Huelskamp fuels irrational fears
The declaration by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, that he and his family are at risk should send a chill of alarm down the backs of all citizens (Jan. 9 WE Blog excerpts). He implied that possible physical and psychological harassment or harm would come from his GOP party leaders because of his vote against House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
This kind of rhetoric, the delusional exaggeration of patently ridiculous fears, is the kind of speech that introduces, and nourishes the growth of, irrational emotions in public discourse.
Huelskamp may be making these claims to protect his wounded ego from the truth that his party, and much of the public, regards him as an impediment to the serious work of the free world’s premier deliberative body. He is claiming that his incompetence was really an example of courage. However, this and other acts of playground bravado merely serve to discredit him, to shame his party and all who voted for him, and to soil the whole of civic life.
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Elected officials should be in the business of representing to the public the historically courageous American ideal of the reasoned negotiation of the varied interests and resources of the people, according to the rules set forth by the Constitution.
“Self-protection is a natural right” (Jan. 10 Letters to the Editor) endorsed the position of gun-ownership advocates that the main reason citizens should own and carry weapons is that they are the most effective defense. Since there is ample legal protection for this position, U.S. households have more than half the guns of all households in the world. That statistic should make our citizens by far the safest in the world, right? Wrong.
The same issue of The Eagle reported that the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine found that Americans were seven times more likely to die in a homicide and 20 times more likely to die in a shooting than people in other wealthy nations of the world on average. The irony is as obvious as are the lies in the gun advocates’ position.
May we please finally have some people with common sense to write and enforce gun-control regulations for our country? (By the way, if you have not noticed, the word “regulated” is part of the Second Amendment.)
Listen up, liberals: Citizens do not own assault rifles for frivolous reasons. These weapons prevent monarchy by keeping government honest. You 47 percent may voluntarily board railcars in the mistaken belief that Kristallnacht is a jazz festival. The rest of us remember that Germany 75 years ago was also a “civilized society.”
Democracy exists only when absolute power cannot corrupt absolutely.
“Guns on tables?” (Jan. 10 Letters to the Editor) proposed “to designate a limited number of willing and well-trained school staff members to use firearms in emergencies.” As a teacher who has spent more than 30 years in local high schools, I find this idea appalling as well as impractical.
For example, Wichita East High School, with 2,300 students, and Derby High School, with 1,950 students, present huge problems. Derby is the largest high school building in Kansas, and East is not a great deal smaller. A cursory look at the floor plan of each of these schools will reveal the difficulty of the letter writer’s proposal. Theseus and the Minotaur come to mind, but Ariadne doesn’t attend either of these schools.
Remember: There was an armed guard at Columbine High School who was able to take several shots at one of the perpetrators. He missed. An armed policeman arrived on the scene very quickly, but he fared no better than the security guard.
In spite of their training, neither of these well-trained men with firearms was able to stop the carnage. Clearly, a more practical plan is called for.
CAROL M. WEBB