Letters: KC readers discuss flood planning, downtown baseball and real gun education

·3 min read

Sensible planning

Among the divides within Congress, infrastructure reform highlights common ground for making our communities resilient to natural disasters. Recently, we have seen an increase in flooding. We need to avoid washing away our investments — and voters agree.

A recent poll by Pew Research found an overwhelming majority of Americans (85% overall; 91% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans, 87% of independents) support requiring all federally funded projects in flood-prone areas to be built to better withstand flooding.

This is why a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. House has introduced the Flood Resiliency and Taxpayer Savings Act. This act would reform federal flood practices and mandate disaster-proofing future projects. It’s time we take advantage of modern technology to keep our nation’s infrastructure viable.

Without action, buildings and roads remain vulnerable to the vicious cycle of flooding and expensive repairs. Research shows that every proactive dollar spent can save $5 to $7 in future costs.

We can all support protecting our communities and saving taxpayer money. As the adage says, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” Congress must pass this bipartisan legislation into law this year.

- Missouri state Rep. Jeff Coleman, Grain Valley

What’s next

I agree with the author of the Sunday letter under the subhead “Our choices made,” (20A) who listed women’s rights that are threatened now that the Supreme Court has allowed Texas to violate established legal precedent.

But I would like to add one more item: I’m sure the next thing will be to deny women the right to vote. What makes you think they won’t?

- Joyce Gregg, Leavenworth

Local treasures

I have good memories of watching both baseball and football closer to downtown Kansas City. (Sept. 15, 1B, “Royals exploring new stadium options, including downtown”) However, our current Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium are showpieces for our city.

I recently entertained a guest who had never been to Kansas City. As we took a tour and drove past the stadiums, she gasped at their beauty, saying, “I never realized how much Kansas City has to offer.”

- Joann Blackburn, North Kansas City

Real gun safety

Tuesday’s front-page story “Missouri schools face high gun violence, low funds” leads the reader to believe there is a causative relationship between the topics. Despite acknowledging additional factors, The Star omitted two vital variables that can save lives: education and safety training.

During my two decades in law enforcement, I saw firsthand the impact violence has on families, communities and, now, a generation. I have spent years identifying ways to prevent the tragedies that scar kids such as Christian Rich, the 15-year-old profiled in the story.

Education is the key to safety, not legislation. Policymakers legislate the weapons of violence but neglect its root cause. Measures to end violence by promoting economic development and raising children in stable homes are missing. Efforts that erode the Second Amendment will fail simply because laws do not deter criminals.

What is effective, however, is reaching kids before the violence does. The 501 (c)(3) nonprofit Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation has taught firearm safety and conflict resolution to more than 22,000 kids in five states with measurable results. Civic leaders should prioritize funding programs like this to help end the violence that robs kids like Christian of their dreams.

Missouri should mandate the Kids S.A.F.E. program statewide before violence shatters more lives.

- Dianna Muller, Brookfield, Missouri

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