JJ’s restaurant blast
Kansas City Councilman John Sharp, in his position as chair of the Public Safety Committee, suggested that fire crews should be equipped with gas detectors (2-24, A1, “Plan says responders decide on evacuations”). No argument here on that subject.
However, it should be noted that humans have been equipped with a pretty good detector, a nose. And it’s connected to a pretty good computer, if it happens to be operating.
The lower explosive limit of natural gas is about 4 percent. I expect anything approaching that concentration would render most people ill, if not unconscious. What they could see and smell should have provoked serious action by the first responders at JJ’s restaurant.
Gas company warning
I received my Missouri Gas Co. e-bill. It says, “If you smell natural gas, leave the premises and call us from a neighbor’s phone.” Don’t wait for someone to tell you to leave.
Common sense on gas
With regard to the debate over when JJ’s restaurant should have been evacuated, whatever happened to the common-sense, better-safe-than-sorry philosophy (2-24, A1, “Plan says responders decide on evacuations”)? Had that procedure been exercised as soon as the smell of gas was detected, it’s likely there would have been no fatalities.
You can be sure that if I had been either an employee or customer, I would not have waited for some employee with petty bureaucratic syndrome to give me permission to leave.
License gun owners
I like the Constitution as much as the next guy. The Founding Fathers were full of good ideas. I’m all in favor of a homeowner keeping a gun for safety or a hunter having guns for sport. However, I think guns should be regulated.
I think guns should be regulated like cars. All potential gun owners should be required to earn licenses to own and operate a weapon.
They should be required to pass a written safety test and a test that shows that the owner knows how to use the gun. Also, the owner must meet mental-health requirements.
Each gun sale should have a title and some sort of identification matching the gun to the owner, like a license plate. Each gun should have liability insurance.
And finally, just like a driver’s license, at certain intervals, there should be an inspection, a test to make sure the owner is still capable of responsibly owning the gun.
Like I said, I don’t doubt the Founding Fathers’ intentions, but there was no way they could have foreseen the hazards of an AR-15 assault rifle.
Phony budget scare
The Feb. 24 front-page story, “Gear up for problems,” warns us to brace for budgetary problems. Are you trying to tell me a 2.36 percent cut in government spending will wreak havoc on every government program, except for those excluded?
Rather, I believe it will have negligible effect unless someone stops a single function to make an example.
A management textbook I read a long time ago says, “Management is the judicious use of scarce resources to achieve an objective.” An abundance of any resource indicates management is lacking.
The government’s method of budgeting for the next year is just incrementally adding to the previous year’s expenditures.
Maybe those titled as managers should start earning their pay by managing. Private industry moved to zero-base budgeting years ago, with interesting results as managers had to justify why certain functions were necessary and to what resource level.
The efforts of the politicians to scare and intimidate with no facts will gain little traction if we all get out our four-function calculators.
Guns against tyranny
People clamoring for seizure/banning of so-called assault rifles are reacting without thought. Despite their good intentions, they should realize that semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines are essential to fulfilling our Second Amendment rights.
The Second Amendment does not exist to preserve recreational use of firearms (where high-capacity magazines are not needed). Nor is its purpose to allow use of guns for self/home defense, where a three-round, pump-action shotgun is a more than adequate choice.
Its true purpose is to allow people to defend themselves against a totalitarian government. Low-capacity, bolt-action rifles would not stand a chance against government forces.
Although it may seem crazy to think the government will turn on us, it is guaranteed that as soon as our right to defend ourselves from the government falls, the rest of our rights will soon follow.
Praying for extinction
I am a big fan of C.W. Gusewelle’s columns. I thoroughly enjoy reading his perspective on life’s matters, big and small. His Feb. 24 column, “Kin of a distant past? Rats!” bemoaning the possible link between humans and their relationship to an ancient rat-like creature was, as always, humorous and interesting.
However, I am much more concerned by the possible relationship between humans and more recent vermin, such as Fred Phelps of Topeka and his cult, espousing fear and hatred in the name of God, and the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who espouse fear and hatred for personal enrichment.
These rats prey on the ignorant for the sole purpose of inflating their egos and their pocketbooks. Let’s hope they, too, will soon become extinct.
Imagine sleeping outside alone in cold weather. How would you feel?
That is what homeless people experience every day of their lives. Now is the point when we have to step forward to find a cause and a solution.
Many homeless people are not capable of straightening out their lives. Other people’s prejudice doesn’t help motivate people who are homeless.
As I have experienced in the homeless night program, I found out that the homeless get discouraged easily by their outside condition and people giving them unfriendly looks. One of the solutions that I came up with was to educate people about the homeless and their true situation.
Homeless people shouldn’t feel guilty. Society fuels the perpetuation of a cycle of homelessness.
Bishop Finn must go
The most Christ-like, life-giving, extravagant gift Bishop Robert Finn could give to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph would be his resignation. It would be the priceless gift that would keep on giving because of the healing it would bring about.
What the bishop fails to see is that children have a right to the integrity of their own bodies and children have a right to be safe. Bishop Finn looked the other way.
Elizabeth J. Green
Keeping seniors active
After volunteering daily for multiple weeks in a row at Brighton Gardens of Prairie Village assisted living, I wish to greatly commend the efforts of the staff, as well as other volunteers at this location.
Many elderly people begin to question their worth. They feel out of touch with modern innovations and resort to a life of solitude.
The volunteers and staff at Brighton Gardens do a fantastic job of keeping their residents active and giving them tasks that help them feel useful.
Furthermore, the atmosphere and overall vibe inside of the assisted living home very clearly relaxes the residents and makes it easy for them to call Brighton Gardens “home.”
Not only that, but activities like lunch outings and bus rides around the Country Club Plaza keep the residents in touch with the changing times.
That helps them feel included in modern society.
Snow reveals KC’s finest
Despite the current spirit of political divisiveness and polarization of opinions, the people of Kansas City have shown the nation what the real spirit of the American people is all about.
Over the last few days, I have seen strangers help push each other’s cars out of snowdrifts, shovel each other’s driveways and sidewalks for free, check on the elderly and take stranded bus passengers into their homes.
We are truly a noble, remarkable and generous people.
We common people know that we are all in this together. The Congress and Senate could learn much from our inherent Midwestern values of empathy and cooperation during tough times. This storm has served to restore my faith in humanity.
I only wish that our present government could follow our example.
Thomas E. Dodson