The Garden City Telegram
4/25/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Wasted time

Resolutions on gun rights won't result in any change.

A number of governments in southwest Kansas have devoted time to spelling out their support for the Second Amendment.

Governments of Ulysses, Syracuse and Lakin recently passed resolutions endorsing the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Grant and Seward counties did the same.

In doing so, they've raised a simple question from many observers: Why bother?

Even though such resolutions may be viewed as a way to ward off attempts to restrict the Second Amendment, it's safe to say they wouldn't stand up against firearms-related changes in federal law.

In Kansas, the resolutions seem all the more unnecessary. After all, the Kansas Legislature — in the midst of serious talks elsewhere over gun control sparked by deadly shooting sprees — opted to expand gun rights in the state with legislation signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Surely that made enough of a statement.

And it's not as if repeal of the Second Amendment has been on the table, anyway. Pursuit of reasonable change — improving the system of background checks, for example — has been the sensible goal all along. Polls show most Americans favor such legislation, even if federal lawmakers don't have the courage to enact as much.

Still, advocates of the resolutions would say they tell government that people do believe in and support gun rights. They see the resolutions as a needed response to ongoing debate over gun control, and what they perceive as an anti-gun, anti-liberty climate in government, and at the federal level in particular.

They even argue that defending the Second Amendment would help protect other rights.

Yet over in Sedgwick County, where another Second Amendment resolution narrowly passed, County Commissioner Dave Unruh took a more realistic stand in voting against the resolution.

Unruh — a supporter of the Second Amendment — said the resolution wasn't necessary because the U.S. Constitution and Kansas Constitution already protect those rights.

Unruh said he favors fewer laws and regulations, and considered the resolution needless duplication.

He's right.

Give credit to governments that understand as much and choose not to waste time in such a way.