Theater shooting | Jan. 15
While this deplorable homicide is investigated, researched, analyzed and reported, is it not an oversight that andropause is never mentioned as a possible cause?
The irritability and mood swings in more than one area of an aging man's life may well be a contributing factor due to decreased testosterone.
If "grumpy old man syndrome" goes untreated, it can possibly lead to angry confrontations, violence and depression.
One wonders whether blood tests to determine testosterone levels might shed some light on the contributing factors of one man's regrettable and horrible actions.
Wendy Tessier, New Port Richey
The next logical step
I went to the movies recently, one day after Curtis Reeves allegedly shot and killed a man at the movie theater for texting and threatening him with popcorn.
The movie theater was about half-full. Most of the patrons were senior citizens. They were a loud crowd, talking through all of the previews.
I was worried for their safety and mine, fearful that one of those among us would be a law-abiding gun owner and take offense at the lack of courtesy from his fellow patrons.
Since I was afraid for my safety, I wondered, if I had a permit to carry a gun, could I just send up a warning shot and tell everyone to pipe down so they didn't get one of us killed? Isn't this the logical next step? Where have we gone as a people, as a country, with this ridiculous, indefensible stance on guns in the hands of every person, every home, every business?
Our country is on the wrong side of this issue and every developed nation with rational gun laws is proof. The Second Amendment was not intended to make us a country of vigilantes. Shame on us.
Ann Leavine, Temple Terrace
A bitter pill | Jan. 14
Obama and war
I disagree with much of Dan O'Shea's op-ed column. I, too, am a veteran with multiple tours in Afghanistan and have seen the evolution of U.S. strategy in that country.
His article uses former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' memoir as political fodder, something Gates complained about in a Jan. 13 interview on the Today Show.
O'Shea cites the Gates memoir in his criticism of President Obama's handling of the Afghan war, but ignores Gates' opinion that President Obama made the right call on Afghanistan in 2009.
President Obama has always been clear in his intention to bring the war in Afghanistan to an end. We are nearing that point, but we will have to wait several years to see if it will be successful or not. In the meantime, I also find Iraq to be a very bitter pill to swallow: as O'Shea says, al-Qaida has returned to Fallujah and Ramadi, but it's important to remember al-Qaida had no presence in Iraq before President Bush invaded the country to remove weapons of mass destruction we found did not exist.
Jeff Williams, Lithia
Kriseman's staff | Jan. 15
The new mayor's staff additions are even more questionable in light of the city's overall budget for this fiscal year and the current economy.
The city's full-time head count is budgeted to increase by only two — from 2,679 to 2,681 — but Kriseman has added an additional eight. Cost-wise, salaries and benefits were budgeted at $239.8 million, a drop of $1.1 million from 2009. The full-year cost of the mayor's additions wipes out the entire reduction. He stated that he will move money from other areas to pay for the additions, but what about next fiscal year, and the years after that?
As I recall, the federal stimulus gave a lot of money to cities and states, much of which was used for jobs — jobs that often went away in year two when the stimulus funds ran dry. Let's not go there.
Peter Ford, St. Petersburg
Peters and Jolly | Jan. 15
Clueless about D.C.
Kathleen Peters' statements related to her reasons not to support the Republican elected by the party shows her total lack of understanding of how Washington works.
The position that David Jolly held under Rep. Bill Young and his knowledge of how the system in the halls of Congress works will allow him to hit the ground running. Peters needs to get on board with the party. Based on her experience, if she had been elected she would be in an "on the job training" role.
Rich Prestera, Treasure Island
Clemency and executions | Jan. 16
Death in the dark
Public defender Howard Dimmig writes, "All information gathered in the clemency investigation is confidential and unavailable for review" even by the inmate and his or her attorney. The clemency board may not hold a hearing at all. Only the governor and two members of the clemency board are required for a decision.
Sounds like some country other than the United States, but no, this is happening right here in Florida.
Thank you to Dimmig for educating us. Florida is reminiscent of countries ruled by dictators! No wonder Florida has increasing numbers of executions while the rest of the country has fewer.
And just how are they executed?
Do we use the same drugs as Ohio just used that may have caused "cruel and unusual punishment'?
Esther Kirk, Riverview