Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Ban ownership of deadliest guns

Las Vegas massacre

Ban ownership of deadliest guns

There are only two solutions that could have saved the shooting victims in Las Vegas: a law banning civilian ownership of automatic and semiautomatic rifles, or a military sharpshooter posted on every building within 2,000 yards of the concert venue. The second option isn't even close to practical (unless the NRA wants to fund it), so we must consider the first. No one uses an automatic weapon, solely designed and intended to quickly kill large numbers of people, for hunting or personal protection.

So here's my pledge to NRA members: Keep your standard rifles, shotguns and pistols. I promise that I'll never ask for you to give them up. (And there's absolutely no way Hillary Clinton could have removed the Second Amendment from our Constitution, despite Donald Trump's ludicrous claims.) Can anyone give me one rational, commonsense reason why we can't make this compromise? I just don't understand how the NRA's 5 or 6 million members — less than 2 percent of the American population — get away with telling us other 98 percent that we don't get to have a say I this. The NRA wants its members to own a deadly weapon that they'll never use for any practical purpose, yet it continues to be used to slaughter large numbers of innocent Americans.

Reasonable people make reasonable compromises, yet our politicians who blindly support the NRA can't seem to understand this. And those same politicians tell us it's too soon to have this discussion, out of respect for the dead. Is it then too soon to discuss Columbine? San Bernardino? Sandy Hook? Charleston? Orlando? When can we discuss those?

Jeff Clark, Safety Harbor

Government ethics

Wasting taxpayers' money

How can we ever have confidence in government officials who blatantly rip off the country? Thank heavens Tom Price is now on the outside looking in after his private and military air travel binges. But this epidemic of jet-setting behavior has apparently spilled over into other departments including Treasury, the VA and Interior. These public servants should serve taxpayers and citizens, not abuse them.

Then there is the ultimate insult of the president regularly making a smart profit by frequenting his own properties and, in the process, filling up the resort with Secret Service, staffers and press. I hope the entourage is all getting big "friends and family" discounts. Whatever happened to a quiet weekend at home reading and understanding proposed legislation and solving important issues?

It would appear that when Walter Shaub, the ethics director, resigned, any pretext of doing the right thing also walked out the door.

Karl Olander, Indian Shores

Las Vegas massacre

Gun rights not unlimited

My wife and I are both gun owners.

Since the mass shooting in Las Vegas, we have heard the usual refrain of "guns don't kill people, people do." And the same tiresome refrain of, "Should we ban cars, knives, hammers and matches? Because they can kill too."

Yes, they can kill, and cars and trucks have been used as weapons of mass murder. But all these products have a peaceful purpose they were initially designed for. What peaceful purpose was an AR-15 designed for except to kill?

We are supporters of the Second Amendment, but these assault-style weapons that someone with $50 can turn into a weapon of mass destruction are to our mind not, and never have been, covered by the Second Amendment.

Someone, somewhere has got to have the spine to say no to the NRA.

Allan A. Love, New Port Richey

Answer is not more guns

The shooting in Nevada is horrific, but sadly not surprising. No doubt many people will go out and purchase a gun as a result, in the mistaken belief that the answer to such an event is more guns. The truth is that if everyone attending the concert was armed it would have made no difference.

Now we wait for the next massacre that will surely come because, sadly, some Americans care more about their guns than they do about our children.

Janet Graber, St. Petersburg

Stronger laws work

Another gun slaughter, another pitiful cascade of "thoughts and prayers" from our weak politicians.

How many people could this nut have killed with a baseball bat or a steak knife? I don't care why he did it. I care that he was able to get his hands on a firearm, in this case a collection of guns, whose only purpose is to hunt humans.

When gun laws are strengthened, gun violence drops. That fact is being demonstrated worldwide. How many more innocent people have to die?

Is it time to push the NRA aside and restore some sanity.

Scott Cochran, Tampa

Tax reform a ray of hope for nation's middle class | Oct. 3, commentary

Plan favors upper incomes

Richard Corcoran's article is filled with fallacies that begin with the headline's "ray of hope."

Unemployment has decreased not because of a dynamic effort from Tallahassee but because many people are underemployed, working only part-time with no benefits, or simply gave up trying to obtain work. Corcoran is seeking a higher office rather than accomplishing things for his constituents.

Very few businesses actually pay the existing tax rates because of the innumerable loopholes in the code that favor, especially, large corporations. And even though it is true that most of these corporations divert their earnings, lowering their tax rate without closing the existing loopholes will not guarantee that those dollars will come to back the country. In fact, it will only exacerbate the situation, resulting in more profits for the upper economic class, the stockholders. There is no realignment there. It is pure favoritism.

Carlos E. Mateus, Lutz


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18