Is ‘gun free’ safer than conceal carry? E-mail
Opinion
Friday, 05 July 2013 11:54

By L&T Managing Editor Larry Phillips

 

The city and county have requested six-month exemptions from the concealed carry law that went into effect Monday. Let’s hope they listen to the people and comply with the law on Jan.1, which as I pointed out last week doesn’t entail spending a bunch of money buying metal detectors and hiring more employees that have to watch that equipment, while getting full medical, and dental, and retiring with KPERS.

The community college board looks as if it will be asking for the four-year extension, according to the minutes released of its June 24 board meeting.

“Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, told the board that the college has more than 167 doors. The legislation describes adequate security measures as having metal detectors and personnel at each building entrance. The cost would exceed $10 million for equipment and personnel for the first year,” the release noted.

It went on to report, “Liability insurance will be an issue as well, (Dunn) said. The college’s insurance carrier may not continue its coverage if faculty and students are allowed to carry weapons. Only trained campus security would be allowed to carry weapons.”

That statement disturbed me.

After some investigation, I found two insurance companies – or underwriters – that will not only cover a school or municipality or county – but it doesn’t cost any more than those groups are paying now.

The Kansas State Rifle Association told me the current underwriter for most of the state's public entities was E.M.C., and that its internal position is “No Guns.”

It looks as if that group is pushing an anti-gun agenda by threatening entities they will be dropped from its insurance if they comply with the new law. Some people call that extortion, but I won’t go that far … yet.

I got an interesting response to some questions from the office of the Kansas Insurance Commissioner.

Jim Newins, Property and Casualty Division Director of the Kansas Insurance Department, said no specific rules were written into the law, so his department does not have access to the underwriting guidelines used by insurance companies to accept an application or whether they continue to provide insurance coverage of an existing policy.

“This in turn means we do not know which insurance companies will insure communities that implement or adopt a conceal and carry firearm statute or ordinance,” Newins said.

Another point he brought up is having the city, school or county put this item in the insurance bid package. (Are we bidding out our insurance coverage?)

“The other way is for the community to place the conceal and carry requirement in their insurance bid specifications,” he said. “Insurers that place a bid with the conceal and carry requirement in the bid specification will knowingly be accepting this risk.”

Currently, Seward County Community College doesn’t allow guns because of the exemption request, and the signs they have put on every door is befuddling. One has to read the smaller print, “On and after July 1, 2013, all persons licensed to carry concealed handguns under the personal and family protection act are prohibited from carrying concealed handguns within this state or municipal building because either a temporary exemption or adequate security measures are in place pursuant to 2013 Senate Sub. for House Bill 2052.”

I am somewhat comforted by what Dunn was quoted as saying in the meeting report.

“It will take some time to put together a plan, but we can’t let it go for four years,” Dunn said. “It’s something we have to begin working on.”

Hopefully, he means opening it up for concealed carry soon. I surely hope the board doesn’t try to keep guns carried by legally certified permit holders off campus.

Again, the question is: Will the board OK spending $10 million the first year to do that? When considering there is no cost to any taxpayer if it just complies with the law?

It is bothersome when looking at that “no guns” sign. In my opinion, it’s an open invitation for evil people to enter at will and do as much harm as possible to innocent folks.

Here is a gruesome reminder – Virginia Tech was a “no gun” school on April 16, 2007.

Seung-Hui Cho walked into a school building that morning with a .22 caliber semi-automatic Walther pistol, a Glock semi-auto 9 mm handgun and 17 clips for his guns.

The first shot was recorded at 9:40 a.m. The police didn’t arrive until 9:50. While law enforcement was staging and clearing the entrance area, they heard the last shot go off at 9:51. It took them another four minutes to move into the hallway.

In just 11 minutes, Cho was able to shoot 53 people – killing 30 of them.

Common sense tells me if a professor or a responsible student had a concealed carry certificate and a weapon, there’s a good chance Cho could have been stopped earlier in his free-for-all shooting gallery.

Here is a question for our citizens to ponder: Are our elected officials letting personal agendas get in the way of people’s ultimate safety?

 

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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