WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – KSN caught up with several lawmakers to get their responses to the violence in Charlottesville while they were in town on a congressional break.
Senator Pat Roberts called the deadly attack on protesters at a white supremacist rally an atrocity and a tragedy, symptoms of a problem that goes far beyond Saturday’s violence.
“Unfortunately in today’s society we are seeing more and more of this and that is a real problem for us,” said Roberts.
He says it’s necessary to call out those whose values are not American.
“Obviously we had some white supremacist and we had a tragedy and we just hope we can respond with law enforcement and with a community that can come together and get past it,” added Roberts.
Representative Ron Estes sees a divide in our country.
“I think it is unfortunate that in the country we have so much division going on right now and we need to figure out ways to treat each other as human beings and work together to solve so of our country’s problems and make our country better off,” said Estes.
Estes and Roberts have different takes on President Donald Trump’s initial response.
“The remarks from the president as I understand them, and I have not read them in full, were pretty broad in terms of condemning any atrocity like this, any tragedy like this,” said Roberts.
“It is very clear that he did disown and discredit the actions there. Maybe he did not use the exact wording that somebody else wanted but that is unfortunate to take his declaration of disagreement with what had happened and criticize him for that,” added Estes.
The issue of free speech was brought up by both lawmakers.
But Roberts said there could have been more done to prevent the violence, adding local ordinances can be put in place to curb protests from hate groups or at least respond effectively to them.
Roger Marshall also released the following statement to KSN:
“I condemn, in the strongest terms, this week’s act of domestic terror and hateful rhetoric by white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and KKK sympathizers. These dangerous factions have no role in a civilized, American society. Their bigotry is incompatible with, and is the opposite of all this country stands for.”