You don’t hear of mass killings with Thompson machine guns in this country. Why? Because those weapons are heavily regulated, regardless of gun advocates’ constitutional rights to own one.
Being heavily regulated, they are much harder, if not impossible, to find, buy and own. Thus such weapons are rarely used in mass killings, which should tell us all something.
In the hands of a trained expert, an AR-16 semi-automatic rifle can fire more rounds per minute than a Thompson machine gun. The AR-16 is limited only by magazine capacity.
We do require strict regulation of the Thompson. Yet, mentally unstable Joe Sixpack, who hates his neighbor, can waltz into a local gun show any day and buy an AR-16. What kind of logic is that?
We are better than that. Responsible gun owners should welcome the registration, licensing and insuring of all guns.
An article in The Star covered a company expanding into our area, creating 500, count ’em, 500 new jobs here (8-1, A1, “Firm’s growth means KC jobs”).
This is a perfect showcase for the economic policies of Gov. Sam Brownback and his Topeka brain trust, demonstrating for all to see how their drastic income-tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations will bring in huge amounts of new jobs to the state. This will offset the loss of funds for education, children, the poor, highways and mental hospitals and all the other horrific cuts to the quality of Kansas life we are painfully experiencing. Fantastic.
But wait. This company, no doubt after weighing all the critical details, pluses and minuses, and surely including the Kansas tax structure in making itsdecision, opted for Missouri, just minutes from the state line. What the ...?
Gosh, 500 jobs. Really?
Another thud for trickledown. When is the next election?
We live in a state where the governor is coming to be named, “Slick Sam.” Sadly, he still has lots of followers. It’s like “Alice In Wonderland” come true where the character states, “A word means what I say it means.”
Gov. Sam Brownback is believed when he says he has lowered taxes, when he claims he increased school funding, when he contends that he opened the Rainbow Mental Health Center (actually, he closed it first).
His playing with words and phrases seems to be a winning ticket for many Kansans who, being fooled, vote against their own best interests.
Brownback has henchmen in power such as Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, Sen. Jeff Melcher and others. Brownback plays up social values to attract followers when his actions are truly a distraction from important issues of the state. Obviously, playing on citizens’ emotions works for him.
But, Brownback will fail. Kansas will not withdraw from the Union. It will ultimately help the poor. The state will finally begin supporting education and will hold fast.
Congratulations, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Your grand experiment is a huge success.
You have reached your goal of ensuring that the wealthiest in the state don’t have to pay a dime more in taxes. You have protected those business owners from paying more in taxes or having to pay their employees more by not increasing the minimum wage.
You saved the great state of Kansas the burden of Obamacare and all that free money that would have helped insure those who cannot afford it. You have cut all the social-welfare programs that help those most in need and cut education because, after all, the wealthiest in the great state of Kansas don’t need help to put food on the table and can send their children to private schools.
Yes, Gov. Brownback, you have succeeded in making it perfectly clear to the people in the great state of Kansas that we must all work hard to ensure that the wealthiest get to keep their hard-earned money.
Political tear in U.S.
Republicans obstruct President Barack Obama with ever-growing anger and derision. Statehouses now are passing laws that forbid state (and local) workers from cooperating with federal executive orders.
I remember the 1980s, when affable President Ronald Reagan and affable House Speaker Tip O’Neill jousted affably to enact bipartisan laws and budgets, and then President George H.W. Bush followed with more bipartisanship. Things changed abruptly in 1992 when a charismatic Southern Democrat governor was elected.
The GOP immediately attacked the new president for things like, let’s see, Travelgate, which had to do with the replacement of White House travel agents. The GOP-led Congress hounded President Bill Clinton at every turn.
Is President Barack Obama hounded at every turn by racists? Arguably. But from a purely political perspective, there’s no greater attack on a presidency than the complete and utter delegitimization of a president — from the moment he stepped into the White House — even though he was voted in fairly by a majority of Americans and re-elected by an even wider majority.
On the 150-year anniversary of our Civil War ending, remember that the delegitimization of a fairly elected president is what ripped apart our nation.
Missouri legislative actions have been disappointing. Many voters favor expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act because of its obvious economic and social benefits.
Strong pressure must have been exerted by high-level, majority-party leadership to suppress Medicaid expansion. Why is this expansion being blocked for no apparent good reason?
A balanced plan is needed for road and bridge maintenance. Where is constructive leadership when it is needed?
A gradual fuel-tax increase of 2 cents per year over three years, combined with perhaps a 0.2 percent or 0.3 percent sales-tax increase, would be a good approach. Inaction will lead to inferior roads and lost federal money.
Conservatism can be either constructive or destructive. Destructive conservatism provides inferior roads, inadequate educational opportunities, insufficient social services and annual budget struggles.
Constructive conservatism provides adequate funding for education at all levels, good roads and adequate social services without overspending.
This constructive approach in Missouri would require a modest increase in some taxes. However, it would also promote business growth and economic development.
Unfortunately, destructive conservatism seems to be the path that a majority of Missouri legislators have selected.
Clean power plan
As a lung specialist, I have concerns with the effects of climate change and the increased frequency of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in Missouri. A 2012 study found 1 in 10 Missourians suffers from asthma, with a higher prevalence in woman, children and those with lower incomes.
The global consequences of climate change seem overwhelming, as reported in The Lancet. What I can do is support the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, a common-sense proposal to cut carbon pollution from power plants.
The effect of carbon pollution is no longer a future concept. It is affecting our society with major and increasingly prevalent respiratory illnesses for all ages.
Some say the plan is too expensive and would have a negative effect on society. They are ignoring the financial effects of health-care costs, decreased productivity and the inability to educate a population suffering from illnesses that are no fault of their own.
We need to support the promotion of a healthy population and not filling the financial pockets of the few.
Everett Murphy, M.D.