Officer will still face consequences
In a statement after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, the family of Michael Brown said: “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.”
Though that reaction, without the benefit of all the facts, might be understandable from grieving parents, it is not excusable from anyone else. It is dangerously destabilizing for all of us when it comes from anyone else.
To say that Wilson will not face the consequences of his actions clearly suggests little if any regard for judicial process. It implies that retribution should be had without the benefit of lawful process. Only grief and cause matter. Facts are not important.
How can anyone say Wilson has not faced consequences? His hopes to continue a career as a police officer are likely lost. Since the death of Brown, Wilson has lived with threats, not only to his life but with the possibility of imprisonment. Perhaps the worst consequence of all is the remorse he will carry the rest of his life for having ended the life of someone for whom he wished no harm.
Racial tension remains alive and well in America because the fire is stoked by too many on both sides of the divide. Brown and Wilson are part of the history that records the tragedy of race relations. For their part during their brief encounter, both would have wished that so much alienation and estrangement had not been part of their experience.
RON A. HOFFMAN
With all the media verbiage concerning the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, why is it that one seldom hears from the media what Brown actually did to cause Wilson to feel he needed to use lethal force to protect himself?
It appears that the media do all possible to stir people to anger, rather than clearly explaining what the grand jury found to not indict Wilson.
Regarding “Brownback: ‘We’re looking at everything’ to plug budget,” Nov. 25 Eagle): So Gov. Sam Brownback didn’t know the state was in financial trouble until after the election? How convenient for him. Too bad he didn’t hear Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and the economists telling him that for months. Maybe he should have his hearing checked.
When people complain (as they often do) about the quality of education in America, they rarely mention studies that are at the core of any education: the study of history, literature, culture, society, values, ideas, individual aspirations, the various systems of order (physical, social, political, mathematical, epistemological), the participation of individuals, civic responsibilities, what constitutes the public good, and so on. Our schools have been slow to emphasize these studies (compared with the offerings of other countries) for two to three generations at least, for a variety of reasons.
People feel the emptiness of our culture in this kind of knowledge, and we listen to radio host Garrison Keillor, anxious to hear talk of poetry, English majors, the unfathomable value of libraries, the incommensurability of ketchup and rhubarb pie when measured against medications: the people’s wisdom. Universities and colleges-for-hire are trying to redefine the educational mission in terms of gadgets, technologies, businesses. It is important for all of us to get the skills necessary to get a job, but this is training, not education.
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty: and cogito, ergo sum.
DOROTHY K. BILLINGS
The word “accidental,” when applied to the discharge of a firearm, is way off base. There is no such thing as an accidental discharge of a firearm.
Gun goes off while cleaning? A direct violation of every safety program’s first rule: Unload your weapon before cleaning.
Child finds a gun and “accidentally” shoots another child, parent, brother, sister, etc.? That is not an accidental discharge. That gun went off because the owner of that weapon left it where a child could find it, and that owner should be charged accordingly.
Gun owner drops his weapon and it “accidentally” discharges? Nope. Once again, safety rules were not followed. A round had to be in the chamber for that weapon to fire – again in violation of safety rules.
My point is, if gun owners can’t follow simple rules concerning gun safety, they have no business owning guns, Second Amendment or no Second Amendment. They are a danger to themselves and society.
JOHN D. EKSTROMER
Not all paid off
“Corporate political spending pays off” (Nov. 28 Now Consider This) wasn’t entirely supported by its content. It reported that Wichita’s Koch Industries got back in federal business only 72 percent of what it spent on political contributions and lobbying. Of course, that may be just because Koch is not as good at it as other predators such as Boeing, once Wichita’s biggest employer.
HARRY R. CLEMENTS
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