To the Editor:

For hundreds of years, men and women have served in the military to defend America. America is its people and their rights.

These rights are for all Americans, not just those willing or able to serve. One of their most important rights is the right to their conscience and to express and act on it.

If a right exists only as a concept, then it really does not exist. One cannot say you have the right to free expression, just don’t express it. It is only in the expression that it exists.

To say (Colin) Kaepernick should leave the country if he expresses criticism is not American. One is not showing a low opinion of the country by holding us all to its own high standards. Love of country is loving it enough to work to perfect it.

Jackie Robinson was a proud American. He served in the military. He was a lifelong conservative Republican. He said his conscience did not allow him to stand for the national anthem during the World Series.

After his retirement from baseball, he worked as a civil rights activist to perfect his country. To his death he said there was still inequality.

I don’t believe many people believe all the police shootings that have been covered in the last months are improper.

It certainly seems some are. Some video has shown suspects shot in the back while running away. One would agree they should not run, but there is no capital punishment for running. People were killed in a confrontation that turned out to have its origins in outstanding motor vehicle infractions.

Others were killed when on the ground offering no danger to the police.

Policing is a difficult job, but we must support good policing and correct overreach and as Americans we should freely express our feelings as our conscience leads us.

Stan Wilson