campaign. Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, lied about using a personal e-mail account to conduct state business. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is under investigation for insider trading on actions he took while in Congress. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has questionable ties with Russian banking officials. Republicans are OK with that.
The administration tried to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act that would revoke health insurance from millions of Americans, raise the costs for the poor, sick and elderly, and give big tax breaks to the rich. Republicans are OK with that.
Everywhere you turn there are financial interests overlapping policy interests. If you think that the Republican Party represents the average American, you are mistaken.
James Prideaux, Wichita
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