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Gun ownership is essential to freedom

Guns in our homes put children at risk | July 19, commentary

Gun ownership essential to freedom

The writer's one fail-safe solution to firearm fatalities is the abrogation of a part of the Bill of Rights of our country's Constitution. He proposes that denying all gun ownership to private citizens will save lives by keeping all guns out of our homes. He has no use for the Second Amendment, despite a recent Supreme Court decision confirming the individual right of all law-abiding citizens to possess guns.

He apparently has no use for self-defense either, which is the basic intent of that amendment — not only to defend our country from foreign invaders and insurrectionists as a militia, but also, and equally importantly, so all law-abiding citizens can defend themselves against criminal attack upon the home or the person.

I'd like to remind the writer that our violent crime rates have fallen, including homicides, as the number of gun owners has been rising. Florida currently has more than half a million concealed weapon licenses in effect.

His statistics are misleading. All children to age 14 are five times more likely to die from motor vehicle accidents than from firearms, and more than twice as likely to die from drowning, according to the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2005). National Safety Council studies raise those proportions to 30 times more likely from automobiles and 10 times more likely from drowning.

Our Founding Fathers certainly understood that the right to keep and bear arms is as essential to our freedom as any other right acknowledged in our Bill of Rights.

Lee Hanson, Hudson

Think of lives, costs

I was a pleasure to finally see an article like this one by Dr. Peter Gorski. I only wish he had more statistics regarding the thousands of deaths caused by guns every year in this country and the cost in the millions of dollars for emergency hospital services.

William G. Mattingly, Palm Harbor

Guns in our homes put children at risk | July 19, commentary

Second Amendment secures all rights

Dr. Peter Gorski's column was the epitome of prohibitionist thinking that would unintentionally remove the linchpin of our freedoms in America. The Founding Fathers knew full well what they were doing when they included the right to bear arms within the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. As the recorded debates of the day bear out, they felt the right was the one that secured all the others. Gorski would have us believe that an unarmed population, surrounded by an armed police force, is safe and secure from a government run amok.

Statistics are easily manipulated and spun to favor the argument one presents, and I question the ones used in this article. And yes, handgun ownership did not protect the unfortunate victims of 9/11 from a suicidal takeover of an aircraft. But the argument could also be made that had the pilots, if not the passengers, been allowed to carry their legally owned handguns on board the outcome might have been different. We will never know. However, what we do know and what Gorski has so conveniently left out is the thousands of times that legally owned handguns have been used to foil crimes, including rape, robbery and murder.

But the Constitution does allow for modification, and if Gorski can get the appropriate majority of states to ratify nullifying the Second Amendment, be my guest. Until then, thankfully, the right to bear arms remains the law of the land.

William Morelli, Odessa

Guns in our homes put children at risk | July 19, commentary

A God-given right

First, the Constitution does not grant rights to the people, it protects them. Rights are derived from our creator. Governments and others can honor them or violate them. Peter Gorski's whole argument starts off with the wrong premise.

I was amused by his plea for safety. To prevent "accidental shooting and unintended deaths," and in order to save the children, Gorski offers a "a fail-safe solution: removing guns from homes and denying gun ownership." I could offer the argument that governments cause wars, so it follows that the fail-safe solution to prevent wholesale death would be to remove all governments, and deny re-establishment of any new ones.

I don't find a need to belabor all of Gorski's arguments, but I will conclude by countering that the rate of suicide in Japan, where handguns are banned, and which he appears concerned about, is twice as high as it is here in the United States where our Constitution protects our God-given or natural right to bear arms for our personal protection.

Mark Evans, Seminole

Who is he? And who does he think he is? | July 18, Charles Krauthammer column

Transparently flawed

Charles Krauthammer speaks for millions of silent Americans who have pondered the same question about the Democratic candidate for president: "Who does he think he is?"

Thank God for astute citizens such as Krauthammer, who see through and beyond all the glitter and glamor that surrounds this candidate.

It is time for all Americans to come forth and speak out loud and as frequently as possible to one another and to all who will listen to the truth. This candidate is seriously flawed.

Carolyn Diller, St. Petersburg

Who is he? And who does he think he is? | July 18, Charles Krauthammer column

What about Bush?

Charles Krauthammer's column criticizing Barack Obama is unbelievable. His complaint about Obama's failure of accomplishment leads me to examine the accomplishments of the Bush/Cheney administration: a disastrous war; massive debt; an economic catastrophe; a housing crisis; runaway inflation; escalating unemployment; etc.

Obama's accomplishments will take place when he is elected president. He promises change, and I have no doubt it will be a change for the better.

Sol Helfand, New Port Richey

Gas tax holiday? Talk is of raising fuel taxes a dime | July 20, story

A tax for the future

The political vision of a "summer gas tax holiday" was idiotic and, obviously, pure political pandering. However, the idea being quietly discussed by lawmakers is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough. We need to raise fuel taxes by 50 cents per gallon on gasoline while possibly even lowering the tax on diesel fuel (primarily for truckers).

With U.S. usage of gasoline in the range of 140-billion gallons per year, we could generate approximately $70-billion in tax revenue, with perhaps $10-billion going to road construction/repair and the remainder $60-billion going into escrow to fund the development of mass transit (very sorely needed now and in the future!).

Obviously, this would not be a popular idea, but just think how far ahead we would be with mass transit if we had implemented this plan when gasoline was at the "bargain" price of $2 a gallon!

Bob Lindskog, Palm Harbor

TECO bills to rise in '09 July 19, story

Power squeeze

We're all told to save energy, turn off the lights, set the thermostat higher, drive slower and less, etc.

My TECO bill shows I've used four kilowatt hours less than the same month last year. The bill is higher, though. The energy charge is $89.78, the fuel charge is $92.98. Add all the hidden costs and it's more than $200 for the month.

Yet they want to raise the rates again when they are already getting compensated for the fuel cost. America is struggling, we're at war, I'm out of work. What's wrong with this picture?

Daniel Orsello, Tampa

Social Security system has become overgrown July 17, letter

Scrooge-like attitude

The letter writer sounds as if he is Ebenezer Scrooge. He cites in his letter that payments to "widows with children" was added "at some point." He takes issue with surviving dependents receiving Social Security.

The monies that are paid to widows or widowers and children are dependent on the deceased person having worked and paid into the system. Additionally, survivor benefit payment amounts depend on how much the deceased person earned and how long the deceased person worked.

The majority of disability claims filed are denied, and appealing the denial takes many years regardless of the validity of the claim.

Sandra Allessandrini, a widow with dependent children, Tampa

Gun ownership is essential to freedom 07/21/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 27, 2008 7:18pm]
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