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Letters to the editor on guns at school, turnpike, bad audiences, pope

  • Published Monday, March 18, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

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.

Teachers shouldn’t carry guns

“No” to teachers carrying guns (“3 gun bills move ahead in Kansas House,” March 14 Eagle). Many schools have security guards, and that should be enough.

The message we would be sending to the kids is that they aren’t safe in their schools. No, no, no.

There’s a time and place for people to carry guns, and that is if they’re going hunting or target shooting, and they can have them in their homes in case of robbery. Tasers are bad enough.

EUNA F. ARMSTRONG

Park City

Turnpike debt OK

State Rep. Mark Hutton, R-Wichita, made a naive case for merging the Kansas Turnpike Authority with the Kansas Department of Transportation when he argued against the turnpike’s debt (“Turnpike should pay off debt, move to KDOT,” March 14 Opinion). The turnpike is no different from KDOT in using debt to fund projects.

If debt is now bad for the turnpike, it is also bad for KDOT. Kansans pay a toll every time they fill their car at the gas pump with the gas tax collected. Governments don’t save money in a savings account to pay cash for their roads and bridges.

There was contemplation in the current law for the turnpike when the bonds are paid off, but the governor’s proposal repeals those sections and replaces them without safeguards included in the existing law.

Whether or not now is the time to bring an end to the turnpike, Kansans deserve a better bill than the smoke-and-mirrors effort to rob the bank at the turnpike for other means. Kansans should demand more oversight for the use of turnpike tolls than the governor’s plan would propose.

JON M. CALLEN

Wichita

Bad audiences

I feel the pain of columnist Suzanne Perez Tobias in her student musical experience (“Where were the manners at orchestra concert?” March 14 WichiTalk). The behavior of audiences in school settings is atrocious.

But this behavior during school programs is tolerated because no educator will stand up and say it is wrong. Only once or twice in my life have I seen a principal or teacher “stop the show” and ask that the audience’s attention be redirected to the performers. Nor do they ask the disrupting parties to kindly leave.

The educators in charge of these events don’t take any measures to educate the audience. Sure, they might ask for proper etiquette before the performance begins, but there is never any more action once the offenders begin their insolent behavior.

The institutionalized rudeness is commonplace because of fear. The powers that be in schools are afraid of the offenders, afraid a scene will be caused. If anyone could give another explanation, I’d love to hear it.

When the schools want more money, the cry is, “It’s for the children.” That’s my cry for students in this situation. Not only is it for the students, but for a civilized society as well.

CAROL HERTER

Wichita

Humble pope

I was very happy to read about Jorge Bergoglio’s elevation from being archbishop of Buenos Aires to pontiff of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church (March 14 Eagle).

Pope Francis has a great many positive qualities. As a Catholic myself, I hope he can cleanse some of the stains of scandal and turmoil that have marred the Vatican hierarchy in recent years.

Although the world rejoices now, I would cautiously remind my fellow Catholics to be mindful that Pope Francis is likely to be a “transitional pope” or “caretaker pope.” At age 76, he is unlikely to have a papacy as lengthy as the late, great Pope John Paul II. His duties are arduous, even for a much more younger man. I wish him well.

I especially liked one sentence in The Eagle’s article: He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.

How true. Pope Francis, so far, demonstrates that sincere humility.

JAMES A. MARPLES

Esbon

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