Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Jorge Soler, ‘red flag’ laws and planning KC streets smartly

Remembering Cerv

Jorge Soler’s 40th home run Wednesday evening extended his Kansas City Major League Baseball single-season record. The previous mark of 38 home runs was set by Kansas City Athletics outfielder Bob Cerv in 1958 and tied by the Royals’ Mike Moustakas in 2017. (Sept. 5, 1B, “Royals win fourth in a row, clinch series”)

Of interest is that Cerv set his record while eating no solid foods for the greater part of that season. No, he was not a health food advocate or on a fast. Early in the season, Detroit catcher Red Wilson gave Cerv a fractured jaw in a home plate collision. Cerv was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where surgeons wired his jaw shut. His nutrition that long-ago summer came out of some pre-Vegematic food blender.

He finished the season with a .305 batting average and 104 RBIs, becoming an American League All-Star. He died in April 2017 at age 91 in his native Nebraska.

Kudos to three fine Kansas City big leaguers.

David Watkins

Weatherby Lake

‘Red flag’ worries

I have a nightmare about “red flag” laws, which allow law enforcement to temporarily seize firearms from people considered imminent threats.

Let’s say my ex-girlfriend reports me to the authorities out of spite. My weapons are seized. I spend all my money on lawyers to get my weapons returned, only to find that they were lost, damaged or destroyed while I was in custody.

I have a solution: First, make filing a malicious claim a felony. There probably wouldn’t be many convictions, since it would involve proving intent. Second, if people win lawsuits to reclaim their weapons, their legal expenses should be paid by the state. Why the state? My ex-girlfriend doesn’t have any money. Third, the value of any weapon held by the authorities should be set at $1 million. That should be high enough to ensure the authorities properly store the weapons.

John C. Abshier

Leavenworth

Steps we can take

We need gun control now. Dick’s, Kroger and Walmart should not take a leadership role over our state representatives. (Sept. 4, 14A, “Walmart to stop selling handgun ammunition”) Instead, we must take these measures:

▪  Require background checks for all gun purchases — private, online or with a dealer — no matter how long the background check takes.

▪  Gun owners should be required to license their firearms. If you have to get a license to fish, you should be required to have a license for a deadly weapon.

▪  Impose a waiting period to purchase a deadly weapon.

▪  Limit the number of guns someone can buy at one time.

▪  Regulate and tax ammunition.

If Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, state Rep. Jarrod Ousley and state Sen. Pat Pettey truly love law enforcement, then they should protect officers by making these changes. If they don’t want another baby permanently injuredor made an orphan by a gun, they should read about several solutions we should try. Start with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and March for Our Lives’ “A Peace Plan For A Safer America.”

My family has been permanently affected by gun violence. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through such physical, financial, mental and emotional trauma. This is all preventable.

Joy Springfield

Merriam

Plan streets ahead

Professor Harold Hill has arrived in Kansas City. But rather than pool tables, the manufactured controversy is the threat of bicycle lanes (promoted by the mythical insidious nonprofit that teaches children to walk to school). (Sept. 2, 1A, “Over some objections, Kansas City rolls along with bike lane plan”)

The main point of opposition to the plan — its price tag — is a red herring. One early, disputed estimate put it at $400 million. But we will spend over the course of the plan far more than that on street maintenance and new construction. To think we would spend all that money and not change a single thing about how we currently design our transportation system is preposterous.

Our streets as designed are nothing short of barbaric. They leave hundreds of people dead or seriously injured every year. Like homicides, we have complacently accepted them as a reality of city life. The main culprit of these unnecessary deaths is fast-moving traffic.

Meanwhile, nearly every major street in Kansas City meets the threshold for a “road diet” with a few key ingredients: fewer lanes, slower traffic and parking-protected bike lanes.

So here’s a modest proposal: Let’s get all our arterial streets on a five-year resurfacing schedule, and then put them on a diet as we resurface them. Surely, that would benefit motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and business owners alike.

Josh Boehm

Kansas City

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