More tragedies