Thursday, April 26, 2018
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

Comments

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

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Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18