Target: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach
Goal: Denounce Kansas Secretary Kris Kobach for threatening to shoot protestors
The home of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was recently the location of a political rally against his stance on illegal immigration. Kobach has come under fire for his staunch opposition to illegal immigration and his support for mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. As Secretary of State Kobach has taken part in lawsuits and campaigns to ensure that immigration laws are strictly enforced; he also played a large role in writing the notoriously harsh Arizona state bill cracking down on potentially undocumented immigrants. He has also been accused of using the immigration issue to stoke racial tensions and cleave Kansans for political gain.
An activist group called Sunflower Community Action organized a rally to support the undocumented community, and after a prayer vigil and meeting nearby, the crowd of a few hundred went to Kobach’s house for a peaceful protest. The crowd was made of activists including many seniors, women, children, and families, and video of the rally posted online show its nonthreatening nature. It seems that Kobach and his family were not at home at the time that the crowd arrived, but it is what Kobach said to reporters after the fact that has drawn media scrutiny.
After a peaceful protest in front of his house (in which 20 pairs of shoes were left near his porch to represent the absence of deported immigrants), Kobach said to the media that “it’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.” He went on to label all the protestors as “illegals” and warned that he would not be pressured into changing his political stance by protests.
“If we had been in the home and not been armed, I would have felt very afraid – because it took the police 15 minutes to show up,” Kobach said, “and the Second Amendment is the private property owner’s last resort.” It is frightening to imagine what atrocity Kobach would have committed against an unarmed group of people exercising their right to assembly, if indeed he had been home. Please sign the petition below to denounce Kobach’s inflammatory statements and demand that he apologize for threatening violence against his political opponents.
Dear Secretary of State Kris Kobach:
Your recent statements about the protest rally at your house were incendiary and offensive. The people who demonstrated against your stance on illegal immigration were unarmed, nonthreatening, and were exercising their constitutional right to free assembly. You may disagree with their opinions, but they were breaking no laws and did not threaten or harm you in any way. While the Second Amendment does protect self-defense, you had no right to commit violence against those who did not threaten you.
This country’s political rhetoric, especially on divisive cultural issues like illegal immigration, has become polemical and vicious enough without comments like yours. I demand that you retract what you have said and apologize to your constituents who were exercising their civil rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mr. Wright via Flickr