This is a letter that we sent to selected representatives when it looked that there might be a bill to delay the implementation of campus carry on the floor of the House.
I'd like to reach out to you about a bill that will probably be heard by the House this week.
The bill in question is H Sub SB 65, which designed to fix a loophole in the previous conceal carry law. We believe that an amendment will be proposed to postpone the onset date of “campus carry” for 1-2 years from its current 2017 date. I encourage you to support this amendment.
My organization, Kansas Interfaith Action, is working in coalition with a group called Kansas Coalition for a Gun-Free Campus on this issue. We believe that campus carry will not add to anyone's security, but instead will cause a proliferation of guns on campus that will
- negatively impact academic freedom on campus, due to the worry that a student may take an academic (or political) argument violent,
- add to the problem of rape culture on campus, as men will now have the explicit or implicit threat of a gun behind their (already rampant) intimidation of women,
- likely increase the incidence of suicide on campus, due to the ready availability of a gun in a moment of emotional weakness;
- increase the incidences of drunken arguments turning deadly; and
- negatively impact recruitment and retention of both teachers and students.
A poll cited on KCUR of more than 20,000 employees across all the Board of Regents schools found that 82% said they would feel less safe if students were allowed to carry guns to class.
The university campus is no place for the proliferation of guns. I urge you to support an amendment that would postpone this foolish policy – probably the best we could do under present political circumstances. Even if we can't get it through the Senate this year, a vote to postpone in the House would send a strong signal that our representatives care about the safety of our students.
Thank you for considering my request.
Rabbi Moti Rieber
Kansas Interfaith Action