Letters to the Editor

Letters on attracting millennials, guns on campus, Fitzgerald and Holocaust

How to attract, retain millennials

There are plenty discussions afoot for ways to keep and how to attract those lazy, entitled “millennials” to Wichita. Well, I’m a millennial, but I categorize “us” differently.

I’ve held various jobs in my youth and worked full time through college. Graduation equated to taking the jobs I could get, which took me out of state and abroad, providing greater experience to earn more, sure, but also a greater appreciation of home.

I love Wichita, but I’m bewildered by it. I don’t understand the need to constantly compare ourselves to cities we aren’t and why we can’t maximize our history and strengths as Wichitans to create a memorable place reflecting our best self.

My recommendation? Stop building uninspired developments with few characteristics of the prairie, exacerbating our water resources by utilizing non-native landscapes. With 84 native prairie grasses, when did fescue become our standard?

Let’s go back to basics. Less focus on brick-and-mortar solutions and more emphasis on beautifying the landscape around us. This would not only please the birds and the bees, but I’d bet would help those pesky millennials, whose inclination is to focus more on sustainability and the environment, to appreciate Wichita and stick around to watch it bloom.

Andrew McMillin, Wichita

Gun danger

I do not believe that the higher-education concealed carry law is just a matter of supporting the Second Amendment.

For example, the First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech, but there are laws against yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Clearly there are reasonable limitations of free speech. Also, there are reasonable limitations to the Second Amendment. In the existing concealed carry statute, there are limitations on age, mental health and felony convictions.

Imagine that you are teaching a college class and one of your students keeps flunking tests and papers. The student complains in class. The student comes by your office and complains. The student claims his poor grade is your fault because your tests and homework are unreasonable and the grading is biased. The student is hostile and combative, in general.

Do you want that student to have a gun in your classroom?

Another factor to consider is alcohol use among college students. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 40 percent of college students between 18 and 22 have engaged in binge alcohol drinking within the last month. Do you want those students to have guns in their dorm rooms?

Having guns on campus will make campuses less safe, not safer.

Charles Merrifield, Wichita

Thoughtless words

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, R-Leavenworth, went low recently when a supporter made a contribution in his name to Planned Parenthood (March 14 Eagle).

“This is as bad – or worse – as having one’s name associated with Dachau,” he said in a letter to the group. “Shame on your organization and shame on anyone that would attempt to blacken my name in this manner.”

Shame on Fitzgerald for invoking the Nazis and the atrocities of the Holocaust. No one should ever use Dachau or the Holocaust as an analogy.

Planned Parenthood and other health centers provide critical reproductive health care for women. The women who come to Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center clinics in Wichita and Oklahoma City for abortion care are simply trying to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, fetal anomaly or maternal health indication, our patients must make difficult, very personal decisions whether to terminate a pregnancy. If face to face with them, would Fitzgerald compare these patients to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Goebbels? Would he utter those names to our doctors, nurses, counselors and patient care coordinators who risk their lives to ensure that women have access to reproductive health care?

I encourage Fitzgerald to apologize for his thoughtless, hurtful words that devalue women.

Julie A. Burkhart, Wichita


Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center

Letters to the Editor

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