Letters to the Editor

Terrorism, guns, Kansans

Updated: 2013-04-19T00:16:01Z

Deterring terrorism

I can see the headline and story now: “National Rifle Association responds to Boston terror.

“In a just-released statement, the NRA said today that the only way to protect against terrorist bombings without infringing upon the rights of law-abiding Americans under the Second Amendment is to arm all Boston Marathon race officials with bombs of their own.”

Mike Cunningham

Kansas City

Keep guns in context

It appears to me that one significant factor has been left out of the gun-violence discussion: the acculturation of the U.S. to guns/gun violence throughout our history.

Like most things, the need and use of a gun is essentially contextual. Context is distorted by fear, because certain individuals and groups work to create and enhance those fears.

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association has said the government is conspiring to “destroy the Second Amendment.” What would be the purpose? To create a totalitarian society?

In this society that would be extremely difficult. That would require mobilization of the entire military against the populace. That’s not going to happen.

Being retired from the military, I cannot foresee a realistic expectation that military leadership, at the top and in the field, could turn against family and friends en masse.

A gun or any weapon does provide a strong sense of power, which is a key reason for the attraction. A sense of powerlessness is pushing the agenda.

Let’s not sprint to Dodge City. Let’s improve our own.

Sheldon Castleman


Background checks

The senators who voted against the legislation on gun background checks should be required to have photos of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting victims on their desks every day until the next vote takes place. Shame on those senators. Too many voted this way because the gun lobby contacted their offices in a steady stream. Shame on the National Rifle Association.

The senators won’t change their minds until they hear from their constituents who believe in legislating to stop gun violence. Shame on us.

Judy Hellman


New direction

These are perilous times when the direction and course of the good ship “We, the People” is guided by self-serving political lines that have formed and created a land that has become void of intelligent reason and any true statesmanship. I submit that when a legislator fails to act in reasonable good faith, the result can and should be viewed as a treasonous act against the people they serve.

A line in the sand is not a continued dialogue or a progressive and inspiring thought.

It is time for true patriots of democracy to begin to guide the blind leadership in both parties to hit the Staple’s easy button or, better yet, the American political reset button.

This writer had high hopes that with the increase in women in leadership positions we would find that the gender change in politics would provide the courage to act, a commitment to gather and the creation of a path for political hope and that the women would demonstrate that leadership does not come from just men.

It comes from the heart and concern for the American people.

Paul Miller


Disheartened Kansans

Reading the daily news from the Kansas Legislature is extremely disheartening. Gov. Sam Brownback and his followers seem completely focused on changing everything even slightly moderate about the state.

Case in point: altering the way Court of Appeals judges are selected from the current non-political, merit-based process to appointment by the governor, subject only to senate approval.

Because I support the current process in which the governor already has influence, I asked my representative to vote against the change. His canned, written reply simply explained why the current process is “flawed.”

Sadly, it’s his own information that’s flawed.

Fact 1: Kansas is not alone but is one of several states now using the merit-selection process, known as the Missouri Plan.

Fact 2: The five lawyers on the Judicial Nominating Commission are members of the Kansas Bar, the state-authorized licensing organization for lawyers, not the Kansas Bar Association, a professional trade group with optional membership. Rounding out the nine-member Judicial Nominating Commission are four non-lawyers, all appointed by the governor.

Calling for small government sounds good while campaigning in November, but the reality is Brownback’s administration seems committed to intervention by big government for his ultra-conservative goals.

Jannie Cubbage


Kansas House District 28

Overland Park

Consumer pain

The electric utility companies across Missouri are bombarding us with propaganda about the “antique” process through which the Public Service Commission regulates them. The companies support proposed legislation in Jefferson City to “modernize” the process.

They’ve devised a plan allowing them to charge customers in advance for capital improvements they might make in the future without affecting dividends paid to the company shareholders. The improvements would then be added to their operating cost base so they could increase their rates.

Summit Natural Gas Corp. is spending millions of dollars to provide natural gas throughout the Lake of the Ozarks area. The company has taken a calculated risk in borrowing money to design the system and install the gas lines.

The investment will be recovered through rates regulated by the PSC. This is the way free enterprise is supposed to work, not by putting the burden on consumers in advance of providing a service.

One of the considerations of the PSC is to make sure the companies receive a fair return on investment. Let’s keep it that way.

Call your senators and representatives. Tell them we shouldn’t have to provide financing capital unless we get dividends.

Jim Peterson

Camdenton, Mo.

Union problem in U.S.

As printed in this newspaper, union workers are only 11 percent of the workforce. However, this 11 percent with high salaries and benefits drives up the cost of living for the 89 percent.

The unions’ concern is not for the workers but for the revenue they produce for the union.

To explain, a bank takes our money and uses it to make a profit. Banks provide a service and a return our money.

The unions are like very large banks. Their source of revenue is the worker, and like banks they provide various services.

They take the revenue they receive, which is in the billions of dollars each year, and use this power to make more money, which brings more power. They control politics, build casinos and do who knows what else, which in turn creates more revenue for the union.

The union does not care about the workers at Wal-Mart, or anywhere else for that matter. They only want the revenue they produce.

If the unions had less power, nearly every item we buy would cost less, and jobs would not be leaving the country as often.

Kenneth Noble

Kansas City

Cheers for teacher

Recently an outstanding Blue Springs teacher, Beth Vernon, was surprised to learn she had won a special award. In an assembly of cheering Brittney Hill Middle School students, teachers, friends, school and Hall of Fame officials, she was stunned by her selection for induction into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

Many people wrote recommendations: officials and former students. There are far too many reasons for her selection to cover here.

This good news event was covered by two or three TV stations, but not by The Star. Beth attended a Shawnee Mission high school, so both sides of the line should have read of her achievements.

Her induction at Emporia State University will be in June so The Star has another chance to share her talents and teaching philosophy with readers. She was previously honored by the Disney Corp. as one of the nation’s top teachers and by the Blue Springs School District.

My wife and I were excited to be there, as she is our daughter-in-law.

Walt Vernon

Prairie Village

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