Thursday, April 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: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18

Wednesday’s letters: One county’s water affects us all

Sprawl seems a concern until Tampa land use lawyer appears | April 9Water impactsspan county linesThough I live in Pinellas County, I have followed the discussion on land use decisions made by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s decisions, perhap...
Published: 04/10/18