In wake of JCC shootings, national anti-gun violence group launches in Kansas

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - With the murders of three people at a Jewish Community Center and retirement home here in April acting as a catalyst, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence launched its first ever Kansas chapter on Wednesday.

Among the group's small coterie of co-founders is Paul Temme, who was at the JCC on the day of the shootings, and was fired upon himself.

After a period of reflection he joined a handful of other founding members in starting the chapter.

"I think afterwards that people began to think about what, what we might do to change, what positives could come out of it," Temme told 41 Action News on Thursday.

"We tend to be blithe about it, not thinking it's going to affect us- but obviously it's happening here- just as it's happening elsewhere in the country," he said.

The Brady Campaign is officially non-partisan; focusing on education and advocacy surrounding gun safety. But the group's stances in favor of stronger background checks for gun sales and on other issues have set it on a collision course repeatedly with the NRA and other pro-gun groups.

Temme is clear-eyed about the struggles his newfound group might face effecting legislative change in deep red Kansas, which just loosened gun regulations in a law set to go into effect next week ..

But the recent launching of two other groups dedicated to ending gun violence (one each for mothers and grandmothers), give him hope that the shock of the shootings here might mix with a changing political landscape and lead to greater gun safety awareness at the very least.

"This is something I think the populous at large faces every time there is a school shooting or something," Temme said. "We shake our heads and say what's going to stop this? I think what's going to stop it is if we get together."

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