Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on turnpike, NRA, gun safety, assault weapons, new amendment

Don’t put turnpike under KDOT

Regarding “Plan to merge turnpike, KDOT raises caution flags” (Jan. 27 Eagle): This is a no-brainer. The Kansas Department of Transportation should become part of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, which has had a track record of success since its inception in 1956.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s idea of putting the KTA under KDOT must be rejected. We all know that anytime government takes over something, government guts the program and tells you that it failed.



Not one solution

National Rifle Association vice president Wayne LaPierre said that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” When did we become a nation that jumps to action because it is the “only” way?

Then we argue that mass shootings must be a result of society’s reliance on violent video games and movies. But does not exposing young children to armed guards at school also desensitize them to violence? Should armed guards in every public environment become the new norm?

There can never be only one solution.

I recommend that we take advantage of the technology revolution. Instead of investing money in buying guns to arm people who are both physically and mentally untrained to hold such responsibility, we should invest in increased security measures within our schools. Amp up our security already in place and complement it with the hiring of trained private security personnel to monitor these security measures, rather than relying on principals or secretaries who should be focused on their jobs.

Additionally, we should add technological security measures to all guns. Use microchips to track guns. If a person goes into an airport or school with guns, security would be immediately alerted to where the weapon was and could adequately address the situation before it was out of control.



Learn gun safety

Guns are dangerous. Every gun is deadly. Check every firearm to be sure it is unloaded as soon as you pick it up and before you set it down. Always treat any firearm as if it is loaded. Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.

These are some basic safety rules, and every adult where I grew up half a century ago knew how to handle firearms safely. Yet nearly every day somebody is shot with an “unloaded” firearm. Those who pull the trigger always say the same empty words: “I was sure it wasn’t loaded.”

That’s because guns are dangerous. Ownership and handling demand the most serious of mindsets and mature judgment. The slightest moment of carelessness, inattention or frivolity is all it takes for tragedy to strike.

Unfortunately, the National Rifle Association’s reputation has devolved to one of fanatic chest pounders defending the Second Amendment. But the organization provides a valuable service in training instructors and firearms owners in safe, competent gun handling.

If you take the heavy, serious step of purchasing a firearm, please take the time and make the effort to take an appropriate NRA safety course. Many of Wichita’s gun stores offer excellent classes with NRA-qualified instructors. A little Internet shopping is all it takes to find the correct classes for people of all levels of firearms expertise and all ages.

Save yourself. Save those around you. Learn proper gun handling before you bring a firearm into your life.



Dangerous thinking

Some have said that we need assault weapons to prevent monarchy. To my knowledge, we are not at war with our government, and the misguided belief that having an assault rifle will keep the government in its place is dangerous. One need only walk through the Oklahoma City National Memorial to see just how dangerous this type of thinking really is.

There is no good reason for anyone outside the military to own assault rifles. The National Rifle Association would do well if it would get out of bed with the gun industry and support – or, better yet, propose – reasonable restrictions on guns.



28th Amendment

I think it’s time to add a 28th Amendment to support the 10th Amendment:

I hereby propose that presidents, senators and House members be prohibited from passing any laws affecting U.S. citizens that do not have the same effect on themselves and bureaucracies of the U.S. government.

So, henceforth, all politicians will be covered for health care under Medicare or Obamacare.

All politicians shall be subject to insider-trading laws.

All politicians shall not be afforded a retirement plan until they’ve served in the U.S. government for 30 years or until they turn 67, if their 30th anniversary of employment is reached before their 67th birthday.

All branches of government and politicians shall be subject to regulations by government agencies, just as citizens are.

All politicians and security forces guarding politicians shall be limited to seven-round magazines and not allowed to have military-style so-called assault weapons. Gun-control laws applicable to citizens shall be applied to politicians and civil authority.

All politicians shall pay their own U.S. postal bill for all campaign mailings. This will help the U.S. Postal Service’s deficit.