Gun control is a nuanced idea | Dec. 23, commentary
Gun owners must secure weapons
I've long agreed with the message in this column.
We hear so much from the NRA about "responsible gun owners." It seems to me that any NRA member should agree that a responsible gun owner is capable of controlling the use of his or her weapon.
If a citizen is incapable of securing the weapon he carries or keeps, he should be responsible for any consequence of its use.
If Nancy Lanza had properly secured her weapons and ammunition from the son she knew had mental issues, she and 27 others including her son might still be alive.
With enough guns in circulation for each American to have one, it's time to decide: Are you willing to be responsible for your gun, or would you rather turn it in to be melted down?
Ken Lynam, Dunedin
Florida cowed by NRA long enough Dec. 27, commentary
Gun law suggestions
Here are a few reasonable New Year's resolutions for our state legislators to ponder.
I am a gun owner and understand that we can never get all guns off the streets, but we could make it a little more difficult for lawbreakers. The state could require flea markets and gun show private sellers to register all firearms sales. The state could require gun sale records be maintained for a minimum of 10 years and allow law enforcement to access the trail of gun ownership.
The state could also allow concealed weapons permits or renewals only to Florida residents. It is wrong to be in the mail-order concealed weapons permit business. Why not tax ammunition a dollar per bullet? This would be for all calibers and exclude law enforcement and federal agencies.
All of this could be in a single piece of legislation if the Legislature has the will to move past the NRA lobby.
Robert Weisman, Tampa
Has Newtown changed Obama? Dec. 23, commentary
Rights and commerce
David Rothkopf raises an interesting debate. The United States has spent $3 trillion to combat terror but has allowed Americans to own military-style weapons. Some 30,000 Americans die each year from gun violence; fewer than 5,000 died on 9/11.
I believe the only way to explain both is to say our government passes laws not to protect individuals but to provide business for corporations. One can claim defense through an amendment to the Constitution, but it actually comes down to making sure our economy continues to roll along.
Jim Demmy, Kenneth City
Scott: Higher learning is about higher earning Dec. 23
Training or education
Training should not be confused with education. Perhaps what should be established are institutions where people are solely trained to make money with no pretense of receiving an education. Instead of acquiring a university degree and therefore generally being considered an educated professional, one could obtain a certificate of training.
Pete Martinez, Tampa
Eureka! Now impose that carbon tax Dec. 24, commentary
First things first
Until the United States addresses immigration control and the inequities of trade imbalances with countries like China and India, any talk of esoteric taxes to support environmental improvements is simply ridiculous.
Since China has systematically denuded the United States of its manufacturing might over the past 30 years, most surplus capital for investment has migrated away from our shores, preventing our populace from obtaining good-paying jobs and private industry from getting vitally important investment funds to foster growth.
It is unfortunate that economists, removed from the hard facts workplace reality, don't consider the impact new taxes like these have on the economy and job creation.
Academia, government and taxes are all parasitic creations which feast off free enterprise. We should be more concerned with having a place for our children and grandchildren to work rather than an environmental utopia.
Let's see China truly impose these carbon tax initiatives, then about 30 years later, we can impose them.
Nathaniel James, Pinellas Park
Bill McBride dies at 67 | Dec. 24
'Good guy Democrat'
Shortly after he lost the 2002 election for governor, I encountered Bill McBride at a legal seminar and told him that even though I didn't vote for him, he would have done a good job. I added that my late father would have called him a "good guy Democrat." He laughed, shook my hand, and thanked me for at least voting.
David P. Carter, Seminole
McBride did good, and often Dec. 25, Daniel Ruth column
Generosity to all
Thanks to Dan Ruth for his kind words about Bill McBride. We who worked with and for him will never forget him.
One of the astonishing things he did was to raise the hourly wage of all the people in the office services department, chiding his partners that no one should have to live on $8 an hour. Alas, the Grinches who came after him saw fit to undo all that.
Judy Ellis, St. Petersburg
Trop finds favor in poll | Dec. 25
It will do just fine
Three cheers for the folks who want to keep the Rays at Tropicana Field. It is far from the worst baseball stadium I have ever been to watch a game. That honor would have to go to the converted Coliseum in Los Angeles some 55 years ago.
The one I liked the best was old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. The Trop is somewhere in between.
The Trop is plenty good enough for the market. The money it would take to build a new stadium would go far toward providing the much-needed rapid transit system that would benefit almost everyone in the Tampa Bay region.
The Times has had several articles and editorials about how much the country needs to spend on infrastructure. I can think of few, if any, investments that Tampa Bay could make that would benefit the region nearly as well.
Stanley Murphy, Zephyrhills