Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss U.S. deficits, protection from government and a bad Farm Bill addition

Already on fire

I participated in a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri Thursday night. It wasn’t a true conversation, because there was no give and take.

I complained that a conservative would vote for a trillion-dollar budget. She danced a little two-step about the need to bolster defense spending and likened it to paying for fire protection before a mortgage. The problem with that analogy is that if the mortgage is foreclosed, fire protection is too late.

We need to wake up and realize that our national debt threatens our way of life more than Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and other global bad actors.

I will vote for any candidate who votes consistently to curb spending. I’m a geezer who is willing to endure a cut in benefits to accomplish this.

Howard Gosnell

Nevada, Mo.

Individual rights

The question of gun control will no doubt go on for years. Fundamentally, this is about the government’s responsibility to prove I have committed a crime before it takes away my rights.

Our government does not have rights. Our government has limited powers carefully and specifically granted through the Constitution for the sole purpose of preserving and protecting the rights of the individual. The government cannot presume that I am going to act in an illegal manner just because my neighbor, my relative or a teenager in Parkland, Fla., acted in an illegal manner.

We should care about how our government is allowed to treat us based on someone else’s actions. Each of us has the right to be presumed competent, fit and innocent.

If the Second Amendment were repealed tomorrow, as some have suggested, nothing about my legal status as a law-abiding citizen would change. In reality, this isn’t about my gun. It’s about every individual’s fundamental right to liberty. And liberty is absolutely worth protecting.

Our founders pledged their fortunes, their lives and their sacred honor defending it. So must we.

Don Airington

Kansas City

Naming honors

I am sure that Buck O’Neil, Martin Luther King Jr., Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, former Sen. Kit Bond and Mayor Sly James are good people to name places and things after.

But has anybody heard of Charles D. Barger, Herbert Hoover Burr, Charles R. Long, Jack A. Davenport or Paul F. Riordan? That list goes on and on. They are the winners of the Medal of Honor with ties to the Kansas City area. Without them, we might not have things to put a name on.

I think people ought to do their homework before names are thrown out.

Joe Christifano

Kansas City

Keep control local

The disastrous HR 4879, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, has been added to the Farm Bill in Congress. This bill would prevent states from setting their own standards on the production of a wide variety of items and could reverse thousands of state laws across the country.

This could extend to animal-welfare protections — including state laws regarding puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter and shark finning — food and consumer safety, environmental protections, regulation of wastewater and more.

The 10th Amendment reserves broad powers to the states and its people, and states have used this authority to protect its citizens from such things as invasive pests and livestock diseases, to maintain quality standards for all agricultural products and to ensure food safety.

We must not let the King amendment to the Farm Bill roll back our protections or prevent us from enacting new state and local laws and regulations as necessary.

Please join me in contacting our Missouri congressional delegates, including Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill. Ask them to do all they can to stop this horrible legislation and attack on states’ rights.

Lynne E. Rees

Kansas City

Violator in chief

In “The Twitter Rules,” the social media and messaging platform says:

▪  “… We prohibit behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear.”

▪  “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.”

▪  “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”

▪  “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

Violation is supposed to result in suspension or limitation of the account. When will Twitter extend enforcement of its rules to a certain resident of the White House?

Steve Barnhart

Kansas City