Letters to the Editor

June 3, 2014

Letters to the editor on 2nd Amendment, coal, cancer care, Tuskegee Airman, Koch brothers

Many news stories about the California shootings on May 23 talked about the “madman” killer. That’s a tragic smoke screen for all of us to hide behind.

Speak truth about 2nd Amendment

Many news stories about the California shootings on May 23 talked about the “madman” killer. That’s a tragic smoke screen for all of us to hide behind.

What concerns me are our political leaders, apparently “sane,” who continue to do nothing courageous to end the wave of deaths across this nation. According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 4,300 people in the United States have died by firearms since the beginning of 2014.

Over the past 30 years, the Second Amendment has resurfaced as an “individual” right rather than its original purpose, which was to establish an armed militia to protect a new nation. It is time for a 21st-century reinterpretation of the Second Amendment.

The National Rifle Association and those it owns – such as “Joe the Plumber,” who posted that “your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights” – display an “insane” understanding of the Second Amendment.

The NRA and those it owns, from my City Council here in Wichita to President Obama, need to learn a 21st-century interpretation of constitutional law.

The NRA and those it owns, such as CNN, MSNBC and the mainstream media, need to find and include voices who articulately and calmly speak the truth about the Second Amendment, how it is tragically misused and mangled, literally, to death.



In defense of coal

The masses are beating up on coal as dirty, polluting, disease-causing and a whole host of additional disgusting things. Even if we are moving beyond coal as an energy source, consider the following important continuing roles that coal can play:

•  The smell of burning coal in a campfire will keep other campers from crowding in with their camping spots or coming over to show pictures of their grandkids.
•  Coal can be used to make natural gas sound appealing. When hydraulic fracturing drillers are accused of causing earthquakes, they can say: “Would you rather have coal mining blow up the whole countryside?”
•  Lots of work is needed for cleaning up resulting pollution from mining and burning coal. Many researchers and health professionals are needed for studying and treating lung problems. Good-paying jobs are created.
•  A burning landscape of opened coal seams gives us a real-life picture of what hell might look like.
•  For centuries, canaries have warned miners of danger by sacrificing their lives to poisonous gas. Some coal mines need to be kept open to allow these amazing birds to continue this legendary and heroic role.
•  Flaky lumps of coal are in demand to send as anniversary presents to ex-spouses.
•  Can you think of better eyes to put on a snowman than glittering pieces of coal?



Fight cancer

In Kansas, an estimated 14,630 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Unfortunately, 5,460 will lose their battle with the disease this year alone. But we can do something to make their lives a little less difficult.

I urge Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, to make the fight against cancer a priority this session. There are two bills pending in Congress that would improve the quality of life of patients undergoing care for serious illnesses such as cancer by expanding patient access to palliative care.

Palliative care is a growing field of specialized medical care that improves the quality of life of patients and their families by focusing on the symptoms of treatment. Palliative care works in favor of the patient. Yet thousands of patients who are suffering from the side effects of treatment have no idea that palliative care is available to them and can help them relieve their symptoms and focus on getting well.

Pompeo has the opportunity to co-sponsor federal legislation to increase access to palliative care so patients and their families can have that extra layer of support when they need it most.



Airmen persisted

The Eagle is to be complimented on the article about Wichita’s Aldee Miller, who is our own Tuskegee Airman (“The fight for freedom, at home and abroad,” May 26 Eagle).

There are an abundance of interred military members who served honorably who should be remembered, many of whom are family members. But in Miller’s case, he had to strive against racial prejudice to be able to perform as admirably as he did.

We should all be grateful that he and his fellow airmen persisted and performed as admirably as they did. We should all be thankful that his story turned out as beautifully as it did.



Too busy to worry

I just want to thank a letter writer for suggesting that the Koch brothers do all things (“Turn over to Kochs,” April 29 Letters to the Editor). We are all way too busy to worry our pretty little heads about whom to vote for. I have had many sleepless nights wondering how in the world I was going to be able to pick the perfect person for an elected office. The letter writer’s suggestion solves this most difficult problem.

Now I can worry about cleaning my house and making sure dinner is on the table every night for my husband and being the all-perfect wife. I can only hope I do a really good job.



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