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Kansas could do a lot more to stop overdose deaths

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Nearly 500 people died of drug overdoses in Kansas in 2020. But the state lacks a Good Samaritan law encouraging people to call 911 if a friend is overdosing. These legal safeguards have been shown to save lives. Plus, a new study found that the attitudes of gun owners are not as rigid as many people might think.

Opioid overdoses are killing more Americans than ever. But if you pick up the phone to report an overdose in Kansas, you could go to jail. Celia Llopis-Jepsen of the Kansas News Service reports that Kansas lags behind other states in laws that could prevent more people from dying from opioids.

Even though a person may be a gun owner, that doesn't mean their ideas on gun laws are set in stone. University of Kansas political science professor Don Haider-Markel researched how gun owners respond to threats, and whether responses were conditioned on who gun owners think should own firearms.

"[The study] just overall shows you that gun attitudes are not as rigid as some people tend to think, and that there's room for movement on gun regulation," Haider-Markel told Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up To Date. "The notion that we can't do anything about guns because attitudes are so rigid is just wrong."

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love with Trevor Grandin and edited by Gabe Rosenberg & Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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