Ranzau right to question
Commissioner Ranzau, thank you for raising the question of performance by the Greater Wichita Partnership. They must really be entrenched if you could not get a second by the Sedgwick County Commission to table the motion for increased funding (over and above the annual $300,000) to clarify what they are doing.
However, by raising the issue, you are doing the county a service. I think many of your constituents are with you on this one. The Wichita Eagle should throw out some of their many food stories and bring this one to print.
Pat O'Connor, Wichita
A way to gun safety
In dealing with mass killings — notably killing of schoolchildren, other countries have dealt with these traumas by enacting extreme laws prohibiting the sale and ownership of guns.
A problem with this way of handling the crisis is, as the saying goes, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” This has proven to be true in those countries; statistics show that criminals in these countries are still heavily armed. However, deaths by guns have gone down drastically. Statistics also show that.
I would propose that a course in gun safety be taught in all our schools, starting with the eighth grade, for anyone interested in carrying a gun in their lives. That course should be enlarged and reinforced every year though high school. Not for a semester, but over a weekend, with later courses going to two or four weekends, then ending with a psychiatric evaluation. With a consequence of graduating with a certificate that one can legally own guns or not. This certificate would give one a membership into your state militia and protection under the Second Amendment.
Don Betzen, Mount Hope
Don’t glorify the shooter
I read Sunday’s letters with a half-smile and shaking head. Somewhere watching this play out is our next shooter. Longs to be important: Never got his due. Feels insignificant. In emotional pain. Desires notoriety. Troubled distraught, angry and ready. Hearing the title “The Shooter” excites him.
What we need is for printed and TV media to ignore him, stop glorifying him, pay attention to the victims, families and heroes. The Eagle gave an hour-by-hour guide for the next one. School Shooter 101.
Mention his name once on the first day and then not again. Let them see and hear that the assailant gets nothing. Take away the power and control they believe they have, because the whole nation is looking at him.
The public doesn’t need to know his name and history anymore than we need to know the name of any responder involved in a shooting. We only need to know when someone is charged.
Criminals don’t follow laws and rules. No law will control weapons as long as there are thefts, alleys, car trunks, desire, money and the dark of night. Criminals don’t apply for a permit for a weapon.
Carol English, Wichita
Make a difference by voting
We have experienced yet again a gun massacre. They happen in schools, nightclubs and concerts, committed by people of all ages. People, as usual, are blaming Congress for inaction on gun control after they voted against it a few years ago when Barack Obama was president.
Do you know who I blame? Kansas voters who vote the same people into office again and again. All four Kansas House representatives and both senators voted against common-sense background checks and against a ban on semi-automatic guns. And voters voted them in again, except for Tim Huelskamp, who was finally voted out in the 2016 primary.
Kansas voters also repeatedly elect state legislators who vote for expanded gun access. There is a bill in the Legislature to allow 18-year-olds to purchase and conceal carry a weapon without a permit or training. The age is currently 21.
So Kansas voters, I point my finger at at all of you who keep re-electing these members of Congress and state Legislature. We know they are loathe to stand up to the NRA and ban AR-15 weapons and similar weapons. Vote in a new Congress in 2018.
Dawn Olney, Prairie Village
America’s lack of spirituality
John Donne implored his congregation to “send not to ask for whom the bell tolls.… ” It was a practice his medieval congregation would do when someone would die. They would count the number of times the bell rang for each year of the person’s life.
Donne continues, “Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls, no man is an island unto himself, but all are a part of the main, therefore, send not to ask for whom the bell tolls, behold, it tolls for thee.” The bells are tolling in Florida — 17 times they will toll in the latest mass murder. The tolled six times in Japan in 2014, while they tolled over 33,000 times in the United States for gun deaths.
So what is the difference? Gun laws? I believe the difference is cultural. Japanese culture is deeply spiritual, while American culture is increasingly secular and driven by electronic, consumer-oriented media.
This is a pivotal moment in American history. It is a moment to hear with fresh ears Donne’s words, “Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls, behold, it tolls for thee.”
Pastor Dave Fulton, Wichita
One perennial problem in teaching is motivating achievement. A plethora of teachers ask, “How do I secure and maintain pupil attention in ongoing learning activities?”
This problem should be in the forefront of inservice education opportunities as in challenging workshops, personal reading experiences, discussions with other teachers, grade/curriculum level meetings, faculty meetings, and courses taken at an approved university.
A key item is to realize that pupils in a classroom differ in interests, the kinds of experiences provided, as well as the unit title being pursued.
Marlow Ediger, North Newton
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