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Letters to the editor on arming teachers, Second Amendment, taxing churches, facts on founders

  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Armed guards are not the answer

The National Rifle Association’s proposal that every school have armed security guards in place continues the NRA’s long-standing position that the problem with violence in our society is not that we have too many guns, but that we have too few.

Does the NRA also propose that every store at the mall have armed security? Should the ushers at the theaters be armed? If more guns were the answer, then the fact that we have only 5 percent of the world’s population but own 50 percent of the world’s guns already should make us the safest society on the planet, but we are not.

They say the problem is that our children play violent video games and watch violent movies. But children in many countries play the same games and watch the same movies, and those countries don’t experience the same level of violence as we do. Many countries also struggle in dealing with their mentally ill, yet don’t have to deal with so many mass killings.

Requiring background checks at gun shows and tightening the restrictions on the ability to purchase guns via the Internet would make us safer than if we simply added more guns. Reasonable people also should agree that there is no sensible reason for people to own assault rifles and high-volume magazines.

JACK E. NIBLACK

Wichita

Can’t deprive arms

The writer of “Guns are supposed to be well-regulated” (Dec. 22 Letters to the Editor) does not understand the concept and purpose of the Second Amendment of our Constitution. The history of the nation in the implementation of the Second Amendment provides a correct interpretation. The people are not to be deprived of arms.

I would also recommend that before you give up rights, including the Second Amendment, you look at countries that do not have our Constitution. Most known, though not the worst, were Adolf Hitler’s regulations and then confiscation of guns of the Jews. Our founders looked at the history of what governments had done to their people, and preserved in the Constitution the right to bear arms.

Patrick Henry said: “The great object is, that every man be armed.… Every one who is able may have a gun.” Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter: “The constitutions of most of our states assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” And George Washington reportedly said: “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

JAMES W. KILPATRICK Jr.

Wichita

Intent ignored

In addition to the Second Amendment calling for a well-regulated militia, which individuals today are not, keep in mind there was no ready army like today, and citizens were needed to be ready on behalf of the “security of a free state.” The National Rifle Association today is arming some paranoid people to defend themselves against the free state, which was definitely not intended by the amendment. The intent of the law is obvious and is being totally ignored.

JIM LANEY

Wichita

Tax churches

Regarding “Petition: Designate Westboro a ‘hate group’” (Dec. 28 Eagle): FBI spokesman Christopher Allen was right that Americans have the right to be in whatever groups they choose – and act like jerks anytime they like, something the Westboro Baptist Church folks do with abandon. But do we have to subsidize the behaviors of these particular jerks with our tax dollars? I refer to the tax-exempt status they claim as a so-called church.

The rich need to pay their fair share of taxes (and most do – make no mistake about that), but why don’t we expect the same of our churches? Some do good works, of course, but others exist only to spread hate and narrow-minded thinking, and I do not appreciate subsidizing them so they can.

Change the laws so all churches pay the government something, if for no other reason but to give us the extra resources to fight the Westboro members and their hate as hard as we can.

KATHLEEN BUTLER

Wichita

Founders facts

The review of Henry Wiencek’s “Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves” (Dec. 16 Arts & Leisure) was not grounded in fact and did not draw in any additional historical sources to evaluate the book.

The review could have benefited from considering other works, such as “The Real Thomas Jefferson,” published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies; “Thomas Jefferson: Writings: Autobiography/Notes on the State of Virginia/Public and Private Papers/Addresses/Letters,” published by Library of America; and historian David Barton’s “The American Heritage Series” DVD available at wallbuilders.com. These works, which draw on primary sources, illustrate a different and in some cases contradictory viewpoint to Wiencek’s.

I challenge readers to do their homework before accepting this or any upcoming historical portrayals of the Founding Fathers, such as NBC’s TV drama series on George Washington. Please do not uncritically accept such material. Our children are being taught revisionist history in their textbooks. As long as one can read cursive writing, one can read the truth evident in our original historic documents. Get the facts; do not accept fiction.

MARY KAY RICKE

Wichita

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