Saturday, December 16, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Time for commission to hear gun show loophole debate

Checks needed at gun shows

The one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 20 children and six adults died, was Dec. 14. Nothing has changed. Over the past year, 11,094 Americans have died of gun violence. Last year, there were 310 violent crimes involving guns in Pasco County.

In February 2013 the County Commission voted to hold a public hearing on requiring background checks at Pasco gun shows, as is required for all sales by licensed firearms dealers. At the March meeting, lacking the political will, they delayed holding a hearing. The excuse given for not even wanting to hear what Pasco citizens had to say was provided by Senior Assistant Pasco County Attorney Kristi Sims. She stated the commission had the power to establish background checks at gun shows but recommended the commission wait to hold a public hearing until a lawsuit in Pinellas County was resolved.

Pinellas County enforces background checks at gun shows. This has not reduced the number of gun shows but has stopped felons and the mentally ill from purchasing firearms. A hearing for the lawsuit was held on August 26, and it was subsequently dismissed by the judge. The lawsuit has been decided. The rational given for not holding a hearing no longer exists.

Background checks for the purchase of firearms work. They reduce the murder rate of women by 38 percent and firearm suicide rates by 48 percent. In addition, gun trafficking is 48 percent lower. Since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was established, over 1.5 million criminals and mentally ill have been stopped from getting firearms. Keeping firearms out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill is not a threat to our Second Amendment rights but protects our right to life.

Ninety-four percent of Floridians favor background checks for the purchase of firearms. It is time for the Pasco County Commission to allow a public hearing on requiring criminal background checks for the purchase of firearms at gun shows. What do commissioners fear from hearing from the citizens they represent?

Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson

Elevated toll road

Taxpayers still pay for toll roads

A recent story about a private elevated toll road above State Roads 54 and 56 mentions that one objective of the project is to "expand the highway system without burdening taxpayers."

Who, but taxpayers, are going to use this toll road and be burdened with the toll?

Billions of Florida taxpayer dollars tendered at the gas pump as federal transportation tax have been handed back to Uncle Sam by Gov. Rick Scott only to be snatched up by other states for high speed rail infrastructure.

Is not infrastructure, roads, bridges, sewers, water treatment facilities, the things that government is meant to supply and support?

Already industry has taken a large portion of our education system private through charter schools. Penal institutions are up for grabs in the Sunshine State. A toll is a tax by another name.

Joe King, New Port Richey

Soft fur soothes the court jitters | Dec. 8, article

Good news is a pleasure to read

Thank you for the story about the therapy dogs used in the Pasco County courtrooms. It was a pleasure reading a positive story about something happening in Pasco County.

As a volunteer with the Humane Society of Pasco, I know first hand how much joy animals can bring to people. Unfortunately, the stories about Pasco animals of late have not been so uplifting.

The way to change the world is to focus and celebrate the good that people do. I commend the Tampa Bay Times for doing just that. Keep the happy stories coming!

Sharon Scheiblein, Hudson


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17