“We’ll just wait and see”
We don’t know that everything will be okay. If there is any time to raise alarm bells, it is RIGHT NOW.
Let’s take a look at this deadly formula, shall we:
Neonazis are already attacking people on our campuses. Apparently just a few days ago a woman yelled “Get out of my country!” at some international students in the Kansas Union. There are dozens of incidents like this that have been reported- and even more that have not been reported.
Olathe, Kansas isn’t that far away from here. I used to have to tell people how to pronounce the name of that city, and now all I have to do is say its name for images of the Indian men who were shot a few weeks ago to come up in someone’s mind.
There have been multiple racist stickers and chalk messages put all over KU.
The people threatening others will be allowed to have guns after July 1st. The university won’t be allowed to find out which individuals on campus have guns. The individuals choosing to carry guns won’t have to have any sort of training or any sort of registration. It will be a gun free-for-all. [Note: international students will still be prohibited from carrying a gun by federal law. Remember that the next time someone says this law is for the “self defense” of everyone].
Some people at KU and in the Legislature are angry that I informed world embassies about our Kansas gun law. A state representative that I’ll leave unnamed at the current moment told me I am, and I quote, “help[ing] create the impression that Kansas is a crazy, dangerous place” and told me to stop emailing him about international students in all caps.
I am not helping create the impression that Kansas is a crazy and dangerous place by telling people what the law actually says– the law did that. Kansas legislators did that.
People want me to lie and tell people that the university is a good place for people to come and that Kansas is a safe environment. Since people are being shot in cold blood in public places like the bar in Olathe for not being white, it would be wrong for me to “reassure” someone, especially as a white woman, that everything is going to be okay after July on our college campuses in Kansas. It would be wrong for me to tell people that Kansas is a safe place for people to live. And it would be wrong for me to hide this vital piece of information from people considering to come to Kansas for work or school.
The Kansas Legislature is arming neonazis. Stand Your Ground is a law we already have in Kansas. Remember, Stand Your Ground is the same law that let George Zimmerman get away with shooting Trayvon Martin with zero consequences in Florida because he “felt threatened”. Once campus carry is allowed, what will this mean for international students and people of color on our campuses? It won’t be anything good, that’s for sure.
Kansans — ESPECIALLY those of us with privilege — need to do everything possible to oppose campus carry. Allowing guns into our classrooms, daycare centers, laboratories, dormitories, sports arenas, museums, cafeterias, hospitals, etc. will exponentially increase the risks associated with being on campus ESPECIALLY for people who hold marginalized identities.
I don’t want to “wait and see” what happens after July. Someone shouldn’t have to die for us to do something about this law. I’m also not going to lie and make Kansas look good. There are lots of universities in other states that are better and safer places for people to study.
Please call Representative John Barker and demand that he call HB2074 up for a vote and vote YES. Also, call every member of the entire House Federal and State Affairs Committee and demand that they vote YES on HB2074 and vote NO on HB2220.
If you feel you can afford to “just wait and see,” remember others cannot.