Teen survivors take a stand about stopping gun violence

A panel of teens, including three survivors of the Parkland school shooting, discussed what could be done to stop gun violence. They appeared at a panel discussion today at the Jack Reardon Civic Center, 5th and Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)

Teen survivors of the Parkland school shooting had some advice on how to stop gun violence for hundreds of people who attended a rally Monday evening at the Jack Reardon Civic Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

Persons of all ages, including teens, were in the audience. The March for Our Lives group is traveling across America, talking about gun safety in different cities. They are sponsoring a voter registration drive.

Three Parkland survivors appeared at the event today, with teens from Greater Kansas City and the Chicago area on a panel.

One Parkland survivor said he recognized the value in listening to people with different opinions on the gun issue. He said he thinks there needs to be more extensive background checks of people who buy guns.

He supported universal background checks on gun sales, to block people who have been domestic abusers from buying guns. Currently, people who buy guns from a licensed dealer undergo background checks, but this effort would require background checks in private sales.

He also supported Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research into gun violence as a health issue. Most gun violence deaths have been in the United States, and it’s a health hazard, he said.

He also called for the digitalization of ATF files, to trace guns back to owners.

There are 10 policy points being advocated by the March for Our Lives effort, he said, which will save lives. Some of the other points are banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds; a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles; funding for programs that address the root cause of violence; implementing extreme risk protection orders to remove guns from those experiencing a crisis; a federal law to stop gun trafficking; and requiring gun owners to safely store guns and report gun thefts.

Another student on the panel today said she wanted to change the laws to make sure youth do not have easy access to guns at home. She urged calling representatives and senators, asking them to support requiring registration of guns, to know who has easy access to them.

Another student favored a law that would take away the guns of anyone making a threat to another person.

Another student also discussed gang violence, and suggested that it was occurring in communities where there is a lack of activities for youth. He also mentioned the need for the basics, such as food, in some communities.

The March for Our Lives group had a voter registration table set up in the lobby, which had recorded “double digits” of people registering to vote, said a youth working at the registration table.

The crowd loudly applauded when a student said they should vote out candidates such as U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, who received a lot of support from the National Rifle Association.

Strict security measures were in place for those attending tonight’s gun safety rally, including security checks with hand-held wands and registration with wristbands.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James appeared at the rally today. Also among those attending the rally today were Jay Sidie, a Democratic candidate for U.S. representative, 3rd District; State Sen. Pat Pettey, D-6th Dist.; Kansas State Board of Education Member Janet Waugh; Monsignor Stuart Swetland, president of Donnelly College; Scott Mackey, who has been active in Wyandotte County Democratic politics; and David Smith, chief of public affairs for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.

For more information about the March for Our Lives program, visit https://marchforourlives.com/.

A large crowd turned out to hear the March for Our Lives panel discussion on stopping gun violence today at the Jack Reardon Civic Center, Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
Students on a panel today answered questions about how to stop gun violence. (Staff photo)
Youth were moderators of the March for Our Lives event today. (Staff photo)
Youth answered questions about how to stop gun violence at a panel discussion today in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
Youth answered questions about how to stop gun violence at a panel discussion today in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
Youth answered questions about how to stop gun violence at a panel discussion today in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
Youth answered questions about how to stop gun violence at a panel discussion today in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James attended today’s rally on how to stop gun violence, held at the Jack Reardon Civic Center, Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
Jay Sidie, a Democratic candidate who is running for U.S. Representative, 3rd District, attended today’s rally on stopping gun violence, held in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)
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Forum for Democratic governor candidates to be June 16

A forum for Democratic governor candidates will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at Kansas City Kansas Community College, Jewell Building, upper level, 7250 State Ave.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. The forum is sponsored by the KCKCC College Democrats and the Wyandotte County Democratic Party.

