Letters to the Editor

December 13, 2013

Letters to the editor on concealed-carry, Huelskamp, media incivility, airport name

I am pleased to see that law-abiding citizens of Wichita will be able to use more public buildings without forfeiting their ability to defend themselves (Dec. 11 Eagle). This development is particularly welcome for our Central Library.

Concealed-carry not a threat

I am pleased to see that law-abiding citizens of Wichita will be able to use more public buildings without forfeiting their ability to defend themselves (Dec. 11 Eagle). This development is particularly welcome for our Central Library.

This library is a wonderful community resource that unfortunately doubles as a homeless shelter during very hot and cold weather. While the majority of shelter-seeking constituents are little trouble, it is clear that folks suffering from mental illness and substance abusers are concentrated more densely in and around the library. Cases where this state renders lewd or violent behavior are infrequent but not unheard of in that facility.

To tell Wichitans not to patronize the library if they feel it is unsafe is to deny taxpayers access to a facility they helped fund.

The dissenters to this policy were well-intentioned, albeit reacting emotionally and without regard to facts. Of course firearm training would be less in-depth for someone not charged with chasing down criminals, enforcing the law and being obliged to protect others. Neither the training nor the background check is a joke. I have yet to meet a concealed-carry permit holder who has less than hundreds of hours of experience with firearms, or one who would use deadly force carelessly or unnecessarily. Perhaps that is why an innocent bystander is five times more likely to be killed by police than by a permit holder.




Regarding “Concealed-carry OK’d for most city buildings” (Dec. 11 Eagle): Wichita City Council member Janet Miller should take the time to research how much training and practice the average concealed-carry permit holder has compared with the national average of police departments. PoliceOne.com reports that, “In reality, most police departments only train about two times a year, averaging less than 15 hours.” Speaking only for myself, I train one to two hours twice a month.

American Police Beat reports that the average response time to a 911 call is between nine and 11 minutes. I am not comfortable waiting that long if what Miller states is correct, that “law enforcement officers in the state of emergency hit their targets 30 to 50 percent of the time.” This Joe Schmo feels much more comfortable knowing I have the training and ability to protect myself, my family and others in a crisis.

Council member Lavonta Williams said: “My thing is the kids. What we are teaching them?” My response is that all of my kids know how to shoot, and when the grandkids are old enough, they will learn also.



Don’t harass

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, spent Dec. 6 outside South Wind Women’s Center with several high school students, harassing patients and workers as they went into the clinic. The students were missing class that day, while Huelskamp should have been in Washington, D.C., taking care of the business that the 1st Congressional District voters sent him to do.

Huelskamp and the students might think that harassing patients and workers at a women’s clinic was more important than being at the Capitol or in school. Given that women who use the South Wind’s range of services are seeking legal medical care, Huelskamp and the students’ efforts come across as grandstanding. The protesters might want to educate themselves about the history of reproductive rights in America before they decide to stand outside a clinic harassing people. Furthermore, Huelskamp needs a refresher course in what his job is.



Media devolved

I empathized with columnist Davis Merritt and was sadly reminded of just how far media news, both print and TV, has devolved since the days of my youth (“Vitriol in political talk can kill all discussion,” Dec. 3 Opinion).

Merritt lamented the personal animus hurled at him recently, compared with the mild responses he received years ago, which attests to the crudities and uncivil escalation of inappropriate insult and dialogue found in our newspapers and blogs, on YouTube and in hour-long rants of TV “talking heads.” Truth be told, there have been very few serious writers/commentators in the past 20 years who have had a true and positive attitude of professionalism in producing their product. Most newspaper columnists published today in The Eagle, such as Cal Thomas, Leonard Pitts and Kathleen Parker, have a personal ax to grind or a politicized agenda.

There has always been controversy in “political talk.” But today the “spewed vitriol” has gone beyond the pale of decency, and we are each worse off for that. Corporate newspapers and TV networks are responsible, but so are we as citizen consumers.

I would hope this is a wake-up call.



Waste of money

Changing the name of Mid-Continent Airport will not change how anyone sees Wichita. It will not bring “recognition.” It will certainly not bring more traffic. You don’t choose a destination by the name of the airport; you choose it because it’s where you want to go.

How many airports can you name? I’ll bet six or fewer, and those are in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. You might be able to name a seventh if you watch “CSI.”

Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world. Do you know the name? Potentially spending up to $750,000 to change Mid-Continent to Dwight D. Eisenhower is a waste of money. But then, that is what the government does best.



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