Panel: Arm teachers | Feb. 28
Tempting disaster with firearms
The Florida House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has approved training teachers to carry guns in class. I wonder whether they understand the process of training people to kill. I wonder whether they understand the odds that any teacher who fires a gun in a classroom is far more likely to kill a child than to kill any attacker. I wonder whether they understand the potential liability costs to the school. When you carry a gun, that fact has to be the most important fact in your life, because you have to be aware every moment that you may have to use the gun to end a human life. Everything else, including teaching, becomes secondary. Is this really what we want to do? Is this really how we want to live? Is this how far we are willing to go?
I urge the Florida Legislature to reject this proposal.
Jim Perry, Tampa
Federal response required
Arming teachers to prevent additional school shootings is a dumb idea. When airplanes were being hijacked regularly in the ’70s, we didn’t arm the pilots or the flight attendants, did we? No, the federal government stepped in to protect the traveling public with "sterile" concourses/airports.
School shootings are not a local or state problem; they are a national problem that requires immediate action by the federal government. So take the money earmarked for the "wall" and distribute it to local jurisdictions so school properties can be fortified and police officers can be assigned to every public school in the nation.
Bob Fortney, Land O’Lakes
Classroom no place for guns
I’ve read much about this issue recently but haven’t learned exactly how the teachers would carry a gun. Carry the loaded gun in a holster on his/her body? If not, would the loaded gun be in a coat or jacket hanging in the classroom, in a purse or maybe in a desk drawer? All choices are unacceptable. I can’t imagine trying to work with a child or children with a gun on my body. If it’s kept somewhere else, then of course it wouldn’t be useful if a shooter entered the room and started targeting students and teachers.
Countless accidents could occur with a gun in a room with a group of children. This is not a solution.
Barbara Van Weelden, Hudson
Listen to the mainstream
Since when do assault weapons represent mainstream America? These are military-style weapons designed to "attack" people, not hunt animals.
Why are high-capacity magazines sold, making it possible to fire dozens of rounds at a time?
Out of 327 million people in this country, only 5 million are NRA members. Why would we allow just over 1 percent of our population to set gun policy for the remaining 99 percent of us?
Why do we continue to elect politicians indebted to the NRA and who won’t advocate sensible gun legislation that protects the other 99 percent of America?
Anthony Edl, Odessa
Get to root of the problem
Our elected representatives are scrambling to put a Band-Aid on a serious wound in our country.
The common thread in all these mass killings is not age, mental health or the presence of gun-free zones. The common thread is assault rifles, and until we control assault rifles the mass killings will continue.
These representatives reveal they are more afraid of the NRA than they are of our votes. It is time we show them their allegiance is misdirected.
Jim Hill, Clearwater
Try asking the teachers
The NRA has the perfect answer, again. The Florida Legislature loves it. Arm the teachers. And by doing this more money will be made with the sale of more guns.
Has anyone thought to ask the teachers? And just how fast do they think a gun can be retrieved from a locked, secured location and loaded in time to do any good in a crowded classroom with children? We don’t want more guns; fewer guns, I think, is the solution.
Helen Figley, St. Petersburg
Delta’s NRA move draws tax cut threatFeb. 27
Principles of convenience
What has happened to the Republican belief in keeping government out of the way of business? Let the market forces work, they say. So if a corporation elects to distance itself from the NRA, then why is the Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia using his power to try to punish a business (Delta) on that free market?
Unfortunately, these reversals of principle are common in the current Republican establishment. It used to be said they were the party of ideas. Now it seems they will try to win by any means necessary, and not because their ideas are better.
Michael Brown, Tampa
Bill could end puppy bans | Feb. 27
Don’t go backward on pets
I am dismayed that the Florida Legislature would provide support to puppy mills, which breed and raise puppies without concern for the health and welfare of the animals. Not only does this often lead to the sale of unhealthy puppies, it also leads to the pain, suffering and expense that the owners experience when they find they have a sick puppy.
I hope the Legislature will not take steps to lead us back to the dark ages of blindness to animal welfare.
Margaret Schulte, Ottawa, Ohio