Speakout: The most Second Amendment-friendly state?

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Editor's note: This Speakout was submitted by Teresa Binkley of Brookings.

Did anyone else find the governor’s Feb. 2 Speakout as appalling as I did? Do South Dakotans truly want California gun manufacturers to come to our state and for our great state to become known as a Second Amendment haven?

The governor needs to realize the gun-toting days of the wild west are over. Hunting and shooting family activities the governor describes are a far cry from constitutional carry, waiving all fees for conceal carry permits, and inviting gun manufacturers to our state. Governor Noem is encouraging all of this when there are mass-shootings in our schools and communities on a regular basis. Do we really want our state to be known as a gun haven?

The South Dakotans I know are logical, ethical and hard working. Current leadership in our state is skewing attitudes toward illogical, unethical, and “freedom” working. And honestly, please Governor Noem, quit saying that South Dakota does not rely on aid from the federal government. A KELO news report Dec. 7, 2021 (“Federal money is a big help to South Dakota’s budget”) stated, “Since fiscal year 2019, the state has received at least $1.6 billion in federal aid each year that helps fund schools, parks and other operations in the state, according to the state Bureau and Finance Management budgets.” But our governor says we don’t rely on the federal government? The only federal funding our governor did not rely on was a federal program that would have provided $7.5 million to feed hungry kids.

As South Dakotans, we are respectful and neighborly people who seek the best in others. We need leadership that reflects those qualities, not leadership that pushes extremist views to gain attention on the national scene. We have much more to offer as a state than to become the most Second Amendment-friendly state.