America’s bigger problem
There was little that could have been done to prevent the Las Vegas music festival massacre. The real issue in this country is that we have a gun violence problem.
Our elected representatives pass on their condolences in public while they caution that now is not the time for political debate about gun control. The number of gun deaths in the U.S. from 2000-15 was higher than number of deaths from AIDS, drugs, wars, and terrorism combined.
That is unacceptable. The CDC has not funded a single study aimed at reducing harm from guns since 2001. In 1997, an amendment was added to an operations bill that passed in Congress with a stipulation that the CDC be barred from any research that will “advocate or promote gun controls.” So, there is insufficient hard data on this country’s gun violence problem.
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For gun owners, it is an issue of freedom to bear arms. For the whole country, it is an issue of life and death. Which issue is more important? Concerned, informed, and outraged voters can impact this country’s gun violence problem.
Clarence Gilbert, Rose Hill
The problem’s with people
Of course, citizens should not own automatic weapons. Automatic firearms have been illegal for years. The assault weapons sold in Wichita and throughout the United States are not automatic firearms. They are nothing more than a rifle used to hunt deer, elk and other large game made to look like a military firearm.
Timothy McVeigh used ammonia nitrate as a component to make a bomb. Thousands of farmers own ammonia nitrate, a type of fertilizer. Do you want to ban ammonia nitrate because some farmer may make a bomb?
The Boston Marathon bombers made a bomb using a pressure cooker.Are you going to suggest we ban pressure cookers because someone might make a bomb out of one?
You cannot legally buy a bomb made with ammonia nitrate or a bomb made with a pressure cooker. You also cannot legally buy a firearm that is fully automatic.
We don’t need more gun laws, we don’t need more ammonia nitrate laws and we don’t need more laws governing the usage of pressure cookers. What we need is for criminals and mentally challenged people to stop using those things to hurt others. The problem is with people.
Larry Houtz, Wichita
Hileman for School Board District 2
I am enthusiastic about Trish Hileman for the Wichita school board in District 2. Trish has been our neighbor in College Hill for many years and I have found her to be fair, honest and objective in her approach to problems involving our schools.
She has five children in Wichita schools and has always had a straight-forward outlook for helping when asked. She works well with people of all ages and is supportive of special-needs children at all levels. She has shown her leadership skills as president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association and President of her PTO.
Being a hard worker, she is anxious and willing to be a school board member. She would be an asset for our community, teachers and children.
Shelby Smith, Wichita
Let voters decide on health care
The conservatives and too many Democrats will never deliver medical insurance written with voting taxpayers in mind. Voters need to take over and work directly with the groups that are working for us.
Voters should know too many on both sides of the aisle take money from the insurance industry and from health care providers. In addition to Wall Street investments.
Voters need a special election. Leave the final decision and choices to voting consumers the folks with the money.
Choices for maximum satisfaction:
▪ Obamacare, which retains the health insurance industry for those who are happy with Obamacare. After all, it is their dollar. This needs stiff federal regulations that cannot be superceded by the states.
▪ Single-payer Medicare for all is excellent coverage for those who wish to enroll. The absolute best choice.
▪ Self-financed health care for those able to do so.
▪ All disabled vets should receive Medicare with a 100-percent benefit so they and their families can receive care immediately. Make it retroactive so all vets are covered. It reduces stress on VA centers.
▪ Business should not be forced to provide health insurance.
Richard Heckler, Lawrence
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