Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on Sikh shooting, moderate losses, Hawker bonuses, guns, police shootings

Nurture a spirit of hospitality

The attack on worshippers at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., on Sunday was shocking and sobering. It reminds us how vulnerable people of faith are to those who are bigoted, mentally unstable or racist. Our hearts and prayers go out to the surviving families and friends of those who were killed.

We do not yet know the reason for this attack, but we can affirm that such attacks are violent and senseless. Our country has been in a state of deep angst for some years now. It is time to reflect on who we are and who our founders hoped we would be.

We must remember that our country’s founders intended to create a nation that was open and free of religious bigotry. “The bosom of America,” George Washington wrote, was to be “open to receive … the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions.”

It is time we nurtured a spirit of hospitality as our founders intended, instead of a culture of hostility and angst. It is time to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves.

The founders of our nation and the founders of our various faith traditions all urge us to live peacefully together. Let us do so. Let us do so now.



Inter-Faith Ministries


Why moderates lost

I think The Eagle’s bias showed in the article “Conservatives gain in Senate” (Aug. 8 Eagle). “Backed by a waterfall of dollars from political action committees and other outside groups” indeed. Like the poor “moderate Republicans” didn’t have any supporters, and it was just so unfair and all (whine, whine).

Maybe these poor moderates lost because their actions didn’t match their rhetoric. Maybe it was because it’s time to elect people who will support a fair or flat tax system that treats everyone the same, that doesn’t penalize those who are successful. And most of all, maybe it’s time to elect people who know how to balance a checkbook and who will stop rolling over every time some idiot bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., waves a dollar in front of them or threatens to withhold one if they don’t do exactly what they want.

And if any of these newly elected officials’ actions don’t match their rhetoric or if they forget that they represent all of us and not just the big-money special-interest groups, I predict that they, too, will be voted out.


Valley Center

No bonuses

Do I understand correctly that as Hawker Beechcraft plunges forward into bankruptcy, its eight top “leaders” stand to receive more than $5.3 million in bonuses so they will do their best?

Obviously, their best so far has brought the company to its knees. I am not sure we can afford to have them do even better. If I meet all of my targets at my job, I stand to receive a bonus of an extra few thousand dollars, and I get to keep my job.

I think the only bonus that should even be considered for this arrogant group is that they might be allowed to stay on. What a low blow for any of the hard workers of Hawker Beechcraft who already have been shown the door through no fault of their own.



Feel safer?

Tell me again why I am supposed to feel safer with people walking around carrying guns? According to police (Aug. 3 Local & State), a man found his car and thought it had been stolen (it hadn’t been, but even if it had …), then pulled out a gun and shot another man in the face. I have seen no report that the alleged shooter had any sort of criminal record, so there goes the argument that banning guns won’t prevent crime because criminals don’t care about the law.

It’s difficult to imagine that this would have escalated in this way (especially for the second person who got hit by a ricochet) if the man had not been armed with a gun. And for those who will say that the person in the car should have had a gun: Great, so then two people could have been shot over a misunderstanding?



Excessive force

Police shootings by the Wichita Police Department are out of control.

On July 10, Karen Jackson, a 45-year-old grandmother, was shot and killed by two well-armed officers. They are trying to justify their use of deadly force by claiming they feared for their lives.

Police Chief Norman Williams has said that officers faced with knives have no choice but to open fire. Yet corrections officers can’t carry firearms, and they disarm dangerous people with knives without killing them.

This is the eighth police shooting since October. The incidents are under investigation, but all previous Wichita officer-involved shootings have been declared “justified.”

We need a special investigation by an agency not tied to the Police Department, Sedgwick County, the state of Kansas or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. We need a citizen review board with powers to investigate police, independent of city officials.

Join us to protest the Police Department’s excessive-force policies at 4:30 p.m. Friday at 21st and Hillside.