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Making Guns Illegal Won't Make Them Disappear

This is a response to Michael Nolan's letter titled "Reader Calls For Repeal of Second Amendment" in the April 13 issue of the South County Times.

As I write this letter I'm still in shock after having just read Michael Nolan's letter titled "Reader Calls For Repeal of Second Amendment." I can't believe someone would demand their right to bear arms be taken away.

James Madison and the founding fathers didn't create the Second Amendment to give citizens the ability to defend the republic from the British or even to hunt as a lot of people believe. They created the Second Amendment to give the citizens the ability to defend themselves from their own government should that government become a tyranny like the British government they had just fought so hard to get out from under.

Banning guns will not make guns disappear and it will certainly not make people stop killing each another. If we make guns illegal all that will accomplish is taking the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, making it harder for them to defend themselves. Criminals (who break the law) will break the new gun ban law and still have guns.

Heroine and cocaine have been illegal for a very long time. Yet if someone wants some they can easily find someone who would sell it to them. Making an explosive device and putting it in the mail is also illegal. Yet a few months ago someone did this exact thing, killing and injuring people. Prohibition from 1920 to 1933 made the production and sale of alcohol illegal, yet anyone willing to break the law could still acquire it. How many people did a pressure cooker kill and injure a few years ago at the Boston Marathon? Should we ban pressure cookers?

The act of making something illegal doesn't make it disappear. It simply takes it out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

David Hewing
April 19, 2018

"Hollow" Promises Of Gun Control Advocates

Promises, promises. Those who promote more and more gun control continue to make promises of safety and security; promises that have consistently failed to deliver the promised results. We were told we needed Gun Free Zones and promised they would make us safe. Yet over 90 percent of all mass killings take place in "gun free" zones. We were told we needed background checks and promised they would make us safe. Yet almost all mass killers passed a background check. We were promised that handgun bans would make us safe yet the locales with the strictest bans like Chicago are the murder and violence capitals of America.

Now we are being made more promises: eliminate the Second Amendment and we are promised peace and harmony, yet tell that to the people of gun controlled Europe who are plagued with bombings (Ariana Grande concert), machete attacks (London), truck attacks (in Nice, France), and even machine gun attacks (at Charlie Hebdo and the Batclan night club in Paris). Need I mention the hideous violence plaguing heavily gun controlled Mexico where no Second Amendment exists?

Mass violence is a complex social issue involving many potential causes including terrorism, the use and prescription of psychotropic drugs, gang related violence, family breakdown, and a Pollyanna view toward security (such as "gun free" zones). The hollow promises of the gun control advocates will only make things worse because not only have they been shown not to work, but, even worse, they failed to recognize and address the real problems.

Russell Dahmer
April 19, 2018

Gun Control? Why Not Target Cigarette Deaths?

Regarding gun control extremists' comments, if saving lives is so important why not focus on a greater benefit? According to the Centers for Disease Control: "Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the U.S., more than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined."

That's over 1,300 deaths every day in our republic. It's horrible what happened in schools, malls, businesses anywhere a coward kills. But why are those spouting concern about saving lives, their children's lives and their own, not demanding the banning of cigarettes/tobacco?

Is it because those focusing on profiling gun owners as deviants prefer to turn the focus away from themselves? Is it because castigating Second Amendment-supporters or gun-supporters produces more social support from other loud voices? Is it because those loud voices don't want any restrictions on their own personal practices or freedoms? Or will they respond, "That's different" or "that's not the endangerment I want to discuss" and go back to their tunnel vision? If so, how do they justify ignoring 1,300 deaths every day?

I cannot begin to understand such a pitiful lack of logic. It seems the desire to save the most lives would focus on perhaps the biggest preventable killer instead of guns.

Don Henrich
April 19, 2018

Cold Weather May Mean Frost Damage To Plants

Can these wild temperature changes in St. Louis this spring affect the growth of your plants? Of course! Will it hurt it? Not if the plant is healthy! Native plants are perhaps the best able to survive unscathed, but it is still survival of the fittest.

In spring, plants send sap up from the roots to begin expansion of buds and leaf growth. Sap might freeze causing frost cracks. Expanding buds might freeze and young leaves could be destroyed, especially plants like our new witchhazel — a very early bloomer. But it looks great!

Eons ago plants learned to go off in different directions when the boss bud — the terminal bud — is destroyed. Hormones go wild. You probably will need to go into the shrub interior with a clean, sharp, bypass pruner and reduce the competition and direct the growth of the branches.

Look for infections along frost cracks on the twig. They may appear as an elliptical shape. Remove the twig or cautiously prune back to clean wood and a healthy bud. It is a great excuse to get up close and personal with your plants. TV's "Myth Busters" showed that plants definitely respond well to communication — even being yelled at.

Charlotte Schneider, Missouri Forester, Certified Arborist, International Society Of Arboriculture
April 19, 2018

Annual April Showers Drive Begins This Weekend

This weekend, most of the homes throughout our area will be briefly sporting a new door handle decoration: a white plastic bag.

Local Girl Scout troops will be distributing the bags April 20-22 as part of their annual April Showers drive. Their hope is that community members will generously fill the bags with personal care items — soap, toothpaste, razors, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, and more — and set them on their front porches the following Saturday, April 28, for the Girl Scouts to collect.

