Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss open gun carry, KCK U.S. attorney’s office and wasted water

Reasonable fear

In Saturday’s letters to the editor, a writer said there was nothing wrong when a man walked into a Springfield, Missouri, Walmart wearing body army with an assault-type rifle slung over his shoulder. The writer asked, “What laws did this guy break?” (9A)

Really? Can this writer honestly say he wouldn’t have been alarmed by such a sight? He claims he “refuses to live in fear of the actions of cowards.” If Americans have gotten to the point where they don’t react in fear when seeing such sights, then it is a sad day for our country. But that’s not the case with us normal human beings with feelings.

Earlier this month, a motorcycle backfired in New York City’s Times Square, causing everyone to panic and run, thinking it was gunfire. (Aug. 7, KansasCity.com, “Police: Motorcycle backfiring causes panic in Times Square”)

The state this country is in is truly sorrowful.

Diane Capps

Kansas City

Everyone’s cradle

I know it’s pitiful, but I had to laugh at Trump administration acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli committing sacrilege with his illogical, fabricated comments about the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, since his ancestors came from Africa (as did all of ours). (Aug. 15, 1A, “Poem on wall of Statue of Liberty about Europeans, Trump official says”)

Hasn’t he ever heard of DNA?

Bill Shefchik

Kansas City

Star was wrong

I’m proud of the fact that the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Kansas saved lives.

We helped stop the Wichita airport and Fort Riley bombers, removed violent gang members from the streets, and took illegal firearms out of the hands of felons. And much, much more.

But recently, some of the historic challenges we faced concerning the Kansas City, Kansas, office came to light with a report that left many of us, including me, outraged at deliberate misconduct by a rogue group of prosecutors.

I was further alarmed this weekend to see The Star Editorial Board misconstrue that report. (Aug. 18, 16A, “Barry Grissom’s Senate campaign doomed by tenure as U.S. attorney”) So let’s get the facts straight.

The report found three basic problems: a contempt ruling aimed at the Trump administration’s handling of the investigation after I resigned, prosecutorial abuse, and a troubling culture in the U.S. attorney’s office.

Regarding prosecutorial abuse, I’m outraged that two of our staff members purposefully broke the law and ignored their ethical duties by listening in on attorney-client conversations. Had I known, those prosecutors would have been immediately terminated.

But as The Star failed to share, even my loudest critic — a former prosecutor who holds a grudge after I asked him to resign from our leadership team — acknowledged we didn’t know about those prosecutors’ illegal acts. They hid their actions from all of us.

Concerning the historically troubling culture of that office, we had an institutional problem on our hands that existed long before I became U.S. attorney. From the start of my tenure, we took action to rein in an overly-aggressive culture, more concerned with victory than justice.

We reformed the charging and sentencing processes with new requirements and oversight. We forced the office, despite strong pushback, to implement the Smart on Crime initiative to improve priorities. And we brought in new office leadership, although civil servant protections limited our personnel changes. The Star chose not to acknowledge those changes.

Rather than present a thoughtful, balanced take on the problems we faced, The Star cherry-picked facts.

Of course, their takeaway was that my chances for the Kansas U.S. Senate seat are “doomed.”

If that skepticism sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve heard it before.

In The Star’s coverage of Kansas Democrats’ chances in the past, they’ve consistently gotten things wrong.

This year, readers deserve a fairer take.

Barry Grissom

Leawood

Hear their voices

In Hong Kong in recent days, people demanding their freedom of choice, of speech, of living their lives as they decide — not the government — stood shoulder to shoulder, proudly holding aloft multiple American flags while singing the national anthem of the United States through megaphones so all could hear their assembled voices.

This soul-felt cry, a plea for human dignity, should be shown at every NFL stadium. The voices of Hong Kong should be heard by everyone in the United States.

Milton Muller

Leawood

Water woes

On Aug. 10, there was a water main break in the Northland at NW 84th Court and North Hull Drive. Every day since, 24 hours a day, water has been gushing into the street and flowing east behind our house toward the lake nearby.

Why has this break not been fixed after more than a week? And who is paying for all this wasted water?

Art Kinder

Kansas City

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