Gunman kills 2, then self | Aug. 27
How many more must die?
This is twice now in hardly more than six months that our state has had high-profile shootings. How many more deaths will it take for real, meaningful measures to be taken to ensure public safety? What will my little cousins grow up hearing every other week on the news? What will they think is normal when shooting drills in their schools happen not because the faculty are thinking "if," but they’re thinking "when"? What will they think about the value of a human life, when it feels like every time someone turns on the news, there’s just been another death that could have been prevented? Human lives have great value, but in the world we live in today, I haven’t seen our lawmakers act like it.
Mimi Cao, Temple Terrace
American hero | Aug. 26
McCain was a model for us
As with any fully anticipated ominous event, the effect is still a shock when it actually occurs. Such it is with the passing of Sen. John McCain. We all have been cast into a state of introspection. I was stationed as a junior officer in the Air Force at an F-105 training base in Kansas during the Vietnam War. Our pilots and crews, upon completion of their requirements, went directly to that war theater. Sadly, some became MIA, KIA and POW. So, in the geographic center of the nation, those of us in uniform were painfully aware of our POWs, including Lt. Cmdr. McCain. I had been recently honorably discharged as a 26-year-old first lieutenant from active duty when we all closely watched the return of the POWs in 1973. We were enormously proud of their strong spirit but saddened by their broken bodies as they stepped off that C-141 aircraft onto the tarmac of Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Lt. Cmdr. McCain was vibrant but the obvious physical damage incurred during his 5½ years of captivity was sobering. Sen. McCain’s overall sense of human decency and fairness provided an enormous contrast to the invertebrates whom now dominate that branch of our government and other levels of government as well. John McCain served his country honorably. I hope that can be said of all of us when our time comes.
Albert Hine, Seminole
Schools foolishly rush tax to vote | Editorial, Aug. 25
Schools need the money
I find your recent editorials criticizing the Hillsborough County School Board for adding a half penny tax sales tax to the referendum disappointing, especially since these same issues contained articles about the number of schools needing major repairs to have properly functioning air conditioning. The key point is the huge funding shortfall facing the district and the desperate need to secure local investment in the absence of adequate funding from the Legislature.
Louan J. Tolbert, Tampa