Better gun control
Because I am a young adult in Kansas City, some might see my opinion on gun control as inexperienced and somewhat unimportant. However, I am part of a family of hunters and have been around guns all of my life.
With shootings such as those in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., I see this as my duty to voice my opinion.
I believe that guns are a valued part of the American society and economy. Our forefathers conquered the frontier with firearms. Our whole country was founded with the help of firearms, and our founders protected that with the Second Amendment.
Now, some raise the argument that the Second Amendment is no longer applicable to our times. Taking away guns would lead to more violence, with people trying to protect their firearms from the law. A ban would raise more violence in an attempt to stop violence.
However, I do believe that acquiring firearms is too easy, and more checkpoints need to be set up to control who is buying weapons.
Please, let’s just let the pope be the pope.
He is first of all a man of God. He is our spiritual leader. He is expected to be prayerful, kind and loving to all.
There are few men or women qualified to speak authoritatively about the Catholic Church. Its virtues and challenges are certainly open to discussion.
We Catholics look forward to a continuance of our Roman Catholicism, a peaceful world and a pope who is humbly intelligent and prayerfully wise.
Jodie Van Meter
Tomas Young’s heroism
I’m in awe, humbled by Iraq war veteran Tomas Young’s nine-year struggle demonstrating heroic desire to live while physically deteriorating (3-21, A1, “Severely wounded Iraq war vet chooses to end his struggle”).
He is paralyzed from the chest down, and now his colon has been removed, rendering him unable to eat.
His heroism surpasses merely serving our country and taking a sniper’s bullet in his chest, leaving him permanently disabled. He voiced his opinion against the war on “60 Minutes,” and a documentary was made about him.
His heroism continues with his ultimate voice on death. The right to die is a controversial subject. Imagine pious judgments from those viewing him as a quitter.
For Buddhists (his wife studies Buddhism), fear of death must first be acknowledged to live fully.
Tomas Young, to the end, is a maven of heroic dignity, choosing to end his suffering. This right isn’t about suicide whatsoever. He’s clearly demonstrating that he’s suffered long enough.
YMCA’s flawed plan
The Greater Kansas City YMCA’s recent announcement to close three community YMCAs and construct a new facility at 10th Street and Grand Boulevard is poor public relations and even disingenuous.
The YMCA’s charter clearly focuses on family and community. This cut of three neighborhood facilities and associated staff discredits that charter.
Citing cost-cutting yet building a $30 million to $40 million facility downtown is also counterintuitive.
The area adjacent to the Power & Light District may be many things, but it certainly isn’t family- or community-oriented.
Who will the YMCA’s patrons be? Neighborhood youths looking for a place to play ball? Young families with children? Not likely.
The demographic it apparently hopes to reach — young professionals from area work locations or maybe lofts in the area — are those least likely to use a downtown Y membership, preferring hip health clubs to the traditions of the YMCA.
It appears the goal is to elbow into markets the YMCA hasn’t served. I’m not sure this is appropriate for a nonprofit with a community focus. Perhaps the YMCA should write a new charter and rebrand, as this appears to be the intent.
Jodie Van Meter
State’s screwball science
The lack of respect for scientific evidence shown by the Kansas Legislature is no longer laughable. It will cause the state great harm.
What agency will award grants for medical research to scientists in a state with such anti-science laws and attitudes? Who will want to come to Kansas for medical education when Kansas law requires them to learn under physicians who are required to lie to their patients?
The laws passed this year in Kansas will adversely affect Kansas for years to come. The most glaring of these laws are those related to abortion.
Decisions on abortion are based on the question of when life begins. Because no one can answer that question, it hardly makes sense to pass laws as if someone knows the answer.
Yes, of course, some claim to know. But their evidence to support their opinion is simply more opinions.
Abortion is a matter of conscience, and decisions should be left to the couple involved. Does it not occur to them that if a state can prohibit abortion, it could at another time require abortion?
How can we put an end to this obsession?
Barbara Lukert, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of Kansas
School of Medicine
Hold Chiefs accountable
Just because owner Clark Hunt got head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey does not mean Kansas City Chiefs ticket buyers should spend nearly $2,000 for tickets this upcoming season.
Chiefs fans must judge the product before they spend good money for tickets.
We must see what Reid and Dorsey can do before the new season starts.
So if Reid does not answer the call, the fans may see prices go lower to entice fans to come to games. Or will fans not waste their time to watch them play?
Also fans want the team to start winning more games and go out in free agency and spend money on big-name players. If not, Chiefs fans might not want to spend their hard-earned cash to watch the Chiefs in the upcoming season.
Season ticket holders might drop out if things do not change.
Because we are the Show-Me State, I believe that we must see what Reid and Dorsey can do before we spend $1,000 to $2,000 for terrible performances.
I am a few weeks out of the hospital. The words, “I had a heart attack,” still get stuck in my throat.
I’ll be 49 in a couple of weeks. My weight is good.
I’ve never taken medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure. I smoked a pack a day for more than 30 years.
Smoking was my risk factor. I don’t smoke anymore.
I’m not going to become a reformed smoker. I loved smoking.
I will say, “I thought I was healthy, and if smoking was my only vice, then what of it? There was no point in trying to quit until I was ready, and I wasn’t.”
I had a heart attack. I became ready pretty fast, but not fast enough to avoid the heart attack.
Now I’m taking seven pills a day. A week ago I wasn’t.
I have a blood-pressure cuff so I can take my blood pressure every morning, and I’ll be starting cardiac rehab in a few days.
This is my new reality.
I had a heart attack. I had a heart attack because I smoked.
Profound thanks to St. Luke’s East for your compassion and care. I’ll always be grateful.
Consuming horse meat
If horse meat eventually gallops into the U.S. meat supply, our very own National Beef Packing Co. in Liberal, Kan., may be able to start a new division: National Velvet.
Nursing home advocate
My aunt is in a nursing home. She’ll be 91 in April.
She possesses all of her faculties, except the use of her legs. She is confined to a wheelchair.
She has a tremendous memory but suffers from hearing loss and poor vision. She lost her hearing aid a little over a month ago.
It went through the laundry and has been determined to be unrepairable. The hearing aid was 12 years old.
The social worker at the home said it sometimes takes four to six months to get a hearing aid replaced through Medicaid. Why so long?
My wife recently got hearing aids, and it took only two weeks, start to finish. Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are at the mercy of the snail’s pace that Medicaid travels.
Why should this take any longer simply because someone lives in a nursing home?
Residents of nursing homes need a true advocate. The advocate should put the residents’ welfare above everything else and not fear losing his or her job if he or she does something management frowns upon.
Our loved ones who live in these places should not have to live in fear of retaliation.