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While the number of people who own guns in America may have decreased over time, the people who own them have become more politically active.

That’s according to a study recently released by political scientists at the University of Kansas.

Donald Haider-Markel, one of the study’s co-authors, told Brian Ellison, guest host of KCUR's Central Standard, gun owners are not only more likely to vote than non-gun owners but also are more likely to engage in other political activities such as calling elected officials or donating to campaigns.

Segment 1: Recent study by KU finds gun owners are more politically active.

In the past few decades, American gun owners have become increasingly more involved in politics than non-gun owners. On this episode, we discuss the cultural shift in gun ownership and how that change influences the political climate.

KCUR 89.3 has hired reporter Christopher Haxel as a member of the inaugural cohort of Audion Fellows, who will spend two years reporting on the role of guns in American life as part of a new national “Guns & America” reporting collaborative.

All 10 fellows will work in public media newsrooms across the country. 

Jeanette Jones wearing headphones and seated at a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: American Public Square panelists agree on securing firearms in the home and little else during conversation on ways to prevent children dying from gun violence. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's popular entertainment district looked a little different this weekend. 

Westport officials announced Friday that the promised gun screening checkpoints, which the City Council approved in December, would finally be active over Labor Day weekend, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

After Kansas City councilmembers voted in favor of privatizing sidewalks in Westport in December, new security measures are scheduled to start at the popular entertainment district. 

Starting Friday night, the first night of Labor Day weekend, patrons will have to pass through a metal detector at one of four checkpoints to enter the area, located at the intersections of Westport Road and Mill Street, Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue and Archibald Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue and the entrance to a parking garage.

Rebecca Hange / KCUR 89.3

While Kansas City police can't explain it, this was another busy weekend for detectives — the latest spike in gun crime over the last few weeks.

Since last Wednesday afternoon alone, 24 people have been shot and five have died. None of the crimes seems to be connected.

“Each one of these seems to be individual scenes at this point in time. There’s really nothing pointing towards any group that’s responsible for multiple scenes,” KCPD spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina said at a news conference Monday morning.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Updated 5 p.m. Aug. 5, 2018: Between 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday morning, four people died from gun violence and there were 24 shootings total in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Kansas City Police Department said they'll have an update on the shootings Monday. But City Councilman Jermaine Reed said that the violence is disturbing. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Police blotter since Wednesday tells the story. Eight shooting incidents. Fourteen victims. Three dead.

“Not a lot of people are going home early from the police department,” KCPD Chief Rick Smith said Friday morning at a hastily called news conference outside of police headquarters downtown.

If there’s one common refrain from nearly all of the Kansas candidates for governor — Republicans and Democrats — it’s support for the Second Amendment.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Updated Sunday 10:04 p.m. 

Three Kansas City police officers were shot Sunday afternoon during a hunt for a man they suspected of killing a UMKC student. The suspect was killed, according to the Kansas City Police Department.  

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Updated 3:50 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The remains of University of Missouri-Kansas City student Sharath Koppu are back in India and being prepared for traditional Hindu last rites.

ANDREA TUDHOPE/KCUR 89.3

Survivors of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, will host a town hall in Kansas City, Kansas, Monday night as part of a national tour.

NPR reports that March For Our Lives, the organization founded by the student activists who put together the event of the same name in Washington, D.C. three months ago, will make more than 50 stops in 20 states as part of the tour, including the 6 p.m. event Monday at Reardon Convention Center.

Kris Kobach / Twitter

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is drawing national scrutiny after he appeared in the Old Shawnee Days parade in Johnson County on Saturday riding in a Jeep with a large machine gun replica mounted on it.

In a tweet after the parade, Kobach called the vehicle a “souped-up Jeep,” and posed with it. The gun appeared to be a .50 caliber machine gun. Kobach said the firearm was a replica.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

After suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday, a child was in stable condition at an area hospital Monday, according to Kansas City police. 

Cops responded to a shooting just before noon Sunday, but by the time they arrived on scene, the mother had already rushed the child to the hospital.