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Congressman Ron Estes gets ‘Rep.’ by his name on ballot against other Ron Estes

U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, left, will be identifed with a “Rep.” before his name on primary ballots against the other Ron Estes he faces in the race. (File photo from KMUW/Kansas News Service)

by Stephen Koranda, Kansas News Service

A state panel ruled Monday that Ron Estes, the Wichita area congressman, will appear as “Rep. Ron Estes” on the primary ballot where he faces a challenger also named Ron Estes.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office had previously decided to add the title, but a Democrat also running for the 4th Congressional District seat objected. Laura Lombard said state law bars including titles on the ballot.

“You really should not be able to use your title on the ballot,” Lombard said. “It’s an unfair advantage for the incumbent.”

Kobach, a member of the State Objections Board, said titles normally aren’t allowed, but in this case it was warranted.

“We felt that the exception applies here,” he said. “It just would cause too much voter confusion.”

Kobach said having only a minor difference in the names, such as a middle initial, would require the candidates to educate voters about which candidate is which.

“Our statutes don’t assume that you’re going to spend a million dollars advertising and somehow informing voters about you,” Kobach said.

Lombard also said she was concerned that if he won, the incumbent congressman would appear as “Rep. Ron Estes” in the November election. Kobach said his intent was to only use the title in the primary and not the fall election.

The Objections Board is made up of the secretary of state, attorney general and lieutenant governor. Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Governor Tracey Mann did not attend and sent staff members in their place.

Board members also rejected an attempt to take a legislative candidate off the ballot. The objection to the candidacy of Republican Michael Capps, from Wichita, contended that he didn’t really live at the address on his filing to run for the Kansas House of Representatives.

Vic Miller brought the objection. He’s an attorney and also a Democratic member of the Kansas House. He was representing the Democrat in the race, Monica Marks.

Miller said the house at the address Capps listed was in foreclosure and Capps had previously filed to run for a different House seat. Miller said Capps switched shortly before the deadline after the incumbent decided not to run for re-election.

“He slithered in on Friday morning thinking he’d be unopposed,” Miller said.

Members of the Objections Board said unanimously that Capps was allowed to change his mind and run for office with the address he listed on his filing.

Capps said he had been living at another location temporarily because the home needed some repairs, but he was now living back in the house where he filed to run for office. He said he had resolved the foreclosure.

“The facts speak for themselves,” Capps said. “I look forward to talking to my opponent and discussing the real issues and the policies that affect Kansans.”

The seat is open because Republican state Rep. Chuck Weber decided to retire from the Legislature. Had the board blocked Capps, that would have left only the Democrat in the race.
Miller said they could take further action to try to remove Capps from the ballot or disqualify his election if he should win.

The board also blocked unconventional candidate Vermin Supreme from running for attorney general. Supreme has run for local and national offices in the past and is known for outlandish dress and advocating for causes such as mandatory tooth brushing laws and providing free ponies for all Americans.

Vermin Supreme, the would-be candidate for Kansas attorney general. (Photo by Kansas News Service)

Supreme had listed two addresses on his filing, one in Massachusetts and one in Topeka.

Kansas has attracted out-of-state candidates because of no clear requirement candidates must live in the state.

Brant Laue, an attorney sitting on the board in the place of the lieutenant governor, pointed to a recent Shawnee County District Court ruling that said candidates for governor must live in Kansas.

“I’m of the opinion that the same legal reasoning … also applies to the office of attorney general,” Laue said.

The objection to Supreme’s candidacy was filed by Jim Joice, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party. After the decision, Joice said his objection was based only on Supreme’s residency.

Supreme frequently wears a boot on his head, but Joice said he has no issue with Supreme’s unconventional campaign style and dress.

“The boot’s a nice touch. I’m a big a fan of it,” Joice said. “You should be a Kansan if you’re running for office in Kansas. It’s really that simple for me.”

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @kprkoranda. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.
See more at http://kcur.org/post/congressman-ron-estes-gets-rep-his-name-ballot-against-other-ron-estes.

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