Re: Armed teachers would be a dangerous lesson (Sue Carlton column, tbt* March 14)
While it is not surprising to read Sue Carlton's antigun article on armed teachers, it is surprising how little research she or the media have done on the subject. The popular beliefs that all guns are bad, and that teachers with guns will have some kind of psychotic meltdown and become the shooter themselves, are just not right.
Florida is one of 33 states proposing allowing schools to designate a teacher or administrator to carry a firearm in the event of an emergency. If a teacher or school official has the background, training and desire to carry a gun, then they should be applauded for their willingness to do so. In 1997, assistant Joel Myrick stopped what could had been another tragic school shooting because he met force with force!
If we trust our educators to teach our children, why would we not trust them to protect our children by all means necessary? Mr. & Mrs. Taxpayer don't want to spend the money for school officers, and yet when a school shooting occurs they cry foul. Get real! Either spend the money or give our teachers and administrators the chance to protect our kids. When seconds matter, the cops are a few minutes away.
Daniel Fritz, Tampa
Editor's note: Joel Myrick was the assistant principal at Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss. On Oct. 1, 1997, after 16-year-old Luke Woodham shot and killed two students and wounded seven others, Myrick chased him down and held him at bay with a pistol he kept in his truck in the school parking lot. He forced Woodham to the ground and put his foot on the youth's neck.
Re: Florida Supreme Court tosses out a medical malpractice cap on damages (tbt* March 14)
Congratulations to the Florida Supreme Court for their decision to reopen the "Florida Medical Lottery" by doing away with caps on "pain and suffering." No one will argue that trying to define how much that is worth is arbitrary at most. What you failed to mention was that actual medical costs are covered and have never been reduced, and that the plaintiffs' attorneys make a percentage, often 30 to 50 percent of awards, thus reducing what the plaintiff actually receives.
This will again open the floodgates for suits to try to win over juries where there were adverse medical outcomes, based on healing and patients' overall health, rather than true medical malpractice. Look for malpractice premiums to rise and surgeons to stop doing high-risk procedures.
David Lubin, MD, Tampa
Re: Candid Talk (tbt* March 13)
In Georgia, if you are driving the legal limit on a divided highway (breaking no laws) and another driver (breaking the law by speeding) pulls up behind you, you must change lanes or you could get a ticket. And not just a slap on the wrist — up to $1,000 fine and a year in prison. The speeder goes on his/her merry way.
As a professional driver-chauffeur, I am appalled. This is just wrong on so many levels. Remind me not to drive in Georgia until they elect officials with at least a lick of common sense.
Denis Stephen Malfant, Clearwater
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