To the editor:
The Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, editorial, printed in the Leavenworth Times Dec. 28, was sensationalistic, disingenuous and outright misleading on the issue of guns and concealed carry reciprocity. It is hard to argue against America having a gun problem when one looks at the number of mass death shootings as well as the daily gun violence in our cities and towns. However, once past the stated concern over lack of “calls to action” or progress on “sensible” gun controls, the editorial quickly named House Bill HR 38, Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, as an example of not only the lack of progress in gun control, but also Republicans’ “forgetting their allegiance to states’ rights doctrine,” NRA “muscle,” an “insult to the memory of the dead kids of Sandy Hook” and other victims of gun violence.
The editorial was factually wrong. It states that the bill establishes the “right to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the United States under the laws of your home state.” What HR 38 really does is allow a person who is a legally licensed concealed carrier in one state to carry concealed under his existing license in any other state which also allows concealed carry.
As a CCW holder who likes to travel, when I first became licensed, I had to print off and carry in the car with me a map of states that did and did not honor a Kansas permit. HR 38 takes the guesswork out of where I can carry and makes me only have to track the states that don’t allow concealed carry at all.
The editorial makes some other unfounded suppositions, and rather than a factual examination of America's gun violence problem, it is a truly misleading opinion piece. None of the cited incidences mentioned, like Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, etc., were incidences where a concealed carry holder abused his ability to carry concealed. It was not a concealed carry law that enabled these events. The editorial could have examined what we can do to limit violence among those who illegally obtain and use or legally obtain and abuse weapons, but did not.
If America has a gun violence problem, it is because we have a violence problem in general, and guns are the tool of choice for bad actors, criminals and the mentally and emotionally unstable, even the suicidal. When is the last time a licensed concealed carry holder was tabbed as the perpetrator of one of these acts of violence, or any of the hundreds of daily criminal shooting deaths in Chicago or even Kansas City? If there was a last time it was also probably the first.