I'm a recent Kansas transplant and admit to a bit of culture shock.
Yesterday I went to one of Topeka's prominent greenhouses. The place was overflowing with beautiful perennials, annuals, and veggies. Too many to choose from really. Out front you can get a bale of straw or a whimsical garden ornament made out of old tools and scrap metals. I browsed the plants for a long time and found some beautiful specimens. I then found the lush racks of seeds and picked out several packets. I was enjoying my experience but when I stepped up to the counter to pay I was confronted. Behind the counter they displayed several large metal yard ornaments. One was about 5 feet in length, with pistols jauntily adorning each end. The letters connecting these emblems spelled a chilling message: "We don't call 911."
I had reason today to visit the Shawnee County Sheriff's website. I noticed a pdf download of a no-gun sign. (It's an image of pistol with the familiar circular red strike-through placed over it.) Instinctively, I printed it out. I thought, I'll make one for my car, post it on my front door, and maybe even get a t-shirt made. Then, I thought, "Wait, this is Kansas. That might not be a good idea."
Kelly Ayotte, seemingly mild-mannered Republican senator from New Hampshire, recently held a town hall. A daughter of one of the teachers massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School confronted her about her recent vote against the bill that would create universal background checks for gun purchases. Ayotte had a stumbling response. The daughter defiantly walked out and deliberately turned her back on the senator.
Ayotte should have just said: "I need NRA support to win reelection. I would be primaried by Tea Party candidates if I voted against this bill. I had no choice. Surely you understand."
No, Senator Ayotte and all you other weak-kneed senators. We do not understand. Strengthen your spines. Stand up straight for what is right.
Not only do we need universal background checks, and you know it, we also need to confiscate all military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. These instruments of massacre have no place in civil society and are not needed for self defense. Police officers don't even carry them.
Elected officials need to grow up and stand up for what is right. If the NRA abandons you the American people will be there to prop you up.
Video of the Ayotte town hall: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/kelly-ayotte-gun-vote-90784.html