Don’t fear those who are armed
Regarding “Competing rights” (May 20 Letters to the Editor): Where does a person’s right to feel uncomfortable around me because I choose to be armed cross paths with my right to be so armed?
There seems to be an invalid assumption on the part of many that the evil tool in my possession will eventually make me want to use it. Actually, the opposite is true.
You are called to a higher “level of reaction” when carrying a weapon. If I am at a party with you and we argue, causing you to lose your cool and throw your drink in my face, do you really believe my reaction would be to shoot you? Wow. I have been carrying a concealed weapon for more than 20 years and have had no reason to display it, much less use it.
So a person who feels uncomfortable around me because I am armed really kind of scares me, because of the fear of an inanimate object. What about someone who just injured 60 people with his car? If he had been a little faster, there would have been real carnage. “High-capacity car,” it would have been labeled, I guess.
Please, remember this quote: “The brain is the weapon; everything else is supplemental.”
After reading numerous stories told by caregivers of intellectually and developmentally disabled Kansans, I think it’s obvious they’re not making that stuff up. The trouble with members of the I/DD community is that they are speaking in an esoteric language that Gov. Sam Brownback simply cannot or will not comprehend.
They speak in the language of human suffering, of hard reality. Brownback is focused on his fantasies of money and power.
The governor’s callousness is fueled by his delusional hopes for higher office that he hopes will be fulfilled by catering to the Kochs, Americans for Prosperity and other wealthy concerns. It’s no coincidence that the folks he’s targeting have no voice, no big money, no moneyed lobbying groups, so they’re easy targets.
Brownback’s policies are based on Arthur Laffer’s trickle-down economics: Make the wealthy wealthier and, poof, we’re all on easy street. (That worked so well from 2000 to 2008 on a national level, what could go wrong?) Just add the I/DD community to the impending scrap heap of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, the selection system for appellate judges, sales-tax expiration, funding for K-12 schools, and, eventually, the three separate branches of state government, and on and on. And let’s not forget the numerous new ideologically driven laws that are sure to cost tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to defend (probably unsuccessfully).
Federal aid needed
Please, please, please just make the federal government get out of our internal business. We don’t want big government – never have, never will. We can take care of our own. Send that pesky Federal Emergency Management Agency away. And we don’t need, or want, any federal disaster aid.
Is that the message we are sending to Washington, D.C.? I hope not. We, citizens of the United States, need to be just that – united. So, if you have a legislative agenda that dismisses federal aid and the federal government, you need to be prepared for the worst. And right now, Moore, Okla., looks like a worst-case scenario.
Just where does this “disaster aid” come from? Oklahoma citizens? If I were a libertarian or run-of-the-mill Republican, I would give a hearty, “Yes, we can provide for our own.” But is that what we’re going to do? If lawmakers vote “yes,” then I applaud them for their idealism. If they say, “We need federal government aid,” then I applaud them for their pragmatism.
What we have here is a human tragedy. Any and all aid should be accepted, gratefully and gracefully. And not forgotten.
Stop labeling people
A May 18 Opinion Line contributor was upset because there had been no R&B or Hispanic entertainers at Intrust Bank Arena recently. We have had some great entertainers at the arena, and I don’t keep track of their race, color or creed. If they entertain me, then I’ll go see them.
When are we going to stop putting labels on people? If we continue to do that, we are bound to have racial problems. As far as I’m concerned, we are all Americans trying to make a living, obey the laws of the land and do our best to get along with one another.
In my younger days there was an entertainer who was black and Jewish. He also was very short and had one eye. What a combination for a prejudiced, segregated country. Yet Sammy Davis Jr. entertained millions of people in his short life.