Letters to the Editor

Second Amendment, flags lowered, religious freedom

Updated: 2013-04-25T23:00:06Z

Amend amendment

“Arms” is the most important word in the Second Amendment. Arms is defined as “any weapons used for offensive or defensive purposes.”

Therefore, some libertarians insist they have a constitutional right to keep and bear any weaponry they desire without government restrictions.

Higher courts have ruled otherwise and upheld local ordinances rather than become involved in interpreting a confusing amendment that was written more than 200 years ago.

The current Supreme Court, however, has shown no such reluctance and has waded into the fray by lifting some local gun-restriction laws while upholding others. This has led to a confusing panoply of gun laws, which vary from locality to locality, satisfying no one.

The time has come to throw out the Second Amendment in its entirety. Rewrite it in simple terms that can be ratified and then applied nationwide.

Perhaps this incessant and tiresome debate about guns could at last be brought to a conclusion.

Kenneth Lee

Raytown

Editorial wrong

I find it to be the height of arrogance for The Kansas City Star editorial board to have the nerve to call U.S. senators cowards for voting against the gun bill (4-18, Editorial, “Cowardice on gun safety”).

For one thing, it assumes the editorial board really knows the difference between courage and cowardice, which I doubt.

The editorial board consistently takes a liberal point of view.

So showing the courage to go against what you would normally do is beyond the board’s comprehension.

The editorial board exists in its liberal cocoon in Kansas City and is totally ignorant of any viewpoint but its own.

Any other opinion is alien.

The Star editorial board is much more familiar with two words — condescension and hypocrisy — because the board displays them every day in biased opinions.

James Burcalow

Platte City

No death penalty

Death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? Haven’t we had enough killing?

D’Ann Dreiling

Belton

Flags at half-staff

What about the flags being lowered around the city? I understand the symbolism being expressed for a shooting, a bombing or whatever those who wish harm come up with next.

Truly, I do. However, if the flags are lowered for each of these events, will the flags have a time when they are pulled back up for an extended period of time?

What circumstances are flags lowered? How long do they remain at half-staff?

Does it vary by circumstance or by sorrow? And if I don’t lower my flag at home, does it mean I don’t care?

The colors of the flag represent red for blood shed for this country fighting for our freedom, blue for loyalty of a nation standing together in the quest for freedom and white for purity and innocence of a new nation struggling for a better way of life.

As for the Boston Marathon bombing, I cannot think of a better reason to fly the American flag as high as possible, with the 50 stars reaching for the sky. Blood has been spilled in our streets.

And does it get any more innocent than the death of an 8-year-old boy?

Lisa Jones

Kansas City

Editor’s note: President Barack Obama ordered flags at the White House and all government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of the Boston Marathon explosion victims. Obama signed a proclamation making the order April 16, calling it a “mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence” perpetrated in Boston the previous day. He ordered flags to remain lowered through sunset Saturday, The Associated Press reported.

Shame in America

A recent newscast that included Secretary of State John Kerry announcing that the United States was sending $123 million to help the Syrian rebels also reported that thousands of air-traffic controllers were being furloughed, the White House no longer would have tours for school trips to Washington, the Blue Angels would not be able to perform all previously committed air shows and fire departments and police departments were having cutbacks.

Where are our priorities?

Shouldn’t we be taking care of what is happening within our own borders instead of throwing money to countries that will hardly ever become democracies? And if they did, how many years would go by before the rebels or the military took over again?

We have the most confused country in the world. We do not have a clue where our priorities should lie. Shame on those in power in Washington and shame on us for putting them in a position to be able to do as they please.

McKay Anderson

Kansas City

Liberal newspaper

After reading a slew of letters to the editor complaining about The Star’s “liberal bias,” I thought it was time to put in my two cents’ worth.

John F. Kennedy defined liberalism as follows:

“I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith.

“For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood, which all human life deserves.” (Speech accepting New York Liberal Party nomination in 1960)

The Star exemplifies this attitude; therefore, it’s indeed a fine example of a liberal newspaper.

Finally, because of its liberal nature, The Star includes conservative voices such as E. Thomas McClanahan, George Will, David Brooks and others.

Thanks, Kansas City Star.

Robert Francis

Gladstone

Religious freedom

There are a number of people bemoaning the perceived “removal of religion” from public schools and blaming the American Civil Liberties Union.

They should keep in mind that those schools, if left unchecked, would eventually lead their children in a religious exercise that isn’t exactly what they have in mind.

The very first pep rally with school-funded banners of druid chants would have them scrambling to get the American Civil Liberties Union on speed dial.

Whenever there is a genuine threat to the right of citizens to worship in their own way, on their own time and with their own money, the ACLU has been and will be the first to challenge that threat.

Larry Stice

Kansas City

KU research

Recent groundbreaking research has uncovered specific genetic links between autism and Fragile X Syndrome. My son, Joshua, has both.

The University of Kansas Medical Center is a member of the Fragile X Clinical Research Consortium and doing promising drug clinical trials.

Many families in Kansas are participating in these trials, which are having a significant effect on reducing the symptoms of severe social impairment in people with autism and/or Fragile X Syndrome.

I hope this research will lead to my son enjoying a more independent life and becoming a contributing member within our community.

Most people know about autism and autism spectrum disorders, but not as many are aware of Fragile X Syndrome. Fragile X is the most common genetic cause of autism and the most common inherited cause of intellectual disabilities.

The advancements made through these groundbreaking research projects and clinical trials are critical. Wise stewardship of federal research dollars would encourage continued momentum.

I, along with almost 200 other parent and self-advocates, recently returned from congressional meetings in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness and to garner support.

The promise of independence and social acceptance are within reach in our lifetime.

Angie Grantman

Overland Park

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