On Saturday the K-State chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) hosted the organization’s state convention. The convention took place at the Holiday Inn across from campus and lasted from 9 AM to 6 PM. At the conference, speaks talked about a diverse set of topics ranging from local politics to foreign policy. Approximately 90 students and community members from Manhattan, KU, other parts of Kansas, and Missouri attended the conference.
Elizabeth Francis, President of the K-State chapter of YAL, and one of the convention’s main organizers, said that she was, “absolutely thrilled with the turnout of the convention. Students and non-students turned up to show that the message of liberty is strong in the Mid-west.” Francis also thanked the national level of YAL for allowing K-State YAL to host the conference.
Laura Nicolae, 15, is a freshman at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka and is currently reading, “For a New Liberty” by the libertarian author Murray Rothbard. Nicolae said that her favorite part of the convention was when Ron Paul skyped in to talk to the attendees.
“My favorite part of the convention was definitely getting to talk to Ron Paul because I wanted to do that forever and he is probably my favorite person ever, other than Thomas Jefferson.” Nicolae also said that she enjoyed talking, “to people who are like minded and understand the issues outside of the standard bi-partisan system.”
Cody Wilson, a law student at the University of Texas, talked to the conference about his nearly completed effort to create a gun from a 3D printer. Wilson says that the project has first and foremost, “a symbolic political goal” to show that gun control legislation will not be successful. Wilson says that once the gun is created, “in the next couple weeks,” he will be showing it first to BBC World News so that knowledge of the project will spread to countries that have stronger gun control policies than the United States.
John Matta, the recently elected mayor of Manhattan, talked to the attendees about his opposition to mandatory rental inspections which he said is, “a privacy issue.” He also spoke about his opposition to public transportation. However, Matta said that he would reconsider a proposed transit system, “if we can get a financial commitment from K-State student fees.” The proposed transit system would take students to and from the university, which supporters say would alleviate the problem of parking on campus.
The main speaker at the conference was author Tom Woods, who discussed his opposition to the bailouts after the financial crash of 2007-2008. Woods spoke in favor of the doctrine of nullification where states refuse to enforce laws they believe are unconstitutional. He also argued against an interventionist foreign policy. Woods told the group that, “we represent the third America,” the alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.