Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on road projects, education funding, ‘stand your ground,’ abortion, police car break-ins

Road projects are blocking routes

The city of Wichita and Sedgwick County are starting four major road construction jobs in northwest Wichita this spring: 13th and Ridge; Tyler north of 21st; 21st and Maize; and 135th Street West from 13th to 21st. Not only are the planners blocking the primary routes to go southeast, but also the alternates, except 119th Street West.

119th will become loaded with detour traffic getting out of the far northwest, but it still has a four-way stop sign at 13th. Traffic was backed up for a quarter mile at 5 p.m. March 27. Sterling Farms got a temporary traffic light on 21st when Tyler construction started. How about adding a light at 13th and 119th? It is an accident waiting to happen.

And while the city and county are at it, how about Maple and 135th Street West by Auburn Hills? It has four lanes in each direction. That’s 16 lanes of traffic with only a four-way stop sign for control. Only in Wichita.



Let us down

I appreciated the frank comments of Connie Dietz, vice president of the Wichita school board (“Ambush on education,” March 18 Opinion). Many of my friends have voiced similar comments, asking why our governor and legislators are inconsistent. They seem to emphasize that children are important in Kansas, but their actions suggest a quality education is a low financial priority. That emphasis closes the door to opportunities in life for numerous Kansas children.

I understand our budgetary crises, but a bipartisan Senate plan would increase state aid by $150 million over the next two years. I hope Gov. Sam Brownback will reconsider the need and support the Senate plan.

Just as Dietz feels the ambush on education, school personnel, students, their families and our community feel strongly that our legislators and governor have let us down.

Our business community, as well as our state government, wants to attract businesses and employees to Kansas. They in turn will explore opportunities for their family members to grow and develop in Kansas. Education opportunities on all levels will play a major role in any decisions they make.



Duty to retreat

The “stand your ground” laws in Florida and Kansas should be repealed. Those laws permit unnecessary violence. In the Trayvon Martin case, the law encouraged killing.

Under the “stand your ground” law, Martin, if he had been armed, would have been legally justified in killing his pursuer, George Zimmerman. That would have been just as tragic, as all unnecessary killing is tragic.

The “stand your ground” principle should be qualified by the “duty to retreat.” The “duty to retreat” is a legacy of English common law. It was standard in the United States through the 18th and 19th centuries.

The “duty to retreat” doctrine requires any threatened person to leave the scene of potential violence. Only in cases where no escape was possible, when one had one’s “back to the wall,” was violent defense justified.

The effect of the “duty to retreat” was to gain time for legitimate police authorities to come to the scene and intervene. It kept the peace and helped restore order.

America’s abandonment of the “duty to retreat” doctrine helps explain why we have the highest homicide rate of modern nations.



Protect the weakest

I cannot help but respond to “Ban is irrational” (March 29 Letters to the Editor). What is truly “irrational, inhumane and immoral” is taking the innocent life of unborn human beings who are unable to speak for themselves or defend themselves in any way.

I learned at a young age and was further taught while attending biology class at Wichita State University that human life begins at conception. I have also been taught and continue to believe that taking an innocent human life is murder. I think we all believe that – at least we seem to when the life being taken is someone we are close to or care about.

The letter writer defended the rights of individuals making decisions for themselves rather than having society dictate to them. I’m quite sure it didn’t mean the right of the powerful deciding to take the life of the weak. We have evidence right here in America that when a society decides to stop protecting the weak and defenseless from the strong, millions of human lives are lost.

I contend that banning the murder of any innocent human being from conception to natural death is rational, humane and, above all, moral. Turning our backs on the weakest and most vulnerable does not reflect well on us as a people and cannot be the path we want to take as a nation.



What’s next?

Regarding “Police-car break-ins cause concern” (Feb. 19 Local & State): I was a little more than concerned. As I read that criminals have moved from breaking into citizens’ cars to looting police vehicles for a bigger payoff, I was outright terrified. If times have gotten so bad economically that criminals would risk breaking into a police car for a payday, what comes next?