SHAWNEE, Kan. — The City of Shawnee, the Old Shawnee Days Board, and the Old Shawnee Days Society apologized Saturday afternoon, after Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach rode down the parade route in a jeep with a large gun mounted on the back, alarming many bystanders.
We want to apologize for the concern and frustration involved with Mr. Kris Kobach’s parade entry at the Old Shawnee Days Parade on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
In no way does this or any parade entry or float directly reflect the views and values of the City, the Old Shawnee Days Board or the Old Shawnee Days Society.
Again, we apologize and understand the concern this caused. We have reached out to Mr. Kobach’s media contact in an effort to get answers.
Please know that the safety of our residents is always our highest priority and we apologize if this made anyone feel unsafe or unsettled. We will be taking steps in the future to try to ensure something similar does not happen again.
Kobach, who is currently running for governor of Kansas, said the gun was a replica, and hoped to make a statement in support of gun rights.
The city apologized after parade attendees expressed their disapproval of displaying what appeared to be a .50 caliber machine gun at a family-friendly event.
Folks took to Twitter to express their views directly to the gubernatorial candidate.
“I am pro 2A [2nd Amendment] and carry but I am also not a drama queen. I know you are trying to stay relevant, in the headlines and trying to win the NRA’s [money] with sideshows but in reality you hurt the 2A. I don’t want my right to self defense infringed because of nutjobs like you,” @jacobsems wrote.
“Your misguided, mounting any type of gun on a family parade…says it all about what kinda of person you are, and yes I support the 2nd, just not you….” @MghhMichael wrote.
“Having a gun that size in a parade with children is unconscionable, especially with all the recent gun violence!” @maureen_bauer7 wrote.
“You are clueless using a machine gun in a parade that appeals to families. Children are scared to go to school and you cram this scene in their faces. I will do everything in my power to make sure you never set foot in the Governor’s office,” @tchayes27 wrote.
Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for governor against current Gov. Jeff Colyer, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, and former nominee Jim Barnett.
Kobach responded to the criticism with a tweet Sunday night.