At the end of the day people in my circle really only want one thing—the will of the people to be the policy going forward.
I recently attended a Kearney, Nebraska, City Council meeting where over 100 people came forward to witness the will of the people make the influence needed for the correct outcome. The issue was about restricting the right to bear arms. In October this local governing body passed an ordinance that called for the posting of gun free zones in most city buildings and that got the masses stirred.
I give kudos to the Kearney City Council to revisit the issue and ultimately rescind a poorly written, very vague ordinance that clearly was not given enough time and transparency before passage. After listening to all of the council members, I am convinced that their goal was not to restrict Second Amendment rights but thought they were doing something to protect the people. You see this is where I really go sideways on the issue, I don’t need nor expect “the government” to protect me. Stay out of my way and I will do that myself.
Now I think the bigger issue at hand here is that nobody showed up the first day the ordinance was passed. We have that problem in a bad way. We tend not to pay attention to issues until our back is against the wall. In all fairness there was no publication of the topic prior to initial passage but what is most important here is when the public found out this body put it back on the agenda and the council fixed the problem by a 3-to-2 vote.
The best part that occurred by this situation is people did show up, spoke up and generated some interesting information that needs to be presented every day. I am writing this on Nov. 29, 2023, and on Nov. 29, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Gun Free Schools Zone Act. Many people made the case in Kearney that when you post a gun free sign you create the reverse scenario. Data can back that argument.
Several websites state there have been 2,646 school shooting incidents in the U.S. since 1966. Of those, 2,205 (94%) occurred after the 1990 School Zone Safety Act
• There were 238 school shooting incidents during the National Assault Weapons ban, 293 in the decade before, and 347 in the decade after.
• Sixty-two percent of school shootings (as defined) occurred during non-school hours (1970-2022).
• Firearms were used in 61% of targeted school attacks, and 39% used knives between 2008 & 2017.
Now there are people trying to discredit said information about the crimes involving firearms. They go about it in creating a confusion around definitions such as “mass shooting” versus “active shooter.” To me the data is once again clear. Since 1934 when the first federal firearm restriction legislation was passed, we have continued to enact 1,325 state gun laws as of 2022.
One final observation that really sent a loud message to me at this meeting in Kearney was the number of veterans that were present and the high percentage of them that took advantage of the open mic opportunity. These men and women have dedicated their lives to protecting our rights as United States citizens.
The truth of the matter is that I say thank you to every veteran who proudly displays the fact that they are veterans but have come to realize if I truly want to show my appreciation, I will exercise the rights they have protected for me. Hopefully you will be more vigilant in this regard.
Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at [email protected].