Did you know that 99 percent of the personal care items in our local food pantries come from this single annual collection? And that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits cannot be used to purchase these personal care items? The Girl Scouts are making a big difference in our community for individuals and families who are in need, and I hope you will join me and my family in supporting their efforts.

Thank you in advance to all of the Girl Scouts and community members who make this drive a success.

Amy Randles
April 19, 2018

Conflict Of Interest

I know I'm not really sophisticated in such matters, but it seems to me that when a school board member has a child who is a student in a public school of that district, there is a conflict of interest.

If the board member has more than one child being educated there, the conflict escalates. The board member makes — or at the very least influences — decisions about how taxpayer money is being spent and the board member's child/children directly benefit from those decisions. Isn't that a conflict of interest? Am I crazy?

Virginia Kramer
April 19, 2018

"Beautiful" Sugar Creek Area

More power to the Save Sugar Creek residents (Webster-Kirkwood Times, April 13 issue). I drive through the beautiful Sugar Creek area often and admire its lovely homes, hills and natural features. Rezoning and development will eventually ruin the area; runoff, flooding and debris will occur.

Through news accounts we have seen how Kirkwood's in-fill housing, impervious surfaces and loss of trees and greenery can damage homes and driveways.

City council, don't let this happen to Sugar Creek! Witness the beauty of a sunrise filtering through Sugar Creek trees while you drive. We all need to help save Sugar Creek.

Jean Ann Funk
April 19, 2018

Storm Water Run-Off Creates Problem In Kirkwood

The "Save Sugar Creek" article (Webster-Kirkwood Times, April 13 issue) brings out several problems facing the Kirkwood community. One of these that affects the entire community is flooding from storm water run-off. Too many Kirkwood residents have seen flooding in their yards, basements and streets. Even the Kirkwood Train Station is put in peril whenever there is a significant rain storm. Much of this increase in run-off is due to increases in impervious surface in our community.

One way to combat this problem is to require any new construction, whether residential, commercial or municipal, that increases the impervious surface of a property by greater than 99 square feet obtain a storm water assessment and mitigation plan before any construction could take place. The cost of this would be paid for by the requester.

Let's see if our city council, who supposedly represents all of us, will pick up the ball and actually tackle this problem. Some of us are still awaiting implementation of the tree preservation ordinance! Perhaps everyone should have access to a boat or kayak while waiting.

Alan Hopefl
April 19, 2018

Story On Tennis Courts, Carnival Missed Key Elements

Recent editions of the WKT brought to light some of the challenges in Webster that center on the Community Days Carnival, Memorial Field and the need to renovate the city tennis courts.

Both articles contained information that was true in part but missing certain key elements.

For instance, the three educational institutions who use the courts for team play have consistently expressed a desire to contribute financially to the renovation of the courts — this was not apparent in the first article but clarified in the most recent article.

In the second article a quote from Councilperson Frank Janoski indicated that there was a lack of understanding on his part about why the school district was not open to a long-term agreement to have the carnival on the Moss field parking lot. I understand that the district has consistently communicated the reasons for their position.

The previous and most recent article stated that the Webster School District had plans to relocate the track and Moss field, which are not true. Superintendent John Simpson eloquently explained that there are no relocation plans and provided the reasoning behind the rejection of a long-term agreement in a recent post on the district's Facebook page.

The first paragraph of the April 6 article indicates that plans to keep the skate park and renovate the tennis courts are dependent upon the school district agreeing to a long-term use of the Moss parking lot for the carnival. These seem to be two different issues with the burden being shifted on the school when it belongs on the city and the Lions primarily.

I humbly propose that it would be beneficial for the city staff, the entire council and mayor to sit down with the school district and the Lions Club to listen to each other. And, it would be great to have the Times reporter attend and also double check the facts before reporting them.

Bob Bickford
Webster Groves
April 19, 2018

District Clarifies Stance In Support Of Tennis Courts

In light of recent articles in the Webster-Kirkwood Times regarding the Memorial Park Tennis Courts and the July 4 Carnival, we feel it's appropriate to ensure the public knows where the school district continues to stand in terms of support for the tennis courts.

First, the school district has no "plans to relocate and expand the Moss Field track, stadium and football field." While it's true the existing grandstand at Moss Field remains in poor condition and the conditions of our track and field are subpar, any plans to significantly upgrade or improve conditions would involve opportunities for community input and multiple discussions at the board level.

Next, it would not be wise for the school district to restrict either use or development of its property for a 10-year period for a four-day event, in this case the Lion's Carnival. Our position on this has remained unchanged. We do remain open to revisiting the carnival agreement each year considering both district needs and the success of the prior year's carnival.

Furthermore, since the fall of 2016, the district has expressed interest in partnering with the city and other entities regarding the tennis courts as well as other matters of joint interest. Evidence of our commitment to the tennis court project can be found in our participation at joint meetings, correspondence regarding the project, and in our draft 2017-18 budget presented to the board of education in June of 2017 which tentatively earmarked money for the tennis courts should an agreement have been reached during the year. To imply or state we're only interested in partnering or discussing the project now is simply untrue.

Moving forward, it's my hope that if an article is going to be written outlining the school district's position on any matter, that the school district would be contacted in advance to ensure that the district's position is clearly and consistently conveyed. It's also my hope that someday soon the district, city, Webster University and Nerinx Hall can come together to discuss how this project might move forward.

Superintendent John Simpson, Webster Groves School District
April 19, 2018

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