A redistricting change of heart
As someone cited as the opposition to the recent redistricting proposed for the County Commission and School Board in C.T. Bowen's Sept. 4 opinion piece, I need to say that my mind has been changed. Editorial opinion writers are usually proficient in the art of argument and Bowen is no exception to that rule. I appreciate that from a newspaper committed to public awareness on the issues that concern us.
Perhaps I have been parochial in seeing central Pasco as an entity better represented by a single county commissioner. Perhaps I felt a sense of loyalty to our county commissioner, Pat Mulieri, who has fought hard to improve our roads, our libraries, our parks — particularly my favorites the Land O'Lakes Community Center and Heritage Park — and Mulieri certainly deserves credit for her battles.
Nevertheless, Bowen made the point and I now concur that we in central Pasco may be better served by the possibility of three county commissioners with a fealty to the residents of this part of the county. Our voices could only be magnified in "Bringing Opportunities Home" to central Pasco. The more the merrier indeed!
Sandy Graves, Land O'Lakes
No firearms controls Sept. 2 letter
Laws abound to control guns
There are plenty of federal and state laws controlling firearms in the state of Florida. Gun ranges provide a safe and controlled shooting environment for training, practice, sport competition and acquiring proficiency in the safe use of all firearms.
The state of Florida has taken over all firearm laws, and now has prevented local municipalities and counties from enacting their own versions of gun control laws, for good reasons. Uniformity throughout the state is one. For example, when a legally armed person travels from one county to another, he or she should not have to stop and check to be sure concealed carry is as legal in Pinellas County as it clearly is in Pasco County.
Uniformity has also provided the basis for Florida's reciprocity agreements with 35 other states, allowing for interstate concealed carry between those states. Lastly, it prevents local governments from enacting gun control laws which conflict with state law, or infringe upon our Second Amendment rights.
In truth, there are many laws that control the use of firearms, but now they can't be enacted by any local government.
Lee Hanson, Hudson
A victory for the gun lobby
Clearly, the gun lobby does not want local municipalities to legislate gun safety policies where they have no control, so all the focus is on Tallahassee. But the other half of this gun debate revolves around a critical public safety issue: What has the NRA or Florida Legislature done to keep firearms away from those who are prohibited by law from using firearms?
What meaningful steps has the NRA introduced, advocated, or lobbied for to reduce the horrendous gun violence in Florida? The answer, going back a few decades, appears to be absolutely nothing. The NRA's focus is on the proliferation of firearms and with local cities no longer able to legislate gun safety laws, this is a victory for the gun lobby which seems to own Florida's state government.
Thomas Burke, Clearwater
Deregulation won't create jobs
U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent's recent letter to constituents included an anecdote about deregulation from 1975. With all due respect, this is news? We have been hearing about deregulation for at least that long, and since then industry after industry has been deregulated, including the deregulation of the banking industry in 1999, one of the causes of the economic hardships we now face. From 2000 to 2008, regulations not cut were mostly ignored.
The people of Nugent's district are hurting. Across the country, few districts have been as hard hit by job loss as District 5. Now we read that his plan for helping the people of this district is to remove unnecessary federal regulations on small businesses. That's it?
Most regulations on small businesses originate at the state and local levels. His party has dominated Florida politics for the past 15 years, so we assume regulations on small businesses have already been cut to the bone. If simply getting rid of unnecessary regulations creates jobs, then Florida should lead the nation in jobs creation.
Unnecessary regulation should be eliminated, but not at the expense of our right to protection from crooks, the unskilled, and polluters. What small businesses really need is increased demand for their services and bank loans to help them expand. Only then can they hire more workers.
Rep. Nugent, the taxpayers of your district need a plan that will work. We sent you to Congress, we pay your salary, and we expect more from you than cuts to Medicare and Social Security, tax breaks for the richest Americans, and half-hearted approaches to jobs creation. We need a real plan for growth.
Ray Fones, Ridge Manor
Might just as well bag Labor Day
Why in the world do we bother with Labor Day? Except for government employees, most people have to work. All retailers are open. All dealerships and furniture stores are open. In fact, they offer up these bogus sales for Labor Day.
I just feel that if we are going to honor our workers then give them all the day off or cancel the holiday all together. When I was a kid, the only thing that I remember open was the little mom and pop stores and mom and pop worked that day not their employees . The old days were so much better.
Michael Morelli, Spring Hill