Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss concealed carry, Mike Pompeo’s bluster and hiding Joe Biden

Shoot them first

To respond to the Virginia Beach, Virginia, shooting and murder of 12 people last month, may I suggest that instead of laws banning weapons, as so many want, we should ban “gun-free” buildings?

Instead of signs basically saying, “People here can’t defend themselves,” buildings could have signs saying, “People with concealed-carry permits welcome.” There are huge numbers of people willing and trained to carry firearms. Why not warn potential offenders that there are potential defenders inside?

The Second Amendment gives us the right to carry guns. I do not personally want one, but many of my friends have weapons. Concealed-carry permits could require the owners to be trained and to pass appropriate examinations. Frangible bullets, which won’t ricochet, penetrate walls or bodies and then hit innocent people, should be recommended or required.

Had anyone in that three-story Virginia building been able to shoot back, the gunman might have been stopped long before he was able to kill and wound people.

Alden Redfield

Phillipsburg, Missouri

Beauty of Jordyn

Thank you, Eric Adler and Tammy Ljungblad, for sharing the beautiful Jordyn Walker’s story with the world. (June 19, 1A, “Laughing in the dark; Blind Missouri teen finds her way — and lifesaving answers”)

In reading your articles, I was inspired and awed by her strength, her sass, her humanity and her bright wit. What a gift to us readers to get to know her through your words and pictures.

Rachel Reeves



March to war

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an acolyte of President Donald Trump and apologist for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, is trying his best to start another war in the Middle East.

Like National Security Adviser John Bolton, a chicken hawk of the highest pedigree, Pompeo supports regime change in Iran. Full of hubris, he is working hard to instigate an incident with Iran as a pretext for a U.S. military strike. He hopes that would be a major step in a flawed “maximum pressure” strategy led by the U.S. and aided by Israel and Saudi Arabia to destroy or defeat Iran or cause Iranians to overthrow their government.

Eighteen straight years of war for the U.S. armed forces, and this man wants to up the ante, the cost of which will fall on the 1% of Americans serving in the military and their families.

Has there been any recent secretary of state less qualified or more full of himself? And worse yet, Trump seems to be more willing of late to get in step with Pompeo’s and Bolton’s drumbeat for war — a risky and dangerous state of affairs for America’s national security.

Myron J. Griswold


Fight vaping

This week, the Kansas State Department of Education launched an anti-vaping campaign in public schools. This is a big step in the right direction.

In 2019, more than 25% of high school students and about 7% of middle school students reported using some type of tobacco product in the previous 30 days, and one in five high school students reported using e-cigarettes — an increase of 78% from the previous year.

These new products pose unprecedented threats.

At the American Heart Association, we’re working to end all tobacco and nicotine addiction by minimizing the use of all combustible tobacco products and ensuring e-cigarettes and new products do not addict a new generation.

Reaching the tobacco endgame and preventing usage among youth requires policy. We praise the board of education for taking the first steps.

Public policy that would restrict sales of vaping products, raise the age for purchasing vape and tobacco products to 21, and include vaping under the state’s smoke-free law, is critical to protecting all Kansans. We urge the Kansas Legislature to take these important policy steps.

Kevin Harker

Executive vice president

Kansas City American

Heart Association

Overland Park

Hide, deceive

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden seems to be following the Hillary Clinton strategy of limiting his contact with the public. Let controlled exposure, name recognition and the illusion of moral fiber carry him to the Democratic nomination.

Blending into the weeds is a Darwinian survival skill Biden has mastered with scary proficiency. Biden’s team is attempting to project a “woke” image for an old-time politician who carries a ton of baggage.

His only remarkable feature is a willingness to jettison decades-old convictions at the drop of a dime.

Who is the real Joe Biden from minute to minute? That has yet to be determined by the demands of political expediency.

The Biden team knows that, as with the portrait of Dorian Gray, the less of the real Joe people see, the greater his odds for political survival become.

Gregory Bontrager