Letters to the Editor

Kansas gun bill, news media overkill, climate politics

Kansas gun bill

Last week, the Kansas House Standing Committee on Federal and State Affairs approved HB 2473, which would unify Kansas gun laws and take power away from local governments.

The bill’s amendment would allow all Kansans to carry loaded handguns inside their cars without permits.

What is its rationale for this legislation? Hysteria over the need for Kansans to carry loaded guns without restriction is unfounded.

According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, violent crime in Kansas has dropped during the past five years.

The idea that a car is an extension of one’s home (per the amendment’s author, Rep. Michael Houser, a Columbus Republican) is ludicrous.

Homes are not driven during rush hour, nor cut off in a lane change. If one has a few too many beers at home, there is reasonable assurance that the effects of the inebriation will not extend beyond one’s property line.

If this becomes law, there’s the possibility of road rage accelerated to new levels.

Although the bill states that the illegal blood-alcohol level for carrying a firearm would be the same as for drunken drivers, that would be cold comfort to someone shot because he changed lanes too quickly to suit a fellow motorist.

Kathy Minges
Mission News media overkill

I listen to satellite radio a lot, and on a recent Mark Packer show one of his topics for the day was University of Missouri senior defensive end Michael Sam. For three hours, people called in on various topics, but no one called about Michael Sam.

At the end of his show, Mark said the only ones who seem to care about it are the news media. I’ve heard all kinds of news media representatives speak on the subject, but the public really doesn’t care.

Why doesn’t the news media move on to another subject that someone just might care about. The media are the ones making a big deal of this.

Peris Trow Raytown Conservative slant

Dave Helling included in the body of his Feb. 17 front-page story, “Vying to put a stamp on postal reform,” quotes from James Gattuso, a policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

Helling did not inform the readers that the mission of the Heritage Foundation is “to formulate and promote conservative public policies.”

Helling could have examined the role of the U.S. Postal Service governing board, currently consisting of six Bush appointees to a single Obama appointee, and how decisions it has forced on the Postal Service have burdened the operations of the post office.

Or Helling could have done a little research and perhaps would have found a 2013 Time magazine article that notes “the biggest obstacle to postal reform, by far, is the problem of funding congressionally mandated pre-retiree health benefits.”

Somehow that information slipped by Helling.

How much easier it is to write a hit piece on the Postal Service without actually examining the source of the problems and simply plug in a couple of quotes from your favorite right-wing think-tank spin-meister, and without offering a counter-argument from the middle or the left.

That is a function of stenography, not reporting.

Bill Dunn Overland Park Krugman column

Paul Krugman’s Feb. 15 column, “GOP gives lip service to workers’ rights, dignity,” underscores the illogic of “compassionate conservatism.”

That’s the oxymoron spawned by the wealthiest 1 percent, whose everyday activities and decisions aren’t governed by nagging worries about basic health care, nutrition and shelter.

Our most precious resource — human capital founded on ingenuity, determination and opportunity — is squandered every day in this country when decisions regarding schooling and employment are made, not on the basis of desire and ability, but as a result of restraints imposed by limited health-care availability and spiraling tuition costs.

Fear of losing health care and the despair accompanying the realization that training and education are denied to all but the wealthy or those willing to commit to exorbitant student-loan obligations are precluding realization of the benefits and dignity that are products of the best use of human capital.

This despair is denied or ignored by the “procession of angry billionaires” Krugman cites, with their pronounced tendency to blame the victims for their plight.

Conservative critics warn against the pitfalls of class warfare, but, given their penchant for destroying the fraying remnants of the social safety net, this may be the only alternative available for those desiring to defend the dignity of human capital.

Martin Zehr Kansas City Climate politics

Whether you are a skeptic or believer in global warming, ask yourself, what exactly is the correct temperature of the Earth? And who has been given the authority to decide?

The fact that dozens of ice ages have come and gone shows that the Earth’s temperature is never constant but always changing, either warming or cooling. A constant and unchanging temperature is totally unnatural and a figment of conceited man’s imagination.

Yet the worst among us, politicians, have conspired to dupe many of their unquestioning followers into believing that if enough money is sacrificed to the gods of Mount Washington, D.C., they as modern day King Canutes will write laws that even Mother Nature will obey.

These arrogant ants are a spectacle of human folly for all the ages to mock.

The public group-think supporting them was shrewdly described by one of the cleverest observers of human nature, Mark Twain. In “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” one of Twain’s characters says to Huck, “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side and ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”

Larry Seitter Olathe Olympics’ unity

Every few years, we need the Olympics to remind us we are one world. Yes, we can meet each other on the playing field and greet each other with no guns while smiling.

Yes, actually smiling, with no hate except for a few politicians trying their best to look electable later.

I don’t think we hate the Russians’ Vladimir Putin. He had his country pull off a tremendous job with the Olympics, and that’s good.

We are not fond of communism.

Let’s hope our government is as great as we take it to be. I hope and pray that someday this country will have people (men and women) who will come forward as genuine human beings and mold this place together with other countries in peace and real harmony.

United we stand; divided we fall.

Duane Hubble Riverside Supporting Dunns

In 1983, I was in my late 30s and pregnant. Because of my age, the doctor recommended amniocentesis and advised that we needed to be prepared to abort the baby if the results were positive for Down syndrome.

The Sunday before the doctor required an answer, there was an article in The Star Magazine about the Dunn family’s daughter/sister who had Down syndrome. All of the family members spoke lovingly of what a blessing she was in their lives.

Needless to say, that was our answer — no test, and a few months later I gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

I was inspired by the Dunns’ witness of faith three decades ago and continue to respect their commitment to their beliefs by legally supporting Hobby Lobby (2-16, A1, “JE Dunn joins cultural debate”).

Nancy Brown Kansas City Neighbors’ help

I am a well-seasoned senior who has lived in Armour Hills for 47 years. How lucky I am that I have two men named Mike who live on either side of me.

They always come out smiling and dig me out of the snow. I was told by my friend that another Mike, who lives across the street, was also going to do the shoveling.

I broke my car scraper in half, and John, my neighbor on the other corner, helped me clear the ice off my car.

I would still be housebound if it weren’t for these wonderful neighbors.

Janet E. Carver Kansas City