In the wake of a school shooting in Florida, the Kansas Legislature tabled debate of a bill, backed by the NRA, for gun safety classes in schools.
It was the right move. Yes, we are giving the Kansas Legislature a pat on the back, and that's pretty rare.
According to House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., a conservative Kansas City-area Republican, top GOP leaders are pursuing a more comprehensive plan that could include mental health initiatives.
Also the right move.
In the days following each school shooting, there is public outrage, and a gun control/education debate is part of the natural discourse. Everyone wants an answer to how these tragedies can be stopped and prevented. The focus, quite naturally, goes to if semi-automatic weapons should be banned. Often one weapon, the AR-15, comes to the forefront.
And while we believe there should be some way to regulate gun ownership that would stand the test of a constitutional challenge, we also believe focusing on that is not enough to solve what is a very complex issue.
Our president has spoken openly about arming teachers. We question, very vehemently, the wisdom of such a move. When SWAT arrives and sees a gun, will they see the ID badge? We doubt it. That is just one, overly simplistic, argument against arming teachers. When deadly weapons are involved, the conversation gets very complex, very quickly.
Mr. Trump also has spoken openly about violent video games and entertainment. Here we agree with him — that is a part of the issue. We have spent decades desensitizing ourselves to violence. Pandora's box is open. Can we find a way to close it?
Mental health issues abound when looking at the perpetrators of these heinous acts. Access to treatment and screenings are likely part of the prevention solution.
There are others. And it will take looking at every nook and cranny of our laws and our society to find a way to deal with this. It is complex. The Legislature acknowledged that this week. Let's see what pieces they find in the weeks ahead.
— Kansan Editorial Board