Guns, veterans, Branson airport

10/03/2013 5:13 PM

10/03/2013 5:40 PM

Accountable on guns

Gun lobbyists continue to try to intimidate legislators who vote for reducing gun violence. They threaten that lawmakers will pay the price in the next election.

Things have changed. I suggest it will be just the opposite. We citizens who want to protect our children and ourselves will be voting for thinking lawmakers who stand up for rational measures to help prevent more violence and more deaths.

Don’t wait until the next election. Begin contacting your senators and representatives now.

Drop them an email every month or every three months. Let them know this issue is important to you and this time, you, your family and your friends will be going to the polls with lawmakers’ position on gun control in mind.

Give your elected officials the courage they need to make the right decisions, and remember their responses when it’s time to cast your vote.

Judy Hellman

Leawood Don’t hurt veterans

I find it completely disgusting and disturbing that President Barack Obama is closing the national war memorials in Washington, D.C. (10-2, A10, “‘Closed’? Not for these veterans”).

There are many war veterans taking Honor Flights to Washington in the twilight of their lives to pay tribute to those who have died protecting and defending this country.

Obama would not be president today if many before him had not made the ultimate sacrifice defending the ideals of this country. The president could with the wave of his executive regulatory hand make this a non-issue.

Quit playing politics and open the national memorials for the Honor Flight veterans.

Barry Nelson

Leawood Flying into Branson

On the Branson, Mo., airport, driving up the winding road, my husband and I couldn’t believe that it would take us to a place where a plane could land (9-29, A1, “Airport is the runway to Branson’s future”).

We were headed to the Branson airport to meet our daughter, who was flying in from California. The new airport made this possible. Her flight was on time, and the luggage came out speedily.

The only drawback was a long wait to pay for parking at the one tollbooth in operation. Perhaps some of those people doing multiple jobs at the airport could work a tollbooth when a plane comes in.

As to the rustic decor, our daughter’s first words on arrival were, “I’ve flown into a Cracker Barrel.”

Now she loves Branson and wants to go back. The new airport will make that easier.

Jan Cohen

Kansas City Border war history

Why trivialize the “border war” as a Missouri-Kansas contest? It’s so much more fascinating to see it in the context of a decades-long tug of war for freedom.

Kansas didn’t even exist in the 1850s, and Missouri was made a slave state in 1821 when Deep South plantation-class South Carolinians in the U.S. Congress forced the Missouri Compromise. Much of the border fighting was between pro-slavers from the Deep South and settlers from places like Ohio and Massachusetts.

It wasn’t the Missouri Tiger mascot versus the Kansas Jayhawk mascot. Missourians mustered for Union commands over Confederate 2-to-1 during the Civil War: about 80,000 to 40,000. Also, more Missouri towns were raided by marauding pro-slavery bushwhackers than Kansas towns.

The Lawrence massacre 150 years ago was the worst act of domestic terror in U.S. history: 183 civilians and 20 African-American soldiers (on leave from Fort Leavenworth) were murdered in a town that was a political, not military, target. Fact: Quantrill’s gang was a collection of misfits from far and wide, joined by 100 from Arkansas.

Missouri vs. Kansas happened in basketball gyms.

Scott Michie

Overland Park No jail postcards

I was just wondering about the Wyandotte County Jail postcard policy (10-2, A4, “Suit challenges Wyandotte jail’s postcard-only policy for inmates”).

As a taxpayer, I say if the prisoners want to communicate with the outside then they should follow the laws and stay out of jail.

As the mother of a murdered daughter, I don’t recall many civil rights as a victim when we were going through a four-year capital-murder trial. I say keep up the good work, Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash and staff.

Lynn Smith Melton

Kansas City, Kan. Shutdown politics

For elected officials who participated in the government shutdown, the following should occur:

• They should be the first to not get paid.

• They should be the last to get paid when the issue is resolved.

• They should not be allowed to hold another public office.

• Finally, they should not be allowed to collect their pensions.

It’s time to get back to government for the people, not the politicians.

Bill Foster

Excelsior Springs Screwy government

I don’t understand our government. The Justice Department sues states with voter-identification laws. The Internal Revenue Service demands two forms of identification to file a tax return.

I volunteer to do tax returns for elderly and low-income people. The IRS requires us to see a photo ID and a Social Security card before we file a tax return. The IRS sends inspectors to our preparation site to verify we are complying with the rules.

In the years I have been preparing returns, I have never sent anyone away for lack of photo ID or Social Security card.

For voting, the Justice Department sues to open the floodgates to all because anything else would be discrimination. For taxes, the IRS clamps down to assure that only the proper people are paying taxes.

I don’t get it.

Richard Blaisdell

Kansas City Pink-slip Congress

As I recall from my civics class, Congress was created to represent the public as a whole — to speak for the people and act in their best interest as the elected representatives themselves would act if they were in that group. In a sense, this would make them the public’s employees.

If an employee were not working in your best interest, you would fire that person. I would happily fire both of my senators and my representative and, preferably, the entire Kansas delegation. And, for those who are old enough to recall what a “Dear John” letter is, I’d love to send one to the speaker of the House.

It’s a shame there isn’t a third party at this time — a party that isn’t under the thumb of big industry, the big banking system, the National Rifle Association, ultra-conservatives and rich people with deep pockets and personal interests that don’t coincide with the needs of the people. I surely would be very interested in candidates from such a party compared with what we have now.

Ruth Fine

Paola, Kan. Kudos to The Star

I recently took a train trip to Illinois. I read several different newspapers during the trip.

None of them, including The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, was nearly as well put together, as readable or as colorful as The Kansas City Star.

Kudos for a daily job well done in an increasingly tight and competitive marketplace.

Mike Rush

Paola, Kan. Honoring teachers

There are several teachers in my family. Among them are my two daughters.

I’d like to give a shout-out to them as well as all teachers. I don’t think they receive enough thanks for all they do.

For the past year, I’ve volunteered in my daughters’ classrooms. I’ve seen firsthand how hard they work and how committed they are. They never stop, even when the children are out of the classroom with other activities. They are grading papers, making lesson plans, preparing for a craft, writing student evaluations and making copies.

In every classroom I enter, one can see that the teacher has filled her room with fun and educational things that she has often paid for herself. I could go on and on.

So, for those who think teachers have it made with summers off, think again. Let’s give our educators the credit and respect they deserve.

Peggy Maddox

Kansas City

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