Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss motorcycle helmet laws, town halls and guns in hospitals

Helmet law

In November 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 25 studies of the costs of injuries from motorcycle crashes “consistently found that helmet use reduced the fatality rate, probability and severity of head injuries, cost of medical treatment, length of hospital stay, necessity for special medical treatments, and probability of long-term disability.”

Automobile drivers and passengers must wear seat belts. Are those riding motorcycles a privileged class because they like to experience the rush of air over their heads?

Going without a helmet places added stress on medical personnel who must care for the injured. They know that many of these injuries are preventable by simply wearing a helmet.

Nuff said. The Missouri House has approved a bill that would exempt adult riders from wearing helmets if they have appropriate insurance. Missouri-side readers, please contact your legislators and request that they vote for motorcycle helmets to be used by all riders at all times.

G. David Dixon, M.D.


Town hall time

The weather is warmer and flowers are in bloom, which means that allergy season is upon us again in Kansas City.

But for Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, allergy season seems to last year-round — allergies to meaningful constituent engagement, that is.

Rather than holding town halls or other public forums, Blunt chooses to hide behind a smoke screen network of “listening centers” scattered across the state. Voters looking to engage with Blunt instead get stuck talking to lower-level staff and political operatives.

You would get equal results by walking out the door and telling your concerns to the tulips and petunias.

Sen. Blunt, get serious about your constituents. Hold a town hall now.

Leo Koesterer


Guns in hospitals

To the April 11 editorial, “Why do Kansas lawmakers think guns in hospitals are a good idea?” (10A) I simply can find no good answer.

We are so fortunate to have access to the University of Kansas Health System and know that miracles of healing occur almost daily. We know also that health systems deal with all the emotional stress that illness, heartache and loss can create, and allowing guns in the hospital could only add to that stress.

I sincerely hope that the appropriate lawmakers see the value of protecting the sanctity of the hospital by prohibiting guns there.

Robert Russell

Kansas City

Congress’ care

Many U.S. citizens believe that members of Congress have free health care, courtesy of the taxpayers. This is not true.

Representatives and senators are responsible for obtaining their own health insurance. One option is that they (and their staffs and family members) are eligible to enroll in the Small Business Health Option Program. It and their other options are not free, because enrollees pay premiums.

Members of Congress can also purchase insurance through the government’s health-care program, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare.” Research it on Google or at your local library.

Shirley Hurst

Knob Noster

No gifts

I just saw where the Missouri Senate is considering a bill to limit lobbyist gifts. (April 11, 3A, “Limit on lobbyist gifts clears Missouri Senate committee”)

I want our representatives to ban all gifts of any kind. Any gift is for preferential treatment and it should not be allowed under any circumstances.

Corky Lewis

Lee’s Summit

Strangers’ kindness

I would like to thank the many wonderful people who helped me March 28.

On the way to get our vehicle to pick up my waiting husband, I fell on my face in the street at the Johnson County Central Resource Library. All of you helped restore my faith in humanity.

Being 89 years old, I was born and raised during the Depression, when everyone helped each other. No one was full of greed or took advantage of others — not like today.

Thanks to those who turned me over off my face, the young lady who covered me with her sweater, the young man who called for an ambulance, the EMTs who transported me by ambulance to Olathe Medical Center, all the emergency nurses and their helpers, my physician and our friend who drove my husband back to Overland Park.

All my tests — CT scans, X-rays and others — proved negative. I was lucky. Many thanks to all of you.

Betty L. McCormack