Just a few days before the shootings in Connecticut, there was a news report from China about another school tragedy. There, a deranged man stabbed 20 children as they arrived at school.
The parallel is striking. In both countries, a deranged person committed an unspeakable act.
In both countries, 20 children were attacked.
The difference? In China, all 20 of those children lived; in Connecticut, all 20 died.
I am not advocating that we live in a totalitarian state like China. But at least we could do something about those deadly rapid-fire weapons that have no other purpose than merciless efficiency in killing people.
This is not about the Second Amendment. It is about decency and care of our citizenry.
Jean Ann Summers
C.W. Gusewelle’s column on Newtown (12-16, A4, “This horror cries out for a change”) was a predictable response. Gusewelle writes creatively, but apparently a total lack of knowledge and logic is a prerequisite for such creativity.
First, I am not a hunter or NRA member. Indeed, the last time I fired a weapon occurred 44 years ago in Vietnam. Gusewelle declares “no decent American” wouldn’t agree to tighter gun control. With one giant journalistic leap he wipes away the Bill of Rights and Second Amendment.
In truth, more gun controls will not deter a dedicated shooter of sick or evil mind. The standard liberal claim that further restrictions will somehow prevent these occurrences is patently ridiculous.
Finally, Gusewelle finds “absurd” and “paranoid” the notion that our government would ever take his guns away. He is obviously not a student of history, as confiscation of firearms has been a common thread in the development of all totalitarian states.
What makes him think that a federal government increasingly drunk with unprecedented power isn’t capable of doing this?
Gusewelle’s photograph presents the image of a professorial figure, a sage commentator brimming with wisdom and gravitas.
It is obvious that the picture belies him and his naïveté.
Guns threat to children
“Have a nice day at school, dear.” Imagine that as the last thing you’ll ever say to your 6-year-old as you drop her off.
Are you a parent? Do you know any parents? Have you ever seen any children?
Is this the kind of freedom you envision for them? Can we even discuss reasonable and rational reduction of assault weapons?
“No” is the chorus, which will echo as this is read. “This is the lone act of a madman.”
But these madmen are shooting every day in this country. Have you noticed?
What if every church and right-to-life group made the safety of those born an integral part of their platform? What if it was decided that owning multiple semi-automatic weapons, gun shows, inadequate background checks and inadequate waiting periods are not pro-life? Could we have a march on Washington, D.C., for that?
So hug your kid extra hard now. But remember, there is nothing we can do, especially demanding action from representatives beholden to the benevolent support of the National Rifle Association.
That is, until your child hits 18 and can legally be armed. Ah, if only those 6-year-olds would have been packing.
Hamas terrorist group
Why is it that Hamas, a terrorist organization that refused to extend the truce and fires rockets at civilians on a daily basis, gets so much sympathy, with Israel being condemned for defending itself?
Under the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011, taxes will go up on Jan. 1 and automatic spending cuts will go into effect.
The Budget Control Act is a monument to an incompetent and selfish U.S. Congress. It came into existence because Republicans refused to raise taxes on the rich and uber-rich.
They were cowards and kicked the can down the road again. The hope was that facing a hard date would give them the courage to do their jobs. Now the date is at hand, but they are still cowards.
How can any reasonable person be surprised?
The bottom line is that each dollar of tax from the rich and uber-rich will save a dollar of services to the middle class and poor. I know where I stand and would tell the Republicans what to do.
Replace Bishop Finn
I think Huckleberry Finn would make a better bishop than Robert Finn, and Huck Finn isn’t even Catholic.
End war on middle class
The Star’s fine Dec. 13 editorial, “This border war bleeds millions from taxpayers,” calls it a “border war” between Missouri and Kansas over which state can ladle out more tax giveaways to rich businessmen.
But it’s also a war on the American middle class.
Nationwide, state legislators have rigged it so shopping centers can add tax subsidies for themselves to improve their own properties. States give away to the wealthy property taxes that belong to our schools, colleges and libraries.
States lavish on business owners even their employees’ income taxes that would otherwise support public services. When the rich escape taxes, rates on the middle class rise.
Like pro football and baseball teams, the wealthy whipsaw governments into competing for which can give them the most money. Former Kansas City Star reporter Jim Steele, while working at Time magazine, came up with the cure: Pass a federal law taxing away from rich business people every dime the states give them in this stupid competition.
Let’s end the war on the middle class that has left wages stagnant for 40 years.
Stem cell research
Archimedes wrote, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.” The purpose of science is to move the Earth, and stem cell research may indeed do just that.
Stem cells show promise in repairing patients’ hearts, increasing mobility of paraplegics and curing blood diseases in children. Even so, the true power of these cells remains untapped.
Researchers express the need for more options and freedom if progress is to increase. This progress has the capability to help cure Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, burns, cancer, heart disease and others, according to the National Institutes of Health.
We need to give freedom to human stem cell research. We need to remove restrictions that pose substantial limitations to the advancement of this vital science. We need to allow this research to grow and flourish.
This isn’t a moral debate. But even if it were, is it moral to let people suffer and die when that could likely have been prevented?
I urge people to be in favor of science and progress. Like Archimedes, give us that place to stand.
Allow us to move the Earth. And watch as all of humanity reaps the benefits.
KC Chiefs no bargain
On a recent Sunday, a friend of mine from Sweden flew to Kansas City in part to make his annual visit to a Chiefs game. Here is a synopsis of our day:
We arrived and paid $27 to park so far from the stadium that we were not on pavement. A friend of ours, a disgruntled season ticket holder, gave us his tickets, which cost $220 each.
We had a total of three beers, a soft drink and two hot dogs for a cost of $42. He bought a souvenir Chiefs hat for $62.
For the almost $600 investment, we saw a mediocre team that was handily defeated by essentially another mediocre team. Considering that the Kansas City Chiefs’ television contract pays all of the team’s salaries, this kind of price gouging for a product like this is ridiculous.
The only thing more ridiculous is that the Chiefs expect their fans to continue to support them. I have no interest in further subsidizing this franchise.
Help cemetery deer
It breaks my heart to see that baby doe living in the cemetery (12-11, A4, “Cemetery dog is captured, but deer pal is perplexed”). It’s obvious she’s lonesome and needing companionship.
Is there a place she can be taken, such as Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, where she can be around other deer? A cemetery isn’t a safe place for her. She would thrive among her own. Is there someone who has the ability to place her in the environment she needs and deserves? Please help her before something happens to her.
Tummy taking tumble
With Halloween candy still in the pantry, pumpkin ice cream taking up valuable space in the freezer and Christmas cookies and candy in the making, I fear I am heading for the “physical cliff.”