Gun lobbying – Various loopholes may limit the impact of a bill that bans the use of state funds to promote or oppose gun-control measures, but the measure reflects a disregard for free speech that should concern Kansas residents. Why would state legislators want to limit the range of viewpoints and information they receive on any measure they are considering? Why would legislators want to send such a speech-stifling message to Kansas residents?
Lawrence Journal World
Common Core – Contrary to what critics are saying, the Common Core education standards are not a move by the federal government to dictate what children learn in school. They are the result of an initiative begun by the National Governors Association, which wanted to raise standards and make schools and students more competitive in a high-tech economy. States and local school districts decide on curricula to use to meet the standards. Adoption of the Common Core is voluntary, and initially even conservative Republican governors were eager to join. But the initiative has been sucked into the right-wing paranoia vortex, which unfortunately holds great sway for Republican-controlled state legislatures.
Kansas City Star
Opponents of the Common Core standards contend the standards are a creature of the Obama administration. This is patently not true. Kansas has adopted the core curriculum standards as its own alternative to the No Child Left Behind rules. The train has left the station on core curriculum standards, and public educators in Kansas have earned the opportunity to try to use them to improve student learning.
Winfield Daily Courier
Alcohol level – The National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation that the allowable blood-alcohol concentration for drivers be reduced to 0.05 percent from the current 0.08 percent hasn’t exactly been met by a round of cheers, but it deserves careful consideration. According to the NTSB, European countries that have gone to the 0.05 percent standard have seen traffic deaths caused by drunken driving decrease by more than half within 10 years. Not all European ideas are received warmly in this country, but if lowering the standard for drunken driving could reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities to 5,000 a year, it’s certainly worth a try.
Everyone, especially National Transportation Safety Board officials, wants to reduce the number of preventable fatalities. But let’s face it – alcohol is just one factor that accounts for impaired drivers getting into a car. The NTSB took the easy route in suggesting lowering the legal limit. Shortly after the NTSB announcement, not even Mothers Against Drunk Drivers could get behind the proposal. The NTSB ought to devise a plan for getting all impaired drivers off the streets. Lowering the legal limit for drunken drivers doesn’t effect such change.