Vote for no guns in courthouse was loud, clear

In response to a public meeting called by the County Commissioners, about 35 people showed up to talk about overriding state law and allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons into the courthouse.
After an hour-long discussion a show of hands was called for and all but three indicated they did not want concealed guns coming into the courthouse. One of those who favored using the county’s home rule powers to override the no-guns in courthouses provision in the concealed-carry law was Patricia Stoneking from Wichita, an active gun rights advocate.
Final score: 32 against guns in the courthouse; three in favor, one of whom doesn’t live even close.
Next scene in the drama: Commissioner Dick Works made a motion to post no-gun signs on the courthouse doors and enforce the state law. The motion died for want of a second.
Commissioners Gary McIntosh and Rob Francis apparently didn’t feel that the public had spoken — or decided not to listen.
Gun controls are an emotional subject. But even strong supporters of the right to carry concealed weapons agree that there are public places where only law enforcement officers should be armed. That is why the Kansas law passed a couple of years ago allowing persons who qualify for concealed carry permits included exemptions such as courthouses, police stations, city halls and, no surprise, the state Capitol where the lawmakers work.
Since the law passed with large majorities in both the House and Senate it is reasonable to suppose that those who voted for it think it a jolly good idea for women to have .32s in their purses and men to have .38s tucked in their waistbands or holstered under their armpits.
But even they agreed that weapons don’t belong in courthouses — or, heavens to Betsy, in legislative halls.
Apparently a great number of Iolans feel the same way, as was demonstrated Tuesday morning. A public meeting was called. The public responded. A vote was taken. The commissioners should now approve Commissioner Works’ motion and move on.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.