Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on politics, the National Rifle Association and Kansas finances

Political misdirection

The Republicans in Congress either don’t want to win or don’t know how to win. They’re always on the defensive end of arguments.

An example is the current battle over the budget because of the attempt to block President Barack Obama’s illegal action on immigration. Republicans now control both houses, and nothing has changed.

The Democrats continue to have their way, and the Republicans are blamed for stonewalling and putting the country in danger.

Where is the House and Senate leadership?

The voting public cast ballots to change the direction of this country and this imperial administration, but those in power continue to have their way. Our House leaders are toothless.

When the Democrats controlled both houses, they initiated the “nuclear option,” which ended any filibuster and denied the opposition the ability to block legislation. Why don’t Republicans consider doing the same? We, the people, want change. We want this administration to be stopped. We want this Congress to start winning.

Why can’t our leaders hear us? What do we have to do to be heard?

I’m very afraid for our country if we continue down this current path.

Someone please step up to the plate and do something. Please.

David Gerrasch

Overland Park

NRA, drive-by killings

As I read or watch the Kansas City area news, I see that a lot of people and children have been killed by guns. We have to do something about drive-by shootings.

I don’t hear much about anything being done. Does the National Rifle Association scare us that much?

Tom Purcell

Kansas City

Fix fiscal shortfall

I suggest that the Kansas Legislature get to work and increase the state revenue stream.

That can include reversing the contraindicated tax cuts and even increasing taxes in carefully planned ways.

I further suggest that the electorate make it clear that we are aware that one gets what one pays for and that we are not willing to sell our state to the lowest bidder in furtherance of the governor’s “little experiment.”

Kathryn Moore

Manhattan, Kan.

Electric charging

Given the difficulty of enforcing parking for disabled people, I hope that the new charging stations for electric cars are at least 10 spaces removed from any disabled spots. Otherwise, those of us with electric cars will never get to park in them.

Putting the chargers in the closest and most desirable parking places would make them useless because they would always be filled with gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles.

Many drivers of SUVs can’t stand the physical duress of walking an extra 3 yards from where they park to get where they’re going.

Fred Weems

St. Joseph

End school bullying

The account of bullying at Liberty Middle School against Blake and Preston Kitchen seemed a deja vu story, where bullying is reported but no concrete action is taken by school authorities and a horrifying incident subsequently occurs (2-25, A1, “Boy beaten at school lunchroom”).

I was extremely shaken at the description of Blake Kitchen’s injuries. I hope authorities in Liberty, in both the legal system and the school district, take firm action against the bully and his parents to send a firm message to other bullies and their parents. Enough is enough.

Will the only thing to stop this be the death of a child being bullied? Public education is a privilege. If it is denigrated by students acting as bullies, the bullies should be removed from the school.

How many criminals started as bullies?

Jack Nagel

Prairie Village

Monsters in Kansas

As the Kansas Legislature moves forward in promoting the owning and carrying of firearms, it might want to stop for a moment and harken back to Abilene in the summer of 1870. Texas cowboys had created a wide-open town, driving out potential lawmen, shooting up the community, even tearing down the jail — all with a lawless disregard for the citizens.

Enter Tom Smith, whom the town hired as marshal. He immediately issued an ordinance banning guns in the town. He then twice faced down thugs who threatened to shoot him by knocking them out with his fists. From then on Abilene was gun-free.

Smith was killed by a local rancher who had shot a neighbor over a minor disagreement.

Our present state Senate must be careful because often we create our own monsters.

John Nelles


Take responsibility

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to protect a child.

The village knows. The church knows and is silent. The family reunion knows.

We all know our villages. We all know our children. Not guilty is a lie.

Lee Davis


Lax with guns

The Kansas Legislature is where no training is required (2-26, A1, “Kansas may ease conceal gun law”). I support gun ownership.

I also think citizens should understand how to manage that gun to carry it in public. A permit is required to drive a car, work in a restaurant or buy R-12 refrigerant on E-bay.

Each permit requires completion of training and passing a test to demonstrate competency. The news media show too many examples of improper gun handling.

One example in December occurred at a Wal-Mart in Idaho, where a 29-year-old mother was shot and killed by her 2-year-old son who reached in her purse and accidentally fired the handgun. Idaho requires, if enforced, some competency to get a permit.

If the Idaho mom had any training, it was not sufficient. Kansas wants “none” to be required.

The women paid the price for allowing her 2-year-old access to her purse and gun. What about someone else in the store?

Would the “personal responsibility” caucus support murder charges against mom if the 2-year-old had killed me in the next aisle? Or is that just an accident? Penalties are fine, prevention is better. Isn’t step one training?

I thought that was the point of permits? Be irresponsible in your own house, not in public.

A responsible law would require citizens to demonstrate some competency to carry a firearm in public, concealed or not.

Brian Petrie


Brownback’s drink

As a Missouri resident, I am standing by watching the slow destruction of Kansas at the hands of its governor and his policies of cutting taxes and budgetary slash and burn. They are making that state less attractive to potential businesses and families that might want to relocate.

Businesses need government-provided infrastructure such as good roads, bridges and supplemental government services that allow them to grow and develop. That type of public investment comes through tax revenue spent for the greater good.

Families will move to Kansas only if they think their children will have access to good schools that offer more than just reading, writing and arithmetic (like band, choir, drama, etc.).

Instead, the GOP voters in Kansas have entered into an economic suicide pact with Gov. Sam Brownback because they like what he says and the way he says it — regardless of all evidence to the contrary.

When I was a kid, I could not understand how more than 900 followers of Jim Jones could be persuaded to drink poisoned Kool-Aid and kill themselves.

I guess I know now. Say what people want to hear and say it well and don’t let facts get in the way.

Kevin Baldwin


Clipping The Star

I enjoyed reading “East Crossroads is rising” Feb. 23 along with my morning coffee at the local Hy-Vee and thought this is a “clipper” for sure to send to my Los Angeles friend.

She worked at BMA here in the 1960s, and though saddened by the article on the closing of the Golden Ox, she was thrilled to see a former co-worker pictured.

She forwards my clipped Star articles to a sister-in-law in Tennessee, who then shares them with a retired Phillips Petroleum co-worker who lives in Orange County, Calif. They both lived in Kansas City in the 1960s.

As “clippers,” are we a unique club? Probably not.

We love our Kansas City Star, even if the good news gets around the old-fashioned way — via snail mail.

Joann Blackburn