According to police, the child's mother had left a loaded firearm unsecured in a bedroom, and the child, who is under the age of six, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Jessica Wohl

Artist Jessica Wohl searches for what everyone has in common — even if it’s a testy desire to be heard.

By looking at the seven quilts she’ll show in Weinberger Fine Art’s new exhibition, “Thoughts And Prayers,” it’s hard to say what Wohl’s political leanings are. But she contends that her particular opinions are not the point of this collection.

For the past school year, guns have been allowed at public colleges in Kansas.

But the concealed nature of campus carry, alongside a year with no major gun-related incidents at Kansas universities, has meant most students and faculty haven’t really noticed the guns — or a difference.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Segment 1: A review of the Kansas veto session.

Kansas lawmakers concluded their veto session on Friday, ending the 2018 legislative session with significant votes on adoption law and gun rights. To help us understand what these laws could mean for the state, we spoke with Kansas News Service reporters covering events at the Capitol.

That's A Wrap

May 7, 2018

Kansas lawmakers have ended their 2018 legislative session. School spending, guns, and taxes were at the center of big debates this year. This week we discuss what passed, and what didn't. 

file photo / Kansas News Service

In an election year with a state Supreme Court ruling hanging over their heads, Kansas lawmakers wrestled over school spending, taxes and guns.

They fought among themselves and often split ways from legislators they’d chosen as leaders.

In the end, they decided not to throw a tax cut to voters. It would have partly reversed tough political choices they made a year before to salvage state government’s troubled financial ledger.

Karen Almond / KC Rep/Facebook

In his new play, Nathan Louis Jackson draws on his own life to tackle the issue of gun violence.

Brother Toad” tells the story of two men who are related but going down different paths.

“Each path ends with the decision of ‘how do I protect myself and the ones I love?’” Jackson told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

Segment 1: A new play about gun violence in Kansas.

Nathan Louis Jackson's new play, "Brother Toad," is set in Wyandotte County and Johnson County. It's about two men who are going down different paths when it comes to protecting their families. Hear more about the play and about Jackson's changing views on guns.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Updated at 4:40 p.m. 

After threatening to sue the Shawnee Mission School District for allegedly keeping students from participating in April's nationwide walkouts to protest gun violence, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas will not take legal action against district — at least for now.

Claire Verbeck / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Why a consent decree between Kansas City and the EPA is impacting how much you pay for sewer services.

Statehouse Blend Missouri crowd
Chris Young / KCUR 89.3

As students rally nationwide for more gun regulation, Missouri legislators are considering — and advancing — several bills to make firearms more legal, for more people, in more places. What underlies the enduring, and seemingly intractable, divide on gun laws in Missouri?

Host Brian Ellison welcomed Rep. T.J. Berry, a Kearney Republican, and Rep. Jon Carpenter, a Gladstone Democrat, and an audience of 75 for a live taping of the podcast April 19 in Kansas City.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Students in Kansas City and across the country stage a school walkout, 19 years after a mass shooting at Columbine High School.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

A pro-gun rally on the south side of the Kansas Statehouse drew about 200 people to Topeka on Friday morning as students around the country walked out of class to protest gun violence.

The rally was organized by the Kansas State Rifle Association and the NRA.

Speakers repeated familiar slogans, arguing that "only a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun," that progressives want to repeal the Second Amendment, and that if people are old enough to serve in the military, they're old enough to conceal carry.

Photo illustration / Kansas News Service

Younger people could carry guns even as local authorities gain new powers to take guns away in some situations. Police videos could become more available and people held in prison wrongfully could expect payments from the state.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On Friday, 16-year-old Taylor Mills paid a visit to Rep. Kevin Yoder's office in Overland Park, Kansas. Mills, a junior at Blue Valley North High School, was there to invite the Republican congressman to a town hall she and others were organizing after Kansas City's 'March for Our Lives' rally a few weeks ago.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

In light of newly passed legislation impacting gun laws and school funding, many college students in Kansas and Missouri may not feel like lawmakers are hearing their concerns. 

Two student lobbyists are hoping to change that.

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