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Letters to the Editor

Attack on Tiahrt amendment is another assault on gun rights

FBI needs more access to gun records | Nov. 29, commentary

An attack on 2nd Amendment

The Tiahrt amendment does not affect the outcome of background checks for firearm purchases, does not affect who is permitted to own a firearm, and does not restrict law enforcement officials from accessing and effectively using all firearm data for criminal investigations. It does prevent the permanent firearm registry of law-abiding citizens who have passed such a check.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ex-Gov. Thomas Kean have chosen to join forces with Sen. Charles Schumer, an anti-gunner from New York, in order to exploit the Fort Hood murders and to further their efforts to restrict lawful gun purchases and ownership.

If the U.S. Army and law enforcement officials did not identify Maj. Nidal Hasan as an active terrorist, then the currently required criminal background checks certainly would have had absolutely no effect on Hasan's ability to purchase a firearm, and the Tiahrt amendment would have been totally irrelevant in any case.

The only wall that Bloomberg, Kean and Schumer want to build is one obliterating the Second Amendment with more and more layers of laws designed to further restrict our constitutional right to keep and bear arms by using self-created and fallacious issues.

Lee Hanson, Hudson

FBI blew it

Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Kean would have us believe that if the FBI had access to gun records it "could have been critical" in the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan. The FBI was well aware of the multiple communications with the radical cleric Anwar-al-Aulaqi and they concluded that this was "for professional reasons." The only profession that radicals like Anwar-al-Aulaqi have is terrorism. If this did not set off a red flag, then who believes the fact that Maj. Hasan bought a gun would?

We rush to blame firearms for many things but we fail to recognize that there is plenty of information that is not being processed correctly. I think that the FBI blew it, and this is consistent with the lack of interagency communication.

Douglas Seberle, Hudson

Red light fines rolling in for Temple Terrace Nov. 29, story

Right-on-red law is being used against the public

I've just finished reading Rich Shopes' article concerning the cameras at red lights catching mostly those turning right at the red light and being issued citations as a result.

I'm pretty sure the right-turn-on-red-light concept is to keep traffic moving, but of course I could be wrong since our leaders do fool us sometimes. How many of us approach an intersection that's on red and we are desiring to turn right. We check the crosswalk always; nobody there. We look at the oncoming traffic; nothing coming. Okay, let's go! Isn't that the spirit of the law?

I suggest repealing the right-turn-on-red law if our "leaders" are going to use it against us just because we want to keep moving, save fuel, drive safely and save some time. Terrible!

Daniel Orsello, Tampa

Red light fines rolling in for Temple Terrace Nov. 29, story

Economic considerations

The article on red light cameras points out that the vast majority of tickets are issued for illegal right turns. If illegal right turns are an important public safety concern at these intersections, may I suggest the city or county provide a simple common courtesy to its residents and place a sign that reads, "Stop on Red before Turning." Similar signs are already deployed, for example, on the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Lumsden in Brandon.

Let's turn (no pun intended) to the economics involved. Once installed, the cameras are typically operated and maintained by the out-of-state, or perhaps overseas, vendor who receives a substantial proportion of the revenues collected from each citation. Most of this is money taken out of the local economy, therefore hurting, in particular, small local businesses. Florida communities can ill afford such a steep hidden tax, especially in these uncertain economic times.

Etienne Pracht, Lithia

Erasing crimes of the past a growing trend Nov. 30, story

A new system needed

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Smart Justice Summit 2009, and the erasing of old criminal records was one of the hot topics. This is a big factors in the rate of people returning to prison.

I truly believe allowing a system to operate like this is done on purpose for the sake of the almighty dollar. Many of the offenses that are hanging over these people's heads are many years old and have nothing to with abuse toward children or the elderly. Many of these people are outstanding workers and have made major changes in their lives.

On any given day a health care worker can abuse a patient, a cop can abuse his powers, or any number of employees can be intoxicated with a substance. Most of these people don't have a record because they were never caught.

How long will our politicians sit back and do the same old song and dance at our cost with building new prisons and creation of more tent cities?

William Oehlecker, New Port Richey

Erasing crimes of the past a growing trend Nov. 30, story

Balance good and bad

Why not have a system where the negative things can be counterbalanced by positive things? For example, a person may have a criminal record for possession of marijuana and also a charge of petty theft and resisting arrest without violence.

Why not have a system where a person can perform meritorious acts which are designated by the state that once completed would appear on the same "rap sheet" alongside the crime? It would be a sort of debit and credit balance sheet.

So next to the drug charge it may show that the person balanced the charge by donating 25 gallons of blood, or 250 hours of community service work.

"The State of Florida Merit Redemption Act" or some such legislation designed to give citizens an opportunity to balance the books would be a way for them to redeem themselves.

Daniel P. Quinn, St. Petersburg

Health care

Going to extremes

CT scan use is abused by doctors and hospitals. Hospitals want to make a profit and doctors invest by owning CT scan centers.

Of course, it had to be a Sunday when pain from a kidney stone sent me to the hospital for some relief by way of a pain pill. I knew what I had, but the emergency room staff said they had to make sure what was causing my pain. A simple X-ray costing around $80 would have seen the stone but, no, they had to use a CT scan with all that added radiation.

My visit should not have cost more than a couple hundred dollars. The bill was more than $4,000. This is why we need someone to watch what the hospitals and doctors are charging us. There's nothing wrong with the care, but this is why many people can't afford it.

Larry Greenberg, Hudson

Leave Tiger alone

To those wanting to know about Tiger Woods' private life: You need to get a life of your own! Where was Woods going at that time of night? Why? What business is it of yours? Is Woods having an affair? Again, what business is it of yours? I'm not married to the man so I don't care one way or another.

Knowing this is driving so many people crazy, I'm pulling for Tiger Woods and his family in their efforts to keep this matter as private as possible.

Bobby McGill, Valrico

Attack on Tiahrt amendment is another assault on gun rights 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 6:44pm]

    

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