Editorial: Gun owners have responsibility to secure arms

The Editorial Advisory Board
Kris Kobach

Many Americans — and many Kansans — treasure their right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. They see guns as an important part of their lives and culture, a tool to protect and feed themselves and their families.

But along with enjoying and using that right comes responsibilities.

Guns should be kept safely and securely. The news that U.S. Senate candidate Kris Kobach had four guns stolen from his truck in Wichita earlier this month underscores the importance of treating firearms with respect and care.

“Secretary Kobach always has at least one firearm with him for personal protection,” his campaign spokeswoman, Danedri Herbert, wrote in an email to the Wichita Eagle. “In this instance he was transporting long guns to attend a recreational shooting event. He was under the impression that the Drury Hotel garage was under 24 hour surveillance.”

In this case, perhaps, Kobach might have wanted to trust more than his “impression,” especially when deadly weapons were involved. He might have also wanted to trust the Wichita police, who have specifically asked drivers not to leave guns in their cars because of recent thefts.

Not all hotels allow firearms, we understand that. Everyone is concerned about liability. But if firearms can’t be safely and securely stored outside of a vehicle, perhaps they shouldn’t be part of a trip. In Kobach’s case, he no doubt has friends and supporters in the area who would be more than happy to secure his firearms for the duration of his visit.

The difficulty here is that stolen guns are much more likely to be used by those with nefarious intent. In other words, Kobach’s desire for safety and sport may well have ended up making Wichita less safe for those who live and work there.

That’s not a great look for someone who wants to represent all of Kansas in Washington, D.C.

But we’re not here to focus unduly on Kobach. The point is that every owner of firearms has a responsibility. Guns may be a source of pleasure and recreation to many, but they are still deadly weapons. Forgetting that can either lead to accidents or criminals exploiting the situation.

Think about how you transport your guns. Ensure they are safely stowed. Think about the community, and its safety, as well as your own.