As Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach watched 16-year-old gun control advocates rally following a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, he thought Second Amendment advocates needed to answer.
“Because you know, when you’re 16 years-old, you pretty much know everything you need to know,” he quipped. “If we call for a rally, somebody will probably show up. And probably 300 of you showed up.”
He called gun right supporters the silent majority during a rally for the Second Amendment at the State Capitol Friday.
Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann, Senate Vice President Susan Wagle, and Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman also spoke at the rally moderated by KQAM radio host Andy Hooser.
“You would’ve thought that once we elected someone like Donald Trump we could relax a little bit when it comes to Second Amendment rights,” Hooser told the crowd. “They’re still trying to take guns away.”
He cited recent legislation to revoke campus carry laws as evidence that the fight continues in Kansas. During the 2018 session, anti-gun legislators have tried to impose longer waiting periods on gun purchases, implement a $1 tax on every firearm and a 1-cent tax on ammunition, and tried to remove a NRA’s gun safety program–Eddie Eagle–from a Kansas House proposal to strengthen school security, Travis Couture-Lovelady, a former state legislator and the state director for the National Rifle Association, said.
“If we don’t speak up, we know where all of this talk about common sense gun control solutions is going,” Couture-Lovelady said. “Their endgame is the total repeal of the Second Amendment.”
A handful of anti-Second Amendment protesters screamed during the rally, which was occurring about the same time as students at a number of public schools walked out in support of gun control.
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“I have an idea, instead of walking out of class, why don’t you spend that half hour in class studying the history of the 2A. You might learn something,” Kobach said.
The anti-gun protesters don’t speak for Kobach, and he said and they don’t speak for Kansans.
“We are a state that cherishes the right to keep and bear arms,” Kobach said. “And we recognize that if you want to keep someone safe, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
During the Parkland shooting, Kobach said law enforcement failed and mental health services failed.
“Government failed again and again,” he said. “When government fails, the individual needs to respond.”
In Parkland, one courageous individual, high school football coach Aaron Feis, died using his body to shield others. Kobach said if he’d had a firearm, he could have stopped the shooter and ensured that many other lives were saved. Kobach, who is running for Governor, said he will push for laws that allow trained teachers and school staff to carry firearms.
America defends its presidents, banks, and stadiums with firearms, he continued.
“We defend our celebrities with guns, but we defend our children with signs that read, ‘This is a gun-free zone.’ How’s that working out? Not very well,” Kobach said.