Why do we continue to try to control guns? (Sept. 4, 8A, “As research into gun violence grows, some look to science for help”) The only way a gun alone can be used to kill is maybe to beat someone to death with it. Guns are simply tools used to shoot bullets.
It seems to me that we should be controlling the ammunition. If there were a limit on the amount of ammo that could be purchased by each person, it could reduce mass shootings. Guns could be limited to single-shot loads, so the most people who could be killed is one or two before someone takes out the shooter.
The Bill of Rights was written when single-shot guns were the only firearms widely available. Why do we continue to assume that any gun, regardless of the amount of ammo it can hold, is what our forefathers intended in the Constitution?
- William Bade, Lee’s Summit
George F. Will, normally a sensible conservative voice, fell victim to current trends by confounding scientific information with what he wants to hear in his Sept. 15 commentary, “A CDC director confirmation hearing? Here’s what to ask.” (7A)
Science must rely on the best available data — and sometimes, when we learn more about a subject, our conclusions change. These are not “malleable certitudes,” in Will’s words, but instead reflect a new and better understanding of how the world works.
The Senate, which never misses an opportunity to politicize an issue, has repeatedly demonstrated a frightening level of scientific illiteracy. By demanding Senate confirmation of the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for no reason other than his disagreement with policies based on the most reliable data available at the time, Will himself becomes guilty of favoring mere opinion over information based on actual knowledge of the subject.
He willingly contributes to what Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser during most of the pandemic, accurately called a “smoldering anti-science feeling.”
Will justifies his stance by citing the Great Barrington Declaration — a 2020 open letter written by the conservative/libertarian American Institute for Economic Research that argued against prevailing COVID-19 safety precautions and was widely denounced by public health authorities around the globe — and notes that it must be true because one of its authors “alone had more than 100 peer-reviewed articles.”
Incidentally, I am a PhD with several hundred peer-reviewed articles, and George Will has never asked for my opinion. Cherry-picking data is nothing other than confirmation bias.
- Robert Powell, Independence
Who’s in control
The Sept. 14 story “Prices up in August, but inflation is down from a year ago” by Doug Cunningham of UPI.com (9A) uses language that is misleading, even if the numbers are correct. It reports “rising” or “falling” prices. But prices have no agency. Businesses raise or lower prices — some with good reasons, and others simply because the sellers can.
Inflation does not act on its own but is driven by business decisions. It is not even an inevitable result of governmental spending, because other options exist for dealing with money in the system.
People who fall for the terms “rising” or “falling” prices tend to blame or praise the government, but they do not see the real actors.
Responsible journalism brings clarity, not obfuscation.
- Klaus Karbaumer, Platte City
The Kansas City area experiences many days of 100-plus-degree weather during baseball season these days. Global temperature averages are setting record highs year after year.
And the Royals release plans for a new downtown stadium with the seats facing south-southeast, so that most fans have no shade for several hours on a hot summer day? That’s not very fan-friendly, if you ask me.
- James H. Williams, Topeka