Havoc with guns
The National Rifle Association claims that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. On facing pages A4 and A5 in the Jan. 17 edition of The Kansas City Star, the words “shooting” and “shot” appeared 16 times and “guns” and “gunfire” appeared five times.
It seems as if the people who kill people are using guns to shoot their victims, many of whom are innocent children.
It makes for a scary kind of world, doesn’t it?
Bieker family request
I cannot help but wonder why Grandmothers Against Gun Violence can completely disregard the Bieker family request that this tragedy not be used to attack the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association (1-20, Letters).
I guess their agenda is more important than the wishes of a grieving widow.
Grannies sure have changed since mine was alive. I can only guess why they would not report the fact that it was four bad guys with guns against one good guy with a gun.
Generally, four against one will prevail. Can’t you grannies find a recipe for cookies to bake or something else productive?
Fighting bad guys
A Grandmothers Against Gun Violence letter Jan. 20 pointed to the recent tragic shooting at She’s A Pistol. The writer said that even though the good guy was surrounded by guns, he still lost his life.
The writer seems to not understand that four persons with guns assaulted the good guy’s wife. If the good guy had not been there with a gun to protect not only his wife and business but all the rest of us, perhaps the letter writer might have had to face the bad guys and their guns at a later date.
Instead, all four bad guys are now facing charges that will hopefully keep them in prison for the rest of their lives.
But the hatred this group has for the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association and the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves with firearms overrules the common sense that a lot of us take for granted, namely the right of self-defense.
Maybe these people should get out of their protected little world and realize that there are bad people in this world who don’t follow the law.
Kansas City, Kan.
Many people have criticized President Barack Obama for not going to Paris to lead the parade showing support for freedom of the press and the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where terrorists gunned down 12 people on Jan. 7.
I wonder whether those critics have given any thought to the president’s safety.
He would have made an excellent target for a sniper or anyone with a knife. The ad hoc nature of the event precluded the advanced planning and preparation required for a president’s safety.
He did, however, send the appropriate communications on behalf of the American people.
We rightly cherish the freedom to criticize our elected officials but we should also remember that this is taken as a sign of internal weakness by the jihadists and could encourage them to make further attacks on our country and its citizens.
Jeanette B. Welch
A recent 11-question survey from one Missouri state senator aims more at persuading voters than learning our opinions. Space prevents my addressing all, but here’s a quick examination of five questions.
1) Replace our state income tax with a sales tax “similar to the federal Fair Tax.” A sales tax notoriously burdens those of us who must spend all or most of our income, not those who can sock a major portion away.
2) “Free to choose” and “right to work” also misrepresent, hoping to discourage a union resurgence and ignore the fact that unions are responsible for securing living wages (back then, unlike those paid Wal-Mart employees today), the 40-hour work week and many if not all of our benefits, including pensions.
3) Asks which of four choices should “control” education.
4) Are each far too complex a topic, admitting of no such simple answers as offered.
5) The child has the right to attend private school if he can pay for it. Your question should be: “Does the taxpayer want to pay for private education?”
Eleven is the only question one might see as a fair choice.
Persuasion masking as genuine curiosity.
Tsk, tsk, senator.
Response to speech
The State of the Union Address was disappointing (1-21, A1, “An aggressive agenda”). Seeing and listening to the response of the GOP one can see that the right wing is not for middle-class wealth and growth.
Science and math are ignored. Middle incomes are sinking. The ranks of the poor are swelling. Almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy.
So why isn’t there more of a ruckus?
Let’s now start and continually put pressure on Congress to compromise and make needed changes.
We cannot abide an ever-greater share of the nation’s income and wealth going to the top while most household incomes continue to drop. One out of five of our children is living in poverty, and big money continues to take over our democracy.
We, at this point, working people, students and the broad public have had enough.
In prior decades, students and young people were major forces for social change. They played an active role in the civil rights movement, the free speech movement and the protests against the Vietnam War.
Now is the time for today’s students and young people to make a ruckus. They are laden with debt. Reform is possible.
A recent Pew Research Center report found that the wealth gap between the country’s top 20 percent of earners and the rest of America had stretched to its widest point in at least three decades.
There are many problems that these figures reflect, but one that has not received much attention is the effect on the Social Security trust fund.
James W. Russell, in his book “Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis,” estimates that the income subject to Social Security taxes for those who earn less than $100,000 is 79.6 percent, whereas the income subject to the Social Security tax for those who make more than $10 million is .03 percent. This means that as the income of the wealthy continues to climb and the income of most Americans continues to stagnate, the trust fund is not going to be sufficient to meet demands in future years.
There are two ways to address this problem. We could increase the cap on Social Security taxable income or we could increase the income of working Americans (increase the minimum wage).
Perhaps we should do both.
Cash in politics
As I read more and more about laws passed and bills proposed that favor big banks, lobbyists and corporate America over individual citizens, it occurs to me that at each polling place during elections a sign should be posted that reads “Candidates for Sale.”
I am appalled at the way our elected officials spend millions of donated dollars to advance their own interests and careers.
Everyone knows nothing is free.
These rich donors expect to be repaid. So Congress passes a budget to benefit the rich and powerful while cutting programs for the poor, unemployed and homeless.
It’s like saying, “Let them eat cake.”
I wonder whether there is one politician who has any concept of how the underpaid, unemployed and hungry manage to survive.
The government is no longer for the people but for “me and my campaign funders.” How sad it is to see millions of people having to do without life’s necessities while our government overspends on special interests and other non-necessities.
We must all give an account one day of how we conducted ourselves. I wonder whether they can use, “I was a politician,” as an excuse.