Wrong to retaliate over Sandy vote
A Pennsylvania man threatened never to visit Kansas again because of his disgust with our congressional representatives’ vote regarding Hurricane Sandy (Jan. 12 Letters to the Editor). Please allow me to dispense to him some much-needed education about our great state that he apparently missed when he was here.
Some of us believe that intrusion of the federal government reduces our ability to take care of ourselves and one another. Others believe that even when the government steps in, it is less effective or efficient than other efforts. Many Kansans believe that it is principled to vote against a piece of legislation that contains one just cause but is filled with all kinds of pork and crony favoritism. Some stay away from politics altogether but attend churches and other community organizations and donate time and treasure that help those in need all over the world – including those suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Though a few here in Kansas may now espouse simpleminded retaliation against the beautiful state of Pennsylvania, collectively we are better than that. I hope that the next time the letter writer disagrees with a position of our representatives, he will be better than that, too.
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The core issue with gun violence, and with most crimes, is trust. When someone uses an AR-15 to shoot kids, or rapes someone, or flies a plane into a skyscraper, he is committing a horrible crime. And one of the most destructive aspects of the crime is the destruction of trust.
When we see or read about crimes, it can lower our trust of other members of our society, especially strangers or members of other religions or groups. Furthermore, people destroy trust when they advocate a fearful society where guns threaten people everywhere. They are actually making the world more violent by framing it in terms of fear and distrust of our community members.
What we can do, if we choose to, is to create more trust in our society and world while reducing the number of guns.
There’s nothing wrong with shotguns and rifles (locked up when not in use) for hunting. Those activities can flourish while we build trust and reduce the number of guns that are designed, or at least effectively used, for killing kids quickly and in large numbers.
Building trust is hard work and requires listening to people. Life on Earth should be peaceful and beautiful, so let’s get to work.
No ‘gun crisis’
As politicians try to develop gun-control legislation, the media as well as politicians refer to the situation as a “gun crisis.” Why is it a gun crisis? Can an inanimate object really be the source of our troubles?
One reform being proposed is an assault-weapons ban. But what really makes a weapon one of assault? According to the previous ban, an assault weapon could be a firearm capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic or burst fire, a firearm possessing a large magazine, etc. However, any weapon can be used for assault, even a rock.
President Obama and others are not attempting to repeal the Second Amendment outright, but rather create more and more restrictive laws to the point where we still have our rights but cannot use them.
We should not look at guns as though they are the problem. If a person has the motivation to destroy and kill others, he will find a way to do it, regardless of what laws are enacted. We should choose to look deeper. What causes people to do these things, and how can we prevent it? The solution is not taking away the tool used to commit the crime.
A Jan. 12 letter to the editor said that a recent editorial cartoon showed the Ku Klux Klan hood on the wrong head – the GOP elephant’s head. Actually, while at one time Ku Klux Klan members were Southern Democrats, they switched to the Republican Party in the 1960s when President Johnson, a Democrat, used his considerable power to get modern civil rights laws passed. Because of that, Southern Democrats left the party and became Republicans, and many today are still Klanners at heart.
Regarding “Goose invasion” (Jan. 16 Letters to the Editor): I recommend the website http://geesepeace.com to those concerned with the problems associated with Wichita’s wild goose population. GeesePeace provides an effective and humane program to help these waterfowl and people get along with each other. The program is outlined in four parts: population stabilization, site aversion, “no feeding” and results. The program can be applied to residential and recreational urban areas that have or are near bodies of water.