Sunday, November 19, 2017
Letters To The Editor

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

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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

Comments

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17