Monday, May 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Make criminal gun users pay

Gun control

Make criminal gun users pay

It's amazing that after all the chest-pounding and hysterical rhetoric from pro and con gun rights groups that the president, media and others are not talking about making criminals more responsible for crimes committed with a gun. They prefer to profile guns.

No one has even discussed making gun-related crimes carry severe prison sentences without appeal, no plea bargaining, no liberal judge forgiveness, no boo-hooing. Make criminals seriously think about using a gun in the commission of a crime. It won't stop the crazies and suicide-bent nut jobs but will have more impact than boosting gun sales and the membership role in the NRA.

Harvey Smith, Palm Harbor

Gun control

Give peace a chance

Given the deafening cacophony coming from the NRA and that ilk expressing their collective paranoia over the government taking away their deadly toys, it appears the rest of us don't count in this discussion.

Those of us who prefer a peaceful, gun-free world have rights, too. Remember the part in the Declaration of Independence about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Yeah, you could argue that the Second Amendment grants gun owners the right to pursue their "happiness," but wait a minute … what about the rest of us who are threatened by people with guns, who are maimed by people with guns, who are murdered by people with guns — what about our rights?

The NRA's solution is simple — gun up, everyone! Once the entire populace is armed, then we are all equal. It's simply a matter of who can draw faster. OK Corral, anyone? No, thanks.

Don Miller, Apollo Beach

Gun proposals strike a perfectly reasonable balance | Jan. 17 editorial

What about all the ads?

I notice you are quick to jump on board with the liberal agenda on gun control, but you certainly are not so principled when it comes to making money. I counted at least 60 ads in Thursday's paper advertising guns and ammo.

Can you say hypocrite?

Gary G. Brown, Clearwater

Gun plan tackles a daunting task | Jan. 17

Mostly symbolic measures

I think we are going to find that the ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines is more symbolic than effective. As an Army veteran who has fired thousands of rounds from an M-16 assault rifle, the fully automatic military version of the semiautomatic Bushmaster AR-15 rifles used in the Newtown, Aurora and D.C. sniper massacres, I know that it only takes a second to replace an empty magazine with a full one.

James Nelson, Largo

For the greater good

Over the past few weeks, a number of my friends have proffered the following argument: "I have always been a careful and responsible gun owner. Why do I have to give up my constitutional right to have a gun — be it an assault rifle, a gun with a large magazine clip, etc.?"

My retort has been: "I have been a careful and responsible licensed driver for over 50 years (one ticket and no accidents). Why do I have to give up my right to drive my car at any speed I deem careful and responsible?"

Here is why: Sometimes in a society like ours, reasonable and responsible people have to forgo certain rights and/or privileges because of the misuse and or abuse of them by unreasonable and irresponsible people. Sometimes we have to give up certain rights and/or privileges for the better good. Doing so, at least in my view, is being a mature, reasonable and responsible citizen.

William G. Emener, St. Pete Beach

All style, no substance

President Obama wants more gun laws to prevent tragedies like Newtown. However, creating more laws will have little effect because criminals do not obey laws. Do you really believe that a criminal is going to subject himself to a background check to buy a legal firearm? Of course not.

Will banning "assault" rifles have a significant impact? The FBI's own crime reports show that all rifles, including shotguns, .22s, hunting rifles and assault rifles, contribute to less than 5 percent of firearm homicides. The definition of what is an assault rifle is more style than substance. Attacking the situation with new gun laws is just superficial and will not get to the root of why these tragedies occurred. It is nothing more than political grandstanding.

Joe Wareham, Tierra Verde

Gun shops: Obama plan won't work | Jan. 17

Response makes no sense

What a shock. The people who make a lot of money from the sale of assault weapons say the president's plan to ban assault weapons won't work.

One of the people interviewed predicted that "sales will plummet" and said it's not good for the economy, like that's a good reason to continue selling these weapons that have no purpose but the slaughter of lots of people in a short amount of time.

We all know that some criminals will still get their hands on assault weapons; that doesn't mean we should make it easy for them.

John Krevens, New Port Richey

Let them go to combat

Those gun advocates so eager to fire lots of ammo using military-style assault weapons designed to injure and kill people should volunteer for military duty and combat action. That would leave fewer chickenhawks stateside to continue the ignorant blather about how completely the "well regulated" Second Amendment right trumps the Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of life without due process of law.

Roland Moy, St. Petersburg

NRA brings Obama's daughter into fight Jan. 17

Groupthink at its scariest

I cannot countenance any American being a card-carrying member of any organization whose leadership would criticize any American president for allowing for Secret Service protection of his children, regardless of what that president does or doesn't stand for. We really need to ask ourselves what kind of nation we are becoming.

Walter Melvin, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18