George Zimmerman acquittal, guns, KCI debate

07/15/2013 4:20 PM

07/15/2013 4:21 PM

Zimmerman case

George Zimmerman was not the good guy with the gun (7-15, A1, “Racial schism is decried”). He was just another fool who was able to buy himself one.

Remember Barney Fife? He was fictional, but at least he was employed, had a uniform and carried an empty pistol. Before Barney could fire off a round, he had to dig into his pocket, find his bullet, load his gun, aim at his target, and then do his job, which was not to shoot someone but get the person under control.

Andy, Barney’s fictional boss, didn’t carry a gun. The few times he needed one, he made a serious show of getting down a rifle, loading it, and heading out after the bad guy. It wasn’t a game, and Andy showed the responsibility of a good guy, meaning he knew what he was doing before he did it.

Fiction isn’t the issue here: it’s real life. Zimmerman was imitating vigilantes from the movies, and Andy represents who the real-life good guys should be.

When the initial shock of the Saturday verdict was sinking in, the next news, Sunday, was that all he has to do is ask, and this fool’s gun will be returned to him. Now we know what’s real.

Ellen Murphy

Mission Hills Gun responsibilities

The Rev. James Atwood’s recent presentation of his book, “America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose,” at the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza branch was educational, to say the least. It was well-presented, too, with statistics.

How true it is that people buy guns to protect themselves but end up dying by the same killing machine that was supposed to protect them.

How astounding it is that while 4,400 U.S. troops died in the Iraq war, five times more people died by gun violence in their beloved homeland of America, including those who committed suicide, during the same period.

“The violence and deaths are very clearly issues of morality, ethics and spirituality,” Atwood said, and I can’t agree more.

Coming home, however, I felt deceived by this author/speaker, knowing that he himself is a gun owner who goes deer hunting every winter.

Should a man who keeps marijuana in his home preach the harmful effects of grass? To me, a Christian minister shouldn’t preach the gospel at pulpit while his hands exude the scent of blood — humans’ or deers’.

Therese Park

Overland Park Profiling Martin

Justice and equality in this country have suffered another blow with the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman in Seminole County, Fla. I am grappling with the idea that so many people feel that justice has been served because Trayvon Martin was denied the right to defend himself against a stranger who was following him in the dark.

Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Trayvon while he was walking home and being followed, testified that she heard Trayvon say to someone who undoubtedly was Zimmerman “get off me, get off me.” From this point Trayvon had the right to defend himself up to and including pounding Zimmerman.

The jury chose to ignore the beginning of the encounter and simply skipped to the end. In the mind of the jurors Trayvon had no right to defend himself against a creepy person that was following him in the dark and approached him with preconceived notions.

I am so sad that an innocent young life was taken because some creep thought Trayvon was up to no good. Between Zimmerman and Trayvon, if anyone was up to no good it was Zimmerman and his profiling.

Lillie French

Kansas City Abouhalkah column

In his column of July 11, Yael T. Abouhalkah quoted Mayor Sly James saying in a passionate blog post, “I’m not suggesting that we rid the country of firearms. I simply argue that cities like ours, St. Louis and others with gun-related homicide issues be allowed to take reasonable steps to eliminate illegal guns from our city streets and cars.”

Many times, the defendant doesn’t even serve the full sentence for the original crime. Most proposed gun-control laws only penalize law-abiding citizens for owning, buying or selling firearms. There are many street corners in our city where you can purchase a gun for cash, no questions asked.

Until these two problems are solved, good luck with solving the criminal use of guns.

Rodney S. Applegate

Kansas City KCI debate

Thanks for a great July 11 editorial, “Single KCI terminal is a good starting point.”

I am a semiretired senior citizen doing lots of volunteer work, including eight years and more than 1,850 hours so far as a Kansas City International Airport ambassador.

We greet arriving passengers and give them friendly assistance and help with airport information and advice.

Our 40-year-old terminals are obsolete and no longer are user-friendly. We frequently receive legitimate complaints from passengers about security-screening issues, food availability, parking problems, lack of comfortable waiting areas and confusing signs.

The passenger drop-off and pickup areas in Terminal B are frequently heavily congested, especially when people are trying to pick up arriving passengers.

A new terminal would have separate levels for arriving and departing passengers, eliminating that major problem.

These old terminals are also badly in need of many very expensive repairs and updates, which certainly would not last another 40 years.

A new modern terminal would not cost taxpayer money, and our region would reap many benefits from a first-class KCI airport facility.

We need to do this now.

Larry Lillge

Kansas City

I guess I will chime in on the benefits of Kansas City International Airport and the big waste of spending money to build a single terminal to save money on security staff.

Earlier this year, I spent a whole day at KCI because of a February blizzard.

There were ample restaurants for food and drink in Terminal B until management started closing them.

Starbucks was the first to shut. As I looked around, almost everyone had a Starbucks drink in hand.

And for those travelers who weren’t buried in their computers, there were actual human beings reaching out for friendly conversation, sharing snacks, playing games, etc.

Considering we were stuck in the airport and no flights were leaving, it wasn’t an awful experience. I met some nice folks.

And when we left the airport, our cab was at the door, steps away, not miles.

Make adaptations to the present terminals. Don’t ruin the easy travel experience we now enjoy.

Laura Bailey

Lee’s Summit Lezak’s weather

Recently, I’ve read a couple of criticisms about Gary Lezak’s presentation of the KSHB, Channel 41’s weather with his dogs present on the set.

I like this personal touch.

I think those people who oppose Lezak’s style are acting like sour pusses.

We have seen Katie Horner leave KCTV-5 weather for seeming human, and I’d hate to see this happen again.

Jennifer Chapin

Independence Kansas finances

I wonder who will be buying Kansas municipal bonds now that we have knowledge of Gov. Sam Brownback’s ruinous fiscal policies.

The question to be asked is, “Will the government have enough revenue in the future, without collecting income taxes, to pay off all its debts, including those of municipal bonds?”

Will Kansas bonds sink to a rating of junk bond status?

Mona Glazer

Overland Park IRS, meetings

Mike McGraw’s July 11 story, “Meetings for IRS workers examined,” could hardly be called a scandal, regardless of an area politician’s grandstanding.

Let’s stipulate that the Internal Revenue Service is an easy target. But let’s also keep in mind that the hospitality industry is one of this or any area’s leading economic engines and face-to-face meetings are nothing to scoff at, especially in this overly computerized age.

Readers should know, too, that hotels and other suppliers offer their lowest rates to government groups. There is no gouging going on at such a conference.

Education, motivation, networking, yes. Meetings mean business.

Teresa Hellman

Prairie Village

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