BUHLER — What ideas did U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran have to address school shootings? Hutchinson City Councilwoman Jade Piros de Carvalho asked.

Moran’s town hall at Buhler Grade School Friday afternoon didn’t open with questions about agriculture, veterans’ healthcare or ethanol regulations, although those issues came up later.

Many things that he wants to fix, Moran responded, can’t be fixed by federal legislation.

This issue needs parents, families, and classmates to reach out. “It’s churches engaged,” he said. School shooters seemingly have lost hope, and have been ridiculed and bullied, he said.

Moran did not advocate tighter gun restrictions. 

“We are engaged with our children,” said Lynnette Krieger, who works with Head Start. She hoped for a way to limit access to weapons, and also urged more for counselors and mental health.

Is there no political appetite for gun control? Piros de Carvalho asked. “I think the common denomination is guns,” she said.

Moran viewed people, not guns, as the common denominator. He also expressed sympathy to teachers and parents of schoolchildren. He said arming teachers made no sense to him.

Krieger agreed on that point. “I couldn’t shoot a student,” she said.

When avid conservationist Jim French raised a hand to ask a question, Moran quipped that it was the “first time in my life that I’ve looked forward to your question.”

French spoke of the House defeat of a farm bill and said he hoped “the Senate becomes the grownup” in achieving a farm bill.

Paul Morse, an Army veteran in Hutchinson who suffered several bouts with cancer and obtained care at the Mayo Clinic, thanked Moran for the help he and his staff provided to deal with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Morse’s mother said he wouldn’t be alive without that help.

Dave Kerr, with business interests in ethanol, stressed the importance of a waiver from the Clean Air Act regarding the Reid vapor pressure requirements for the summer. If the waiver were granted, it would help the ethanol industry, raise demand for corn and sorghum, and reduce the need for foreign oil imports.

“We really need some pressure to get this done,” Kerr said, because of the approaching June 1 start of the summer season.

Moran, a Republican living in Manhattan, regularly holds town halls across Kansas - although not necessarily in the county’s county seat or largest city. About 35 people attended the hour-long Buhler town hall.

Moran praised the Buhler High School band members who toured Washington, D.C., this spring. He talked with the students on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

“What stood out to me was the student leadership,” he said.

“You’re raising good kids,” he said.