Letters to the Editor

KCI, background checks, global warming

Updated: 2013-06-01T04:40:35Z

Keep KCI as it is

The old, standard criticism for Kansas City International Airport has surfaced again: KCI is antiquated and cumbersome, has long lines, no restaurants, no shopping and on and on.

I have been flying all over the United States for 40 years. I have visited more than 35 countries and all seven continents. Of all the major airports I have visited, none is as user-friendly as KCI.

If your timing is right, you can be in your car headed for home 15 minutes after touchdown. Have you visited Atlanta recently or O’Hare? In 15 minutes, you have not even made your way to baggage claim.

We go to restaurants to eat, the mall to shop and the airport to fly.

We will eventually have a new airport. I only hope the people who plan that one are as good as the people who planned the one we have.

Dick Saale

Kansas City

Background checks

After Sen. Pat Roberts’ vote against background checks, I called his Washington, D.C., office to ask why he was opposed to this issue. As one of his constituents, I just wanted to know why he chose to vote against this issue.

I was promised that he would respond to my inquiry. I’m still waiting.

Rev. Bill Hemmen Jr.

Overland Park

Sequestration pain

I have been in the U.S. Army since 1975, as an ROTC cadet, an active duty officer, a defense contractor and now as a Department of the Army civilian.

On May 29, I received my 30-day notice required by law, proposing a 4.2 percent cut of my salary this year by furloughing me 11 days to cope with sequestration budget shortfalls. I don’t have a choice in this matter.

Most people in this country, including members of Congress, don’t care.

On May 14, I contacted Sen. Pat Roberts, Sen. Jerry Moran and Rep. Kevin Yoder with my concerns. I got two responses from Sen. Roberts that were word-for-word identical, and Sen. Moran didn’t bother to respond.

I got two good responses from Rep. Yoder that indicated he understood my concerns, but I don’t anticipate any action from him to change the situation.

What really incenses me is that Congress was quick to reprogram money so the furlough of Federal Aviation Administration workers ended soon after it began because the flying public was inconvenienced. Are the people who fly more important than me?

What about all the other sequestration cuts?

Cal Harrop

Kansas City

Abouhalkah column

After reading Yael T. Abouhalkah’s May 30 commentary, “High crime rates should lead to KCPD overhaul,” on the high crime rate in Kansas City and the possibility of state control of the Police Department, and then recalling the looming threat of takeover by the state of the Kansas City Public Schools, I wonder: Does one not think there might be a serious correlation between poor education and increased crime?

I’m just saying.

Ninette Harrison

Kansas City

End global warming

For the first time in 3 million years, the average daily concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, is about to exceed 400 parts per million, a strong indication that the U.S. and other nations must quickly implement policies to reduce greenhouse gases.

In the past century, the average global temperature has increased 1 degree Fahrenheit. Based on current rates of CO2 emissions, a World Bank report estimates the average global temperature could increase about 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.

Such warming would cause a sea-level rise, more severe droughts and greater volatility in weather patterns, which in turn would result in displaced populations, food shortages and greater damage from storms.

To reduce U.S. emissions and encourage other nations to do the same, one solution would be the passage of a steadily increasing, revenue-neutral carbon tax that returns proceeds to the American people.

This is a way to employ the power of the free market to shift away from the use of fossil fuels. Combined with import fees from nations that lack carbon pricing, it would provide an incentive for other nations to put their own prices on carbon.

Claus Wawrzinek

Citizens Climate Lobby

Kansas City

Support, love

Looking back at my life and the choices I made and the reasons behind those choices is both totally exhausting and remarkably soothing. I see the person I was back then and how it has made me into the person I am today.

I wonder, though, how things may have been different if I had been allowed to play by the same rules as my heterosexual counterparts in regard to relationships, love, living, dating, life in general.

I can only wonder.

This has made me all the more determined to make sure that young, gay kids have the opportunity to live in the truth of who they are and not be forced to live a lie or make decisions based on what they are told is “normal” or “right.”

You may not understand being gay, but please understand that it is detrimental to force people to live a lie.

You cannot save people from being gay. You can only realize that it is who they are, and it is right to love and support them in their truth.

If you really want to save them, give them the ability to save themselves.

Dan Stiles

Kansas City

Maintain freedoms

I’ve read many letters and articles that have said that having to go through a background check to purchase a firearm isn’t an infringement of the Second Amendment. My question to those people is simple.

Did you have to go through a background check to write that letter or article? The answer is no, because requiring a background check before writing an article or letter would be an infringement on free speech. It’s not free speech if government has the ability to deprive you of it.

The same logic applies to a background check on firearms, and it’s the primary reason there are many people who oppose that requirement.

You may think it’s common sense, but any infringement on those rights, no matter how good they sound or look, is a restriction of the liberties and freedoms that are protected by the Constitution.

Every liberty we possess comes with the curse that there are those who can and do abuse them. We cannot allow the fear of those few to destroy the rights and freedoms we possess.

Josiah Young

Smithville

Lee Judge cartoons

The Star has a responsibility to feature a variety of views, which it does quite well.

It seems that the constant criticism of the editorial cartoons most often comes from the anti-Lee Judge side, which goes in line with what I see as that side’s outlook on most things.

Where the progressive voter tends to listen to both sides, the ultra-conservatives want to shut out anyone who has a different view from theirs.

But if we do need to vote, as some letter writers suggest, then I will vote a resounding yes, please keep Lee Judge as your editorial cartoonist. I put up with Glenn McCoy’s cartoons.

Michelle Smith

Kansas City

Keep gun rights

I have read numerous letters in the opinion section vilifying the National Rifle Association. I have been a member of the NRA for more than 20 years and have yet to read or hear of the NRA advocating mass murder, murder or the unsafe use of firearms.

Regarding the gun show loophole, any modern firearm purchased at a gun show from an federal firearms-licensed retail seller is subject to a background check. Modern firearms purchased through online auctions are also subject to background checks when shipped, as a federal firearms-licensed retail seller receives the shipment and runs the background check.

School resource officers are already in many schools across the country and many in Kansas City. I have not heard of any carnage resulting from these officers being in schools.

If people desire to give up their rights, I will not object. But when others want to give away my rights, I will vigorously object. “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them,” George Mason said.

Kevin Driver

Parkville

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