Thursday, July 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Don't infringe on our rights

Public wants controls, but politicians refuse Oct. 4, commentary

Don't infringe on our rights

We're again deep in the knee-jerk response phase of another mass shooting, a horrific tragedy with unimaginable sorrow for hundreds of families. But as before, these events take place in gun-free zones, and the perpetrators willfully violate innumerable laws, not the least of which is proscription to murder. All evidence and common sense say that more laws will have little or no effect on these individuals or groups. And reading through the lengthy list of gun control proposals in Christopher Ingraham's column, it is again obvious that not one would have stopped or mitigated last week's tragedy. A better answer is to understand and address the underlying twisted motivations. Perhaps then we can identify and prevent these events, irrespective of targets and methods.

In these difficult moments, we should also remember that our constitutional rights are an ingenious interlinked system that safeguard us from the death, oppression and misery that blankets much of the world. Free speech, free press, fair elections, free exercise of religion, and yes, the Second Amendment, each serve an important role in this fragile bulwark.

We allow left-wing activists to riot, destroy property, and physically assault conservative speakers and their audiences with deadly force from coast to coast. Should we therefore prohibit conservative speech because it brings violence? In the same way, we should not infringe a fundamental constitutional right because of the horrible actions of a few. It may seem like a high price, but the alternative is much worse.

Raymond Baker, St. Petersburg

NFL protests

Behavior and consequences

When Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem, he did so to demonstrate his concerns regarding the criminal justice system and various incidents of police behavior. (The connection between the two eludes me.) It appears now that that purpose has been clouded over by statements from the White House and other issues.

There is no such thing as a "routine" day in the life of a law enforcement officer, as the unexpected is just around the corner. Law enforcement officers are taught that when confronting an individual their initial approach will dictate how successful they are in ensuring that person does what has been requested. If the officer's approach is cordial and professional, more often than not, he can expect the person's response will likely be similar. If disrespectful and demeaning, the officer should expect resistance and an equally negative response.

When resistance reaches the point of confrontation, officers will respond with strong and direct commands to defuse the situation and take steps to protect themselves, their partners and innocent third parties. One should not expect any less. No amount of kneeling, protests or demonstrations will change this.

Mack Vines, Belleair Bluffs

The writer is a former St. Petersburg police chief.

To stand or kneel

There's a lot of talk about standing or kneeling for the playing of our national anthem. I remember seeing a very young veteran struggling to stand when notes of The Star-Spangled Banner started to play. He stood proudly — on two prosthetic legs. I cried.

I'm a nobody, but I stand for my country's flag and I kneel to my God.

Nelda Barlow Squier, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18