Letters to the Editor

Letters on police shooting, respecting police, paying your taxes, Sebelius

Second-guessing police officers

The call came in to 911: A man was threatening individuals with a weapon. Police officers were dispatched. In order to protect themselves and others, the officers armed themselves as soon as they arrived on scene.

Police say that the person suspected of making criminal threats and having a weapon would not comply with a legal command from the officers (Jan. 5 Eagle). When the individual made movements not compliant to the officer’s request, the police used a Taser on him. When the suspect still would not obey lawful commands and made a gesture toward his waist (where weapons are commonly hidden), one officer shot the suspect.

Once again, the actions of police officers are being questioned. Members of the family, the general public and of several organizations that have never had to put themselves in direct danger want to second-guess the officer’s dedication, judgment and/or bias.

In the past several months, the nation has seen a rise in the condemnation of police who routinely put themselves in “the line of fire” for a public that seems less and less appreciative of the job they do. I found it bewildering that all those who now want to denounce the officers involved seem to conveniently forget or want to quietly ignore the fact that the police were performing their sworn duty and were facing criminals – not random citizens accosted on the street.

With the direction the nation is headed regarding officers’ use of force, I worry that police will become so weary of using force that criminals will have free rein in our streets.



Be respectful

It’s almost becoming the norm to see a young person mouthing off at a police officer after being pulled over for some driving infraction. Maybe if he or she had been schooled on how to show some respect to the officer, we would have less turmoil.

I had two teens who earned their driver’s license at age 14. But before they were allowed to get behind the wheel, I sat down and counseled them on proper etiquette towards the police when stopped. I went through on what to and what not to do. Here are some of those points:

Keep your hands on the steering wheel while an officer approaches your car. Move only when the officer says to, and then obey his commands. Give him your driver’s license and other papers he may ask for. Don’t ask questions (What did I do wrong? Why did you stop me?). The officer will tell you why he stopped you. Don’t accuse the officers of anything – it won’t get you out of a summons. Be courteous. Know all of the rules of the road. “I didn’t know” won’t get you any awards.

Being respectful has its place.



Pay your taxes

Tax Grinch” (Dec. 21 Letters to the Editor) wondered what policymakers were thinking in setting Dec. 22 as the due date for real estate tax payments. Let me offer these insights:

▪ If you own taxable property, business or residential, it is your “tax responsibility” to be gainfully employed and plan for this annual expense so that it does not impact your family’s happiness.

▪ Appreciate the fact that you are only required to pay half of the current year’s taxes, with the balance not due until May 10.

▪ This payment has historically been due on Dec. 20, so this year you were given an extra two days.

I’m not employed by the city, county or state, and I hate to pay any tax, but I do so. What I hate to read every August, which is published in the newspaper, is a 26- to 28-page report of property tax scofflaws who have not paid their taxes and are failing to carry their fair share of our collective tax burden. We all love our American freedom, and each of us should know that “freedom isn’t free.”



Proud of Sebelius

It was a great pleasure to read about Kathleen Sebelius and the people at grocery stores and airports asking if she was the “health lady” so they could tell her how the Affordable Care Act was such a wonderful life changer for them by enabling them to have insurance (Jan. 5 Now Consider This).

I’m proud of my support of Sebelius over the years. Imagine a female Democrat being a two-term governor of Kansas. A person must be very capable and special to accomplish that. She was and is all of that, and more.

President Obama made a wise choice when he nominated her to be the secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services. Congress and the president made the ACA law; Sebelius’ administrative skill made it a reality, which enabled it to provide affordable health insurance for millions of Americans.

ACA was divisive from the beginning due to the GOP’s stated goal to cause Obama to fail. For those who feared him due to his name and color, it took only a few words and phrases to make them hate Obamacare: “Death panels,” “destroying our health care system,” “socialized medicine.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently said that the American people hate Obamacare. He never says why.



Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.