Find wisdom to avoid a nuclear war
I was born the year the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Growing up in public schools in the 1950s, we all participated in the duck and cover drills for a potential nuclear attack.
I was a senior in high school during the Cuban missile crisis in late October of 1962. I remember sleepless nights on the farm wondering where we could go to survive a nuclear attack, or even if we would have time to escape.
My wife and I had just returned to Wichita with our two young daughters the year before the United States and the Soviet Union signed an interim Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty – a sign of hope. Since then, seven more countries either have acquired, or are presumed to have, some nuclear weapons.
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Our grandson and granddaughter have grown up in the farm house where I grew up and attended the same school system. I have hoped and prayed that their generation would not have to experience the fears of a nuclear holocaust, or go to war.
One miscalculation on the Korean Peninsula by either side, or the collateral deaths of Russian soldiers in Syria, could be the tipping point. There would be no winners.
Can we find the collective wisdom for peace? God help us if we can’t.
William C. Skaer, Wichita
Asking for trouble
The writer of “Will guns on campus increase risks?” (April 16 Letter to the Editor), a current college student, covered the situation very thoroughly with one exception: Very few people are emotionally mature at age 21.
For college students to be carrying firearms when they may also be experimenting with being away from family for the first time, including trying alcohol and some experimenting with drugs, is asking for trouble – and our legislators know it.
These lawmakers, elected by voters, are more concerned with their National Rifle Association score than public safety.
Joan Fox, Wichita
Some election experts assert that anti-abortion advertisements were decisive in last week’s congressional special election (April 15 Eagle). The close victory by pro-life Republican Ron Estes was attributed to an 11th hour blitz of abortion ads attacking the Democratic candidate.
The early voting, which occurred before the ad blitz, put Estes behind. But he surged on Election Day to become the winner. This swing was one reason for attributing the ultimate victory to the Republican blitz. Sadly, a low voter turnout appeared to give the Democratic candidate reason to hope for a win in a traditional Republican stronghold.
The article mentioned the 1991 “Summer of Mercy,” a 46-day protest of abortion clinics existing in Wichita at that time. The protests were quite vigorous, leading to 2,700 arrests of protestors. In 2009, Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller was shot and killed as he was about to attend Sunday services at his church.
I used to visit with Tiller, who I sometimes found sitting alone in the Wesley Medical Center physicians lounge late on weekday evenings. He appeared to suffer from the absence of the collegiality most physicians share upon meeting one another.
Abortion, sadly, will most likely always be with us and will remain an important issue for most voters. There, however, is no reason for physical force or violence.
Richard Gilmartin, Wichita
Wrong to overbook
The recent incident of a man being dragged off an airplane (April 14 Eagle) raises a basic question: When the passenger has reserved a seat on the plane and paid for it, what right has the airline to ask the passenger to give the seat to another person?
When the airline accepts payment, it commits itself. Any airline that overbooks should be prosecuted.
Prem Bajaj, Wichita
Make developers pay
There is a simple way to pay for the proposed $7.2 million park in northwest Wichita (March 30 Eagle): The developers and companies that profited from draining Cadillac Lake’s surrounding swamps should pay for it.
When Lowes built its store, the surrounding land was drained in order to create a viable construction site. Anyone with an internet connection can pull up U.S. Geological Survey maps of the area around Maize Road and 29th Street North. The original map printed in 1961 and revised in 1984 clearly shows a much wider reach of Cadillac Lake than what currently exists.
Though I have nothing against commercial development, I do believe that the parties that have profited from the creation of this problem should foot the bill. And this is a problem. That area of the county is a flood plain, and regardless of the recent droughts, it will flood again, which is why this “park” needs to be built.
The contractors who built the homes, as well as businesses such as Lowes and Target, should pay for this and no one else.
Nicholas Wyant, Bloomington, Ind.
Taxes worth it
A very wealthy businessman in Wichita recently said: “I don’t mind paying taxes. Look at the wonderful country we have to live in.”
William T. Davitt, Wichita
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