Before mid-2013, Kansas banned concealed weapons in courthouses, state offices, and other public buildings. The library I patronize had a sign at the entrance announcing that weapons were prohibited inside.
But the Kansas state legislature, in its infinite wisdom, passed a law in mid-2013 requiring that concealed weapons be allowed in public buildings. The library received an exemption for six months, but that exemption expired on January 1, 2014.
Now, my library had to allow patrons to bring in concealed weapons, unless the library could develop “adequate security measures,” meaning metal detectors and security personnel at the entrances. Since the costs to secure a building can run from $300,000 to $800,000, most public facilities in Kansas such as libraries will be allowing concealed weapons.
In essence, Kansas law now requires that unless a public entity can insure that no one is packing heat, it cannot prohibit law-abiding citizens from carrying a concealed weapon.
Most readers of this blog know that I am generally conservative on most issues. But it just seems wrong to allow concealed weapons in a library.
Libraries are places of learning, of discovery. Children should be free to roam and explore in libraries They should be able to escape from their daily lives in the worlds they find in books. They shouldn’t have to worry about who is hiding what in their pocket.
And neither should I.
Weapons have no place next to books, in my mind.
I understand the Second Amendment arguments about “a citizen’s right to bear arms” not being abridged. However, it seems an antiquated provision in today’s urban society.
I also understand that there are—and should be—limits on what statutory and regulatory limits can be placed on constitutional rights, particularly those enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Citizens who don’t like the Second Amendment, or who think it should have limits, should seek to change it rather than thwart it.
Of course, the political realities are such that changing the Second Amendment is unlikely.
So unless the political winds change, I’ll be sure to keep quiet in the library.
What do you think about concealed weapons in libraries?