Joco Opinion

Letters to the editor: Clinton’s gun proposal, Millenials, a response to Danedri Herbert’s column on abortion rates

Clinton on guns

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had to say something about the mass murder in Oregon. Her solution to gun violence is allowing the victims to sue the gun manufacturers for the misuse of their product.

This can be dangerously far-reaching as a precedent. Following this logic any misuse of a product that results in a person’s death, the manufacturer would be held liable.

If a plane crashed then the plane manufacturer would have to pay for all the dead and injured. The top amount would be the deaths caused by the misuse of automobiles.

People die in a car wreck, sue General Motors or Ford. All this is ridiculous of course, just like all the other Democratic solutions to this nation's problems.

Clinton should remember the saying, “It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Gun manufacturers are no more responsible for the misuse of their products than any other manufacturing company.

Joseph Lavender


Young adult trends

Millennials, most agree, are those born after 1980 and therefore began reaching adulthood by 2000. Some recent studies conclude that millennials do not favor home and automobile ownership and, according to Pew Research, do not belong to organized religion. Granted these are only a few characteristics applied to millennials.

I would suggest that these three factors — home and auto ownership and religious affiliation — can be attributed to the dreadful state of the American economy. Both the unemployment and gross domestic product figures are so skewered that it’s difficult to get a handle on how bad things are.

Many millennials today are unemployed or underemployed and still living at home. This explains why home and automobile ownership is not a consideration, and religious affiliation is beyond being economically affordable.

Steve Katz


Minimum wage effect

I have a son in the food prep business. He has been there for 20 years and has increased his pay to about $18 per hour — a livable wage. What effect would a minimum wage have on him?

His pay would not go down so he would not be affected. Wrong, he and all the others in his situation would be dramatically affected. And what is the owner to do, give everyone a sizable raise to maintain a balance?

The military has tried, somewhat successfully, to resolve the problems of high and low cost of living areas by having a cost of living adjustment — if they move you to New York City, you get a bonus. If they move you to the Midwest, you lose the bonus or it is less. The same job in a different locale can and should pay differently.

I am not necessarily a conspiracy theorist, but there is another segment of people who will benefit from any increase in the minimum wage. The local, state and federal governments would see an increase in tax revenue.

They do not have to raise taxes, they just watch it come in.

Jim Nichols


Health care guessing

I have been attempting to be a responsible health care consumer and determine cost of care before having nonemergency procedures. When I contact the University of Kansas Medical Center, where my primary physician is, I was told that they could only tell me the nondiscounted astronomical price — not the contractual cost with my insurance company, which I will actually pay.

This is similar to a salesman telling you that he could only give you the sticker price of a car. He’ll let you know the discounted price with rebates etc. only after you agree to buy the car. You’ll have to guess what the actual price is.

KU tells me to contact the insurance company. My insurance company tells me to contact KU. Both insist there is no way to answer my question ahead of time.

Whatever makes it impossible to provide me with expected charges mysteriously disappears after I’ve had the test done. They find the information quickly when it is time to bill me.

It doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask for a relatively precise cost estimate for a standard procedure. Try it yourself, but be prepared to be frustrated.

Christine Taft

Prairie Village

Herbert column

Danedri Herbert’s Oct. 7 column, “Gen X is missing too many,” was an interesting but erroneous and misleading article, in my opinion. If you look at the U.S. Statistical Abstract, Live Births (No. 90 in the 1996 Edition), you will note a steady decline in births per 1,000 population from 24.1 the 1950s until 1972, in which the rate was 15.6. After 1971, that rate stayed fairly steady for the next 20 years.

Having an abortion when young, does not preclude a woman from having children later. It does change which ones, not necessarily how many.

And no one can say whether you and I and the world would be better or worse off with a different mix of births. We might have avoided some really bad people.

I appreciate your position on abortion. I just do not agree with your assessment of the impact on birth cohorts.

Jack Mayer


To send letters

Visit the Letters website at to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.