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Prominent Kan. officials respond to Conn. shooting

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2012 at 11:47 am •  Published: December 23, 2012
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"What happened in Newtown was an unimaginable act of evil, something that stands out even amidst an often coarse and violent culture. Funerals are still taking place, and we're still learning more of the facts. There will be time for a meaningful discussion of potential policy responses in the coming weeks," U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the 4th District of south-central Kansas, said, also in an emailed statement.

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"We need to think about and pray for the victims and their families and let emotions die down before considering any significant changes in gun laws. ... We just need to settle down. ... It needs to be an evidence-based approach and not a reaction," incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson Republican, said during an interview.

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"The discussion we ought to be having in light of the Connecticut shooting has lots of components to it. I disagree with people who say it's just about mental health or it's just about gun control. ... I'm not necessarily saying we need to go out and change and pass new gun laws. We need to have a conversation about this. We can't just shove it under the rug," Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, said during an interview.

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"The bottom line is, how could we have stopped this? ... Well, if they (the teachers and principal) had had the right tools, they likely would have stopped him (the gunman). ... Who are the first responders? They're not the police. They're not the fire department. They're the people who are there," said state Rep. and state Sen.-elect Forrest Knox, an Altoona Republican, who's pushed legislation to make it easier for people who have concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into public buildings. He made his comments during an interview.

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"Frankly, it bothers me that we look at the solution being that we turn our schools into armed fortresses. ... Let's really get serious and deal with the issue. ... I don't want to send my kids up to a place that has to be guarded by someone with an assault weapon. ... All of us have to show ID and are limited in the amount of Sudafed we can buy. But we can buy as much ammunition as we want," Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, said during an interview.