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Letter to the editor: On the Hesston shooting

Travis Edwards, WSU senior

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I was recently asked my opinion of the shooting in Hesston, Kansas, and I gave a summary of my fears for the future of Wichita State. 

I think it is important to have this debate about the changing of school policy on open carry on campus, but I think there are other concerns that we are missing. I think the real problem is the lack of responsibility by our legislation in the state of Kansas. 

Governor Sam Brownback has repeatedly cut funding to social safety nets, such has our mental health professions, education, and other public services. The decrease in state funding for mental health programs leaves an increase in poverty-stricken people without access to the services that they need. 

This causes an increase in desperation in our population, and it is common knowledge that desperate people lead to desperate actions. If people cannot get access to the help they need, then they will turn to other means of meeting their needs no matter how illogical it may be. 

This lack of access to mental health care and education combined with the easy access to firearms can create a potential powder keg in our society. If we take away help from people in need, we create a desperate situation. When forced into a corner, desperate people will act out.

The question to ask yourself is, “Is our legislation creating a safer society or are they putting us in potential danger and leaving it up to civilians to police ourselves? Is the lack of social services and a higher access the violent weapons really the direction we want our society to go?” 

To be honest I think this is a dangerous combination with the potential to lead to more violence that could be stopped if people had access to the services that could help them and prevent horrible events like the one that occurred the other day. 

This could be just the starting of a series of more senseless violent acts, which is the product of the irresponsible and short-sighted decisions of our legislation, the people we elected that are supposed to have our society’s well-being in mind at all times. 

— Travis Edwards, WSU senior

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