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Shooting in Hesston leaves three casualties

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The happenings in a town of less than 4,000 do not usually make national news. On Feb. 25 in Hesston, Kan., tragedy struck when Cedric Ford showed up at Excel Industries, his workplace, armed with an automatic pistol and an assault rifle.

Police first responded when they received reports that a man had been shot in the shoulder by someone out of their truck in Norton, Kan. About two miles outside of Norton, another person was shot in the leg by the same shooter. Minutes later Ford was firing at Excel. One officer arrived minutes after the call and killed Ford. There were four casualties, including the shooter, and 14 injuries.

It’s a sad world, but the point is, it’s a gun that stops these sort of things. And the closer that gun is, the quicker that happens, the better off people are.”

— Senator Forrest Knox

The event caused devastation all over the country. Those who worked with Ford were forced to think about why they never questioned his extensive criminal record. Sources close to him characterize him as “a mellow guy.”

According to CNN, Ford had been served with a protection order 90 minutes before the shooting occurred. The order protected Ford’s ex-girlfriend who he had allegedly abused. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said Ford seemed upset but did nothing outrageous when the order was served.

In response to this shooting, state senator Forrest Knox is trying to loosen gun laws in Kansas. It is currently legal to carry concealed weapons in public buildings, but private businesses can restrict weapons. In an interview with The Wichita Eagle, Knox said that he does not want companies to “require defenselessness of their employees.”

Although employees at Excel being armed could have helped them in this situation, state senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau plans to reject any legislation that forces private companies to allow guns. Nevertheless, Knox continues to push for an environment with more access to protection.

“It’s a sad world, but the point is, it’s a gun that stops these sort of things,” Knox said. “And the closer that gun is, the quicker that happens, the better off people are.”

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The School Newspaper of Lawrence Free State High School
Shooting in Hesston leaves three casualties