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Letters to the editor on food stamps, closing schools, gun control, abortion, stolen truck

  • Published Saturday, April 6, 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.

If food stamps are cut, more will go hungry

Cutting food-stamp benefits by $36 billion, as Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., proposes (March 22 Eagle), would increase hunger among our most vulnerable neighbors.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, is our primary national nutrition program and works just as it’s supposed to. Households that receive SNAP benefits have incomes below the poverty level and include the most vulnerable among us: children, disabled and elderly people.

In Kansas, 1 in 7 families lives with hunger. The average time people receive SNAP food assistance is nine months. The large number of people currently eligible is due to high unemployment and recession, which will go down as our economy improves. It is also important to know that SNAP has low rates of fraud and error.

The bottom line is: If SNAP is cut, more people will go hungry every day. Our federal nutrition programs deliver more than 23 times the amount of food assistance that private charitable food programs can provide, and these outreach programs already are stretched to the limit. Food banks have experienced an almost 50 percent increase in demand since 2006.

Our community responds generously to hunger through emergency food assistance, but meeting day-after-day food and nutrition needs for people who are poor is a public responsibility.

We must not balance our budget by increasing hunger.

CAROLYN BENEFIEL

SALLY C. FAHRENTHOLD

Wichita

Blame on district

At the March 25 Wichita school board meeting, superintendent John Allison said that the public should be frustrated with the state legislators, not the school board, for decisions made due to funding cuts.

But it was not state legislators who told members of the African-American community that if they voted for the 2008 school bond, forced busing as they knew it would end, their existing schools would be updated and renovated, and new schools would be built in their communities.

Even when the school board knew about the educational funding reductions coming from the state, it pressed on with making bad decisions in building new schools outside of communities when it knew that the existing schools weren’t full.

It appears to me that Allison does not care that low-income students would be forced to be bused yet again if the district closes Southeast High School and builds another school at 127th Street East and Pawnee.

I hope that when the school district has community meetings to get input on the decision to close Southeast, Allison won’t blame others for the closing of schools.

MARY DEAN

Wichita

Gun not at fault

Shame on President Obama for making a political game of gun control. He still has not figured out that the gun was not at fault in the Newtown, Conn., killing of children.

If we are to place blame, let us place the blame correctly. The school system should have seen problems with Adam Lanza, but it failed him.

No. 1 on the list are the parents, whose duty it was to raise him.

The gun became the tool of choice to kill with. But there are many, many other tools he could have picked.

LEROY KEITER

Colwich

Not human beings

The writer of “Abortion wrong” (March 26 Letters to the Editor) correctly noted that the fetal cells growing within a woman are alive, are human and have a unique DNA. She concluded that those cells are human beings. This was a mistake.

She unwittingly described every cell in the human body, and if she were correct, those millions of human cells we slough off over a lifetime would be dead human beings instead of dead human cells, which is absurd.

It is customary to claim that fetal cells (or, at least, the zygote) have the potential to become a human being, but this is both false and irrelevant.

It’s false because about 50 percent of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions, largely as a result of genetic defects.

The claim is irrelevant because a potential human being is not (yet?) an actual human being. Thus claiming that it should not be aborted because it is a human being is obviously mistaken.

We now have the ability to detect tragic defects early during a pregnancy, defects so severe that nature usually aborts them. We must decide what to do with this new knowledge. Neither dogmatic religion nor fallacious secular arguments can help us with this decision.

GERALD H. PASKE

Wichita

Abortion ends life

According to “Women’s business” (March 23 Letters to the Editor), “an embryo or a fetus is aborted, not a child.” Pro-choicers need to put labels on things to make themselves feel better about terminating a pregnancy.

Let’s dispense with the labels. Whatever you choose to call it, there is a discernible heartbeat and closed circulatory system through which blood circulates that may well be a different type from the mother’s at six to eight weeks after conception. The nervous system is beginning to form. That is a fact. At the start of the abortion procedure, the heart is beating. At the end of the procedure, the heart is no longer beating.

Again, whatever you choose to call it, it is now dead, and it was terminated by the abortion doctor at the request of the mother. Whether or not you believe abortion should be legal is your choice, but at least be honest and stop wrapping it in euphemisms to hide what is really taking place. An abortion ends a life.

CHUCK JONES

Wichita

Punk ruined plans

I’m 65 years old and had been living in my travel trailer because it was the cheapest way to get by. But due to health reasons, I needed to sell it and move to Missouri. So last August, I packed all my belongings in my truck and headed home.

I made it as far as Wichita and stopped at a motel. But that night someone stole my truck and everything I owned. The truck was found by police, wrecked and empty.

News reporters told me to open a fund account because people wanted to help. I closed that account with only the dollar that I put in it.

The thief ruined my plan for my final years. Having worked quite hard all my life, I can’t begin to explain what this has done to me. Now I am shopping at Goodwill, trying to rebuild my wardrobe and everything else I own.

The punk should enjoy it now, because he will be judged later by a much bigger person than me.

DIANE EDWARDS

Osage Beach, Mo.

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