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Letters to the editor on Zimmerman case, lazy reporting, Koch ad, seat-belt law

  • Published Thursday, July 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.

Time to drop the Zimmerman case

George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Having tried to demonize him before and during the trial, the 24-hour news channels are interviewing anyone they can find who has an ax to grind with the verdict.

I see that the NAACP is demanding the Justice Department charge Zimmerman with a hate crime. How can he be charged with a hate crime when he was found to be not guilty of committing any crime? This seems like double jeopardy to me.

The theory seems to be that if you cannot be convicted of a crime at the local level, the prosecutor can throw it over the fence and see if the feds have any better luck. I hope the U.S. attorney general has the good judgment to drop this case, and I hope the news channels have the sense to do the same.

JOHN BROCK

Wichita

Rights violated?

I am wondering if the U.S. Justice Department is going to investigate whether people’s civil rights were violated by those participating in “protests” in response to the George Zimmerman verdict.

Police in Oakland, Calif., allowed protesters at a rally to terrorize motorists for three hours at a major intersection. Baltimore police are investigating a claim that a group of black youths beat a Hispanic man, allegedly yelling, “This is for Trayvon.” A man in Senatobia, Miss., reported he was jogging alongside a road when three black men abducted and beat him, claiming the attack was in retaliation for Zimmerman’s acquittal. Then there was the group of people protesting in Los Angeles who stomped on cars, chased bystanders and stormed a Walmart.

The judicial process worked. Zimmerman was found not guilty based on the evidence presented. It is tragic that a young man was killed, and it is also tragic that our own government and local police departments are now turning a blind eye and, in many cases, encouraging protesters and rioters to break the law.

As long as those in power push the race button and preach class warfare, our society will continue to suffer.

MIKE CRABTREE

Wichita

Lazy reporting

We were shocked that The Eagle editorial board highlighted a Roll Call article claiming local Republicans have mentioned us as possible primary challengers to U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita (“Long wait for ambitious pols,” July 15 WE Blog excerpts). We received no phone call from The Eagle, nor were we visited. That’s disappointing. A local newspaper should know its own backyard well enough to repudiate inaccurate reporting.

For the record, we do not intend to run against Pompeo. We intend to support him, just as we supported him in the previous cycle. Indeed, if the editorial board had spent 30 seconds searching the Web, it would have seen that we have contributed to his campaign.

The Washington, D.C., newspaper can at least plead ignorance. The Eagle editorial board, on the other hand, was simply lazy.

Rep. MARK HUTTON

District 105

Rep. GENE SUELLENTROP

District 91

Wichita

Needs of poor

I think it’s great that Charles Koch is concerned about the poor (“Charles Koch to launch Wichita ad campaign,” July 10 Eagle). But I daresay his advertising campaign does not go quite far enough.

If he’s really interested in making things better for poor people, why doesn’t Koch Industries pledge to hire some? And I don’t mean just people who are cash-poor because they are swamped in student loans. I mean the genuinely impoverished – people who come from many generations of privation, who have little or no access to opportunity and education, who grew up dodging drug dealers’ bullets and wondering where the next meal was coming from.

And while the company is at it, why doesn’t it hire some of the people I serve? They are people in the public mental health system, folks who are dealing with both poverty and mental health issues, people who would be lucky to get past the barriers of poverty but have the added burden of stigma and discrimination.

To do so would force Koch to confront the real barriers to lifting people out of poverty – not just the theoretical worries about what kind of nation we’re becoming, but the very real worries of the nation we already are.

LAEL EWY

Wichita

Seat-belt costs

Should a person expect or rely on others to clean his house or mow his lawn just because he doesn’t feel like doing it and has the freedom to do so? Sounds selfish. A recent Opinion Line comment said that enforcing the seat-belt law was “all about the money.” I agree, but for different reasons. The law was not passed in order to increase local government revenues. It was passed because it fiscally benefits us all.

If car occupants involved in an accident are uninsured or underinsured, the costs of their injuries are passed on to the rest of us. If those occupants were wearing seat belts, their injuries might be less severe and less costly for all.

When your freedom ends up costing the rest of us money, is it really a freedom or egotistic irresponsibility? If you insist on that freedom, then please sign a waiver that releases the rest of us from having to pay for your recovery.

RONALD WALL

Wichita

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