Monday, June 18, 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


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18