Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off on presidential campaigns, police, third party candidates

Brutal campaigns

I don’t believe I have ever seen such a vitriolic campaign year.

In the past, the nastiness was held for the general elections, and yet I see local and statewide candidates trashing each other with unabashed hatred — many of them seemingly professing the current strategy of unwillingness to compromise.

I know we are all pretty disgusted with our political leaders, both state and national, but if you are objective in analyzing the reason for the huge deficit of accomplishments, especially on the national level, you must come to the conclusion that the unwillingness to compromise, the unwillingness to work together, has drawn us to the brink of disaster.

So as we contemplate our choice of candidates, I truly hope we will remember that when we compromise and work together, seeking the middle ground, our country moves forward.

When we fall prey to the “insistent self,” the whole country, indeed the whole world, suffers.

Rex Block


Police at risk

Politicians used to say that we pay the police to carry guns so the rest of us don’t have to. That sentiment has long been dead and buried by the National Rifle Association, an organization that believes the Second Amendment is so inviolate that even felons, mentally ill persons and suspected terrorists have the right to bear arms.

And with the recent spate of police shootings of unarmed civilians, I have to wonder whether I am the only American who thinks this is a result of our very lax and liberal gun laws.

The NRA pushes for more liberal gun bills even though every police agency may oppose them. Ever more lenient gun laws have been passed, which isn’t making any of us safer but actually puts all of us at greater risk, particularly those who once carried guns so the rest of us wouldn’t have to.

Michal Betz


Third party

I’d be willing to bet that fewer than one of 10 Star readers has any idea what an American Libertarian is (8-15, A4, “Libertarian couple bonds over politics”).

It would be a great public-service project for The Star to inform them. I think folks would be surprised just how many Libertarians there are that don’t even know it.

Jerry Foulds

Kansas City

Police, community

I sat down with my grandson for a talk. You know, the birds and the bees, sex and how not to get shot by a police officer.

We practice outside our garage. I truly believe that at some point it will be a required course in high schools and colleges.

I really feel that where we live there is a great police department. I am sick of looking at the news on this subject. I ask myself what I can do to help.

If there is any officer who wants to talk about the issues out in the open, get with me. I will get the beer, drag out the patio chairs and let the officer release his or her frustrations.

True leaders confront the situation. All I hear is talk.

I may be selfish. I am tired of pacing back and forth and constantly looking out the window waiting for my big boy to come home when he leaves the gym.

All kinds of things run through your mind. I walk out into the street just to see whether he is coming. How I wish I could send you my joy when he makes it.

Carlos Stovall


Parks, transients

Most people may not be aware that residents living next to Kansas City parks pay an unofficial tax. I call it “the living next to KC public parks thievery tax,” and it is levied primarily on those living next to parks with large transient populations, such as along Cliff Drive.

Kansas City parks maintain an open-access policy and force us to rely on police investigations to solve property crimes.

However, proving beyond a reasonable doubt the theft of my hammock by a transient is very low on the priority list when you have murders and other violent crimes.

And I agree with that somewhat, but it was my hammock and I miss it. Buying a new one means not going to a Royals game.

Heck, I might have donated it, if asked, but theft is wrong.

The only real way to curtail these constant petty thefts is to curtail the Kansas City parks policy of unfettered access and close parks at night, especially during the summer.

This doesn’t have to be forever, but neither should be the parks policy of open access, which creates a loophole for transients to prey on those living nearby.

Thomas Strenge

Kansas City

Sound bite race

“Extreme vetting” may make a good political battle cry, but what does Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump really mean by it (8-16, A5, “Trump's anti-terrorism plan includes immigrant limits”)? He gives no details or specifics.

The closest he came was saying he would require that immigrants (just Islamic is an unanswered question) must support the Constitution. What he means by support is left open to question. Maybe he means:

▪ Support a “tea party” view of the Constitution.

▪ Support the National Rifle Association’s view of the Constitution.

▪ Support Trump’s view of the Constitution, although he hasn’t stated what he believes.

▪ Supports the idea that an individual has a right to determine what he believes the Constitution means. That would call for the individual to think for himself.

Can we really choose a candidate who only speaks in sound bites?

Rev. Clay Chittim

Blue Springs