Ilan's Social Platform
First and foremost, this campaign is about activism. We need to invigorate politics in this country. And yes, we need to drain the swamp. We need to abolish the days of party intransigence, in which the faint hope for political compromise is all but extinguished by the fear of losing the primary two years later. We need to get responsible, smart, and reasonable people into politics, and let people of all political backgrounds voice their opinions in respectful debate. If we engage each other in civil discourse, we can truly come closer to being a unified, tolerant people.
I am a strong believer that it is not the government’s business to dictate to individuals what they can and cannot do, as long as their actions do not infringe upon anyone else’s right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. I also believe that the next great struggle in the quest for true liberty for our people, as enshrined in both the US and Kansan constitutions, is the assurance of equality for all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. I am, therefore, a strong supporter of:
A women’s right to choose
The #metoo movement
The availability of medical marijuana, and decriminalization and strictly regulated legalization of recreational marijuana
The rights of individuals to practice their religion without fear of persecution or government interference
A specific social issue that is very important to me is gun control.
I believe that the gun issue in this country has festered for far too long. Too many lives have been lost to senseless violence. Thoughts and prayers are a wonderful sentiment to aid a mourning family, but they do nothing to prevent the next shooting, after which we will again send our thoughts and prayers to the victim and wait for the cycle to repeat endlessly.
I strongly affirm law-abiding individuals’ right to possess a gun for self-defense. But we must differentiate between buying one handgun to defend oneself and buying a whole arsenal’s worth of AR-15 rifles. I applaud the Trump Administration’s active action on bump-stocks, but we must do more to prevent the violence from Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas, or Parkland from coming to Wichita, Topeka, or Lawrence. Kansas gives almost no restrictions on buying a gun: you don’t need a permit to purchase or carry a gun, you don’t need to register your gun, and you can legally carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Worst of all, Kansas does not participate in the National Instant Background Check system or any kind of background check. This system is not invasive, as you do not need to submit any information besides your name, age, and race, and it takes less than 2 minutes. It’s almost no barrier to buying a gun, yet the hysteria of the gun lobby in reaction to any well-intended proposal such as this one has so far been insurmountable. If you can’t wait two minutes to buy your gun, that’s just cause for suspicion as to why you need that gun so badly. I understand, of course, that these laws aren’t perfect and that gun violence will still happen. But it is important to acknowledge that to save a life is to save a whole world.
Another issue I will push is the institution of a brief mandatory gun safety class one must take before purchasing a gun. It will encompass how to store, handle, load, and clean one’s gun safely so as to prevent horrific accidents. Over 600 people die every year from accidental shootings. A gun is a dangerous tool, as any gun owner knows. But when a gun is properly taken care of, it turns from the frightening catalyst of a heart-wrenching accident to a life-saving defender of one’s family. This is what we are looking for by properly teaching all gun owners how to respect and care for the most dangerous tool a person can own.
In order to deter negligence among firearm owners, we must institute strict laws punishing unsafe storage of firearms and other unsafe behaviors. I will push for a major public campaign to educate the public on gun safety and on how to properly lock up guns to keep them from accidentally discharging or from falling into the wrong hands.
I strongly believe in all of the social positions I have so far outlined. I recognize, however, that there are people on the other side of the political aisle who disagree with me based on completely valid rationale. I don’t want to silence a pro-life conservative, I want to engage them in debate to fully understand their ideas and if not come to compromise, then simply tolerance and mutual respect. We can agree to disagree. As I sit here writing this next to my campaign manager, I recognize that he and I have differences in our political opinions. Yet, that doesn’t shake our mutual respect of each other’s ideologies and our unflinching trust in each other’s patriotism and genuine desire for the success of Kansas and the United States. Through real and lengthy political discussions— and yes, some tense moments of shouting— we as Kansans and as Americans can come together.