Sunday, January 21, 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


Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18