Sunday, May 27, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Gun show debate doesn't infringe on Second Amendment

Gun debate does not step on rights

We were at the meeting when Commissioner Jack Mariano's proclamation was read. It was not a call to reaffirm support for the Constitution; it was in fact an instrument written with the sole purpose of taking away the rights of citizens to be heard on a request.

This was a deplorable attempt by Commissioner Mariano to show his contempt for the people and a laudable action by Commissioner Pat Mulieri who called him on it and said it was just an attempt to block further hearings on the closing of the gun show loophole.

Discussing closing the gun show loophole does not in any way infringe on the Second Amendment, and this action is supported by the majority of the people, including gun owners.

Even the NRA's favorite Supreme Court judge, Justice Scalia, agrees. Here is what he said: "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

To conjure up a convoluted proclamation to try to block a public hearing on something the people support is insulting and indeed sad.

We are sure that 99.9 percent of the individuals that take part in the governing process respect and honor our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, which give us the right of having fair hearings. We should take this very small step to at least ensure some modicum of safety on the sale of guns in Pasco and ensuring that we are not arming criminals.

Patricia and Ed Houghtalen, New Port Richey

Sad treatment of Constitution | March 31, letter

Democrats were unfairly blamed

Let's correct the inaccuracy regarding whether Democrats at the March 19 Pasco County Commission meeting jeered and booed during the attempt by Jack Mariano to force fellow commissioners to declare the obvious — that they support the U.S. Constitution. Democrats neither booed nor jeered. Anyone, including this letter writer, can see for themselves by going to,then clicking on "Pasco TV."

I am a former U.S. Marine Corps captain who swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution, who fought in Vietnam against our designated enemies, and I am both a gun owner and registered Independent voter.

Yes, there was booing — directed at Mariano who put this outrageous resolution in front of his colleagues for one reason only — to force them into not signing it and looking bad politically, or having them sign it so when he tries to prevent fixing the gun show loophole of background checks, the commissioners appear like traitors, or hypocrites, or anti-NRA.

The real un-American behavior came not from the Democrats there to demand a hearing on the gun show loophole, but from right-winger thugs who didn't just storm out when they failed, they also made a point of photographing each Democrat close-up, then calling them un-American for seeing through Mariano's blatant political ploy.

Enough with the false alarm. Democrats are still American citizens, and Pasco County commissioners still lack the courage and common sense to prevent gun shows from providing lethal weapons to the mentally ill, the felon and ex-felon, and woman-beaters.

Daniel Callaghan, New Port Richey

Use background checks in Pasco

In late March, the FBI raided a felon's home in Pasco and the man was found to have an "enormous" quantity of guns and ammunition. His arsenal included seven automatic assault rifles.

It is illegal for a felon to own a firearm? How do felons get these weapons? They can use straw buyers or steal them, both of course illegal. Better yet, they can go to a gun show in Pasco County and purchase them from a private dealer without a background check.

Last year 750 felons were arrested in the Tampa area, which includes Pasco, in possession of firearms. All the other counties in the Tampa area require background checks for the purchase of firearms at gun shows, but not Pasco. Why do Pasco County Commissioners allow this practice to continue when all they have to do is exercise their constitutional right to require background checks at gun shows in Pasco?

Hal Chase, Hudson

Krewe dress-up dishonors Indians

There is one race of people that seems to be left out of the whole equal-and-matter dialog going on in America — the Native American.

But, there is a whole lot of "honoring" of Native Americans. We dress up like an Indian for Halloween. We name sports teams after nations. And, how about those neat dream-catchers we hang from the rearview mirrors?

So, once again the Krewe of Chasco, educated professional members of Pasco County, play dress-up and call it "honor." The Krewe tosses out beads like the lives of the Native Americans were tossed out. If the Krewe of Chasco had any conscience it would educate with truth rather than eradicate with lies.

Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey

Food giveaway draws crowd March 27 article

Food pantries do the best they can

The story quoted a woman who said, "there's a couple of other food banks, but they only hand out bread.''

Last year, the Volunteer Way Food Bank distributed 7.5 million pounds of food in Pasco County to hungry families and to 46 food pantries and soup kitchens. Of the 7.5 million pounds, there was only 1.5 million pounds of bread, cakes and sweets. The rest was meat, canned goods, vegetables and fruits. We also grow our own vegetables and distribute to the needy.

We are the largest food bank that donates all our food free of charge.

Most food banks charge a handling fee to the pantries and soup kitchens. We also served, at our soup kitchen, 43,689 hot meals consisting of soup, steak, fish, pasta and sandwiches to the homeless and unemployed.

Many of the food pantries that do not come to us for help get bread and cakes from supermarkets.

These items are all that food pantries are able to pass out to the needy. Most food banks charge handling fees for other food items and most food pantries can't afford the fee. That is why they only distribute bread and cakes. They do the best they can.

Lester Cypher, CEO, the Volunteer Way, New Port Richey


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

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 ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18