This calendar year, there have been more than 140 homicides within Kansas City and more than 200 in the metropolitan area, the vast majority committed with guns.
There aren’t any giant gun-manufacturing plants within the metropolitan area. The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant has not reported a rash of thefts. So how are the criminal-minded among us getting hold of guns?
During the prosecutorial process, courts seldom explore how a gun used in a crime ended up with the criminal. I know the priority is to punish the right criminal and make sure each accused gets due process — absolutely.
However, shouldn’t courts also bring justice to the rest of us by investigating how a gun makes it into the possession of the criminal-minded? I believe that by finding this out, they would prevent more crimes in the future.
All we have now is a cycle of murder and prosecution without any means to prevent the same in the future, because the system does not want to find that out.
In 2014, I wrote a letter to the Jackson County prosecutor’s office and heard nothing back. This leads me to believe that prosecutors were interested only in prosecution and not prevention.
I think the effort and expense of the massive interdiction tactics of the Drug Enforcement Agency could be better channeled into finding out why so many people are willing to risk their lives using drugs. From what I gather, they are self-medicating to escape their miserable lives — from poverty, mental illness or some other problem.
This problem can be solved only by addressing their issues. We have already tried putting them all in jail. That only makes their problems worse.
Making sure all drug users know how to read might solve a lot of problems. But treating them as criminals will not work, as we have seen for at least 50 years.
Today’s Republican Party: Keeping the world safe for avarice.
Not for states
The Star’s editorial suggesting that Kansas and Missouri spend millions of dollars to help people quit smoking is one of the dumbest ideas I have heard. (Dec. 18, 6A, “Missouri, Kansas need to kick tobacco habit”)
Is it too much to expect people to manage their own lives without help from their government?
Is it any wonder government budgets can’t be balanced when such nonsense dictates spending?
How about giving both states credit for making smoking-cessation campaigns a low priority item in their budgets? More states should do likewise.
For Republicans who think there’s a war on Christmas, they sure aren’t helping to get any of us little guys in the holiday mood with that bah humbug of a so-called “tax reform” that they’re about to deposit as so much coal in so many unsuspecting socks.
Of course, some folks — Republicans — will be getting just want they asked Santa for. They are like spoiled children whose rich parents overindulge them and who unwrap one gift, take a glance, then discard it in favor of the next prettily wrapped thing.
In the end, like all spoiled children who have been given too much their whole lives, they will never be satisfied with what they have.
Now their less-fortunate neighbors, regardless of how good they’ve been, will be left with coal because Santa’s bag is empty — empty because he gave more to the rich kid than he needed.
Too empty to pay for the next disaster, the next bridge that falls, the next person who will now go without health care because the subsidies to buy it were given away so the kid with too much can get even more.
They call this merry Christmas? Bah humbug indeed.
Kathleen C. Butler
New Year’s wishes
As 2018 approaches, we want to hear what you’re hoping for in the new year. Submit your letter at kansascity.com/letters and we will publish the best.