Why the AR-15 has millions in its cornerMarch 2
Fewer rounds, fewer deaths
Against all logic, Linda Fox said in this article that five- and 10-round magazines would be much more dangerous because they were less prone to jamming. Do we really want the lives of our children to rest on the hope that the killer’s magazine will jam? Be serious.
What’s more, the U.S. military has used 30-round magazines since the AR-15 family of weapons was introduced over 50 years ago and I have never heard an outcry against them for jamming. The simple fact is that the more times a killer has to change magazines the greater the chances that he will be stopped before he can get very far.
Five rounds is more than adequate for hunting and should be the limit for recreational shooting.
John Chandler, Largo
The high cost of ‘fun’
The article explaining why people like the AR-15 was interesting. Most people like the gun because it is easy to use and it is fun. Seventeen people died in protecting these owners’ "fun." I have many hobbies — sewing, knitting, bicycling, jet skiing. If I was made aware that giving up one (or even all) of my hobbies could possibly save the life of one child I would never do it again. I would ask owners of AR-15 weapons to view their ownership from a different perspective.
Ann Jamieson, Tarpon Springs
‘A major step’ toward recovery | March 1
Florida’s gun problem
The Times’ front-page picture was of three policemen lined up greeting and shaking hands with returning students. I am sure that the students, parents, teachers and staff were all grateful for the show of support and the, for the moment, assurance that should a shooter show up that these professionals would be on hand to resolve the issue quickly and effectively.
But is this what it’s going to take to protect our schools? A fully armed tactical defense squad? This raises the insane concept of arming teachers. The men in the photo are professionals and are theoretically trained in assessing and resolving a threatening situation. I don’t see how schools are going to adequately train teachers and staff to the same level of shooting and tactical decisionmaking skills that we expect our professional police forces to have.
I am not convinced that throwing more guns at the problem solves anything. The "gun problem" that Florida has is going to bite Floridians where it really hurts: tourism. It’s no secret that the international opinion of Florida’s insane gun craze is very low, and now certainly not improving. At a time when tourism is peaking, Florida may have reached its tipping point.
Bill McManus, Oldsmar
Teachers’ pay lags
While I strongly agree that school security and providing counselors/mental help professionals are needed, the continued aspect of education that is continually pushed aside is teacher pay. Florida teachers rank in the bottom 25 percent nationally for pay equity. We expect more from them every day, with no pay increase. Dare I ask legislators to raise the sales tax and earmark all those monies just for public schools?
Robin Biloski, Madeira Beach