Letters to the Editor

September 18, 2013

Mass shootings, KCI, arboretum flap

The country on Sept. 16 experienced another mass shooting, this time in the Washington Navy Yard with at least 13 dead. At what point will the American people be outraged enough to rise up against the forces that promote the ownership of firearms for every man, woman and child in this country regardless of age, mental capacity or vision impairment?
U.S. mass shootings

The country on Sept. 16 experienced another mass shooting, this time in the Washington Navy Yard with at least 13 dead. At what point will the American people be outraged enough to rise up against the forces that promote the ownership of firearms for every man, woman and child in this country regardless of age, mental capacity or vision impairment?

Have the public-relations efforts of the National Rifle Association been so successful that we have become desensitized to the tragedy of this terrible loss of life? I am disappointed in the people of influence in this country who could make a difference but have stepped away from this horrendous problem.

Dorothy Stoeger

Platte Woods KCI flight delays

A few weeks ago I was taking a late flight to Las Vegas to visit my son. Our plane was leaving at 8:45 p.m.

But at 9 p.m. airline officials pulled us off the plane because of mechanical problems and put us back in the terminal. It was going to be a two-hour delay so I thought I would get some water and a snack.

I went around the corner to the little food area that had just closed. I asked someone about getting something, and he said no.

Now, they’d just pulled more than 300 people off a plane. Is a new airport going to fix those kinds of things?

Sheila Hogue

Tonganoxie Right to gun death

I am always reassured in these violent times that the National Rifle Association is protecting my right to die a violent death at the hands of a deranged individual with an AK-47 with a 100-round magazine. Keep up the good work.

David Briggs

Basehor Growing economy

If the middle class is shrinking, who is buying all the new and used cars?

Jack Revare

Leawood Tax becomes fee

It seems all of our local politicians have found ways to fill their coffers.

First, it was Mission with its driveway tax. Oh, pardon me, transportation utility fee.

Now it’s on the Missouri side with an added-value assessment ($3 fee on any court fine to pay for sheriff’s officers’ botched and mishandled retirement fund).

It seems like calling it a fee, or assessment, is more legal than calling it a tax so the people it affects don’t get to vote on it. Way to go, politicians.

Don Rinck Sr.

Mission Vietnam, Syria

What scares me is that the Democrats don’t remember the last civil war we got into. Didn’t it start with limited action?

And wasn’t it called Vietnam? We do not need to be involved in a Syrian civil war.

Bill Baker

Lenexa Arboretum flap

Seriously, who is this Phillip Cosby guy (9-17, A4, “New law brings new push for grand jury inquiry”)? He desperately needs to get a life.

Maybe he needs to get a job. Is it his mission to protest anything he finds offensive?

Cosby has already cost Overland Park $35,000 to defend a bronze statue of a woman revealing a bare breast. He really needs to get over it and just stop visiting the arboretum.

It’s just that simple. He has no business trying to regulate what I see.

Chill Phil.

Tom Wolff

Overland Park Good gun owners

Letter writers who think negatively of law-abiding gun owners are wrong.

Gun owners and concealed-carry permit holders are a minority, but National Rifle Association courses, concealed-carry courses required by the secretary of state and defensive handgun courses all teach that the only justifications for presenting a firearm is the reasonable fear of severe bodily harm or the prevention of a felony.

Gun violence invariably involves criminals with illegally acquired weapons. Legal gun owners concocting shootout scenarios is a sick fantasy unsupported by data.

John C. Weed Jr.

Overland Park Crackdown needed

Regarding the Sept. 16 story, “Police use pepper spray on crowd near Plaza,”

let’s take a look. We have a police force that can control thousands of marchers, party-goers in the Power Light District and fans at sporting centers but refuses (or is afraid) to intervene with a group of more than 100 youths in Mill Creek Park.

We have a police chief who prefers an academic approach, research, to control the violence on the streets, especially the East Side. We have a mayor who offers milquetoast rhetoric on controlling violence throughout the city.

It sounds like the tail is wagging the dog in Kansas City. The guardians of safety, elected and appointed, cower in fear of small groups of youths. Just who is running the show here, folks?

It’s time for a change in City Hall and the Police Department. We need leaders who will crack down on violence and youth disturbances forcefully, not by issuing public excuses for their ineffective protective measures.

We may yet rival Chicago’s violence if this weak official response continues.

Bob Tobia

Kansas City Dangerous visit

On Sept. 16, I read “Retrial adds to family’s pain” on the anguish of Justin Johnston’s parents in their attempt to seek justice for the murder of their son in Costa Rica. They are supporting the ClearCause Foundation in its campaign to warn parents about the possible dangers in sending high school and college students on international educational trips.

I hope there is an organization abroad whose mission it is to warn parents about the dangers of sending their children on trips to the U.S. Since 1999, the U.S. has experienced mass shootings at high schools, workplaces, colleges, shopping malls, a grocery store, a Sikh temple, an elementary school, a movie theater and now a military installation, the Washington Navy Yard, just to name a few.

We are a culture in love with and awash in guns, so we do nothing about gun violence. If I were a parent in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America or Africa, I would not send my child here nor would I come here as a tourist until the U.S. enacts meaningful gun control and rejects the arguments put forth by the National Rifle Association.

Marcia Brox

Shawnee Detroit’s coke woes

We know Detroit is bankrupt. The governor of Michigan basically dissolved locally elected government and put a city manager in charge.

Apparently, the Koch brothers didn’t think anyone was paying attention and began piling petroleum coke, known as pet coke, on the shores of the Detroit River. They never applied for permits; they just piled it up.

Pet coke is a byproduct of the oil sands in Canada. Canada doesn’t use it, the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t allow it to be burned in the U.S. and Koch Carbon exports it around the world.

The mayor of Detroit, who has very little power, sued to have Koch Carbon remove the four-story pile that was polluting peoples’ homes and won. Now that pile is being sent to Ohio, where the governor forced the head of the state EPA to resign because he has continually fought the oil and coal industry over water and air pollution. Koch Carbon now has a friendly place to store its pet coke.

The Koch brothers own a large stake in the Keystone XL Pipeline, but it appears polluting the U.S. isn’t of great concern to them.

Karen Lane

Overland Park Angels after fall

This summer, I fell on 63rd Street just west of Brookside Boulevard. Many angels in human form assisted me, including the manager of CVS and a kind grandmotherly woman named Kate.

I want to thank everyone but especially the driver of the vehicle that narrowly avoided hitting me. He got out and helped me at the scene.

I’m told he is a doctor. He said his name, but I was dazed and do not recall it.

He stopped the bleeding, and calmed me. I had a broken hand, a cut, and a glorious black eye.

I’ve had surgery and am recovering. These angels are out there, and I would like them to know that they have my unending gratitude.

Corinne Corley

Kansas City

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