Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Baltimore, carrying a gun and Shawnee Mission salaries

Police audio from active shooter attack at Gilroy Garlic Festival

See officers search for suspects as reports come in of an active shooter at a California festival that killed 3 and injured more Sunday, July 28.
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See officers search for suspects as reports come in of an active shooter at a California festival that killed 3 and injured more Sunday, July 28.

Clean this up

Regarding President Donald Trump calling U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and saying the lawmaker should spend more time “cleaning up this very dangerous & filthy place”: How deeply I wish our president would clean up the disgusting, infested mess and the very dangerous and filthy place that is his mind.

Mary Weston

Kansas City

Laws mean things

How many of those souls campaigning to close the border camps and allow open migration have actually been to the border to see firsthand what is happening? Relying on information from people such as U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not prudent.

Recently, members of Congress from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus visited the border and deemed the camps humane but overcrowded.

Viable countries have borders and the right to regulate their borders. There is no inherent human right to cross these borders or to invade that country’s citizens’ homes.

If we ignore immigration laws, then what other laws can be ignored? There is a process to have laws changed. But, until that happens, the laws must be obeyed and enforced. Not doing so leads to anarchy.

Jerry Kaplan

Prairie Village

Time to arm

I attend festivals, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting could finally make me consider carrying a concealed firearm. (July 30, 1A, “Gunman posts online, then kills 3, wounds 12 at famed festival”)

I live in a good neighborhood in Midtown, and I’m thinking about carrying a concealed firearm — not because of fears about where I live, but because of white, male gun nuts who shoot people.

I’ve been a gun owner my entire life, and I view personal safety as a balance of reasonable precautions given the likelihood and consequences of a threat. People don’t mow the lawn in bulletproof vests because the risk doesn’t justify the cost (heat, weight) of the remedy. The safety-versus-threat equation just doesn’t make sense.

That equation is changing, though, because of disaffected white males who seek solace in the power of guns and extremist communities like online groups for “incels,” neo-Nazis and right-wing militias. With our current leadership, the roaches haven’t just discovered they have company; they have a leader who speaks to them.

So how do we react to news like this? Thoughts and prayers don’t seem to be working.

Frankly, I prefer someone like me with firearm training, experience and common sense to protect my family from people who look like me.

Jeff Blackwood

Kansas City

Pay for excellence

As the parent of two elementary students in the Shawnee Mission School District, I couldn’t disagree more with The Star’s July 26 editorial, “Shawnee Mission schools should focus on smaller class sizes and not bigger teacher raises.” (8A)

If my daughters needed surgery, I certainly would find the doctor with the most experience, and I would expect that surgeon to be well compensated for his or her years of expertise and experience.

Why would I, as a parent, want less for my daughters’ teachers?

Why would teachers stay in the profession knowing they will never be rewarded for experience? The Star’s suggestions to “give good raises to new teachers at the low end of the salary scale” and “limit salary increases for older teachers with bigger paychecks” are ludicrous.

The best surgeons wouldn’t stay at a hospital that refused raises based on experience. Why should teachers?

I want my children’s teachers to be held in the same esteem as their surgeons. Sadly, too few in our society give teachers the respect and compensation they deserve.

Lisa Bauman

Overland Park

Education is vital

Last Wednesday, in response to a direct question from U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, special counsel Robert Mueller stated that his report did not exonerate President Donald Trump. He stated it clearly and repeated it. And then Friday, I saw the results of a poll indicating that 35% of Americans said they believe Trump was totally exonerated by Mueller’s report.

The backbone of our democracy is an educated citizenry. If that is the case, we are in serious trouble.

Come on, folks — you can vote for him, but for heaven’s sake at least be informed. I believe it’s time to turn off Fox News. Fox officials admit that much of their programming is not news. In 2015, then-CEO Roger Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter, “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.” Its CEO, Rupert Murdoch, isn’t even American. His family is making a lot of money misinforming viewers. Perhaps it’s time for them to step away.

If we have to endure four more years of this assault on our Constitution, we will lose the greatest experiment in self-government ever put in place.

Kip Harris

Kansas City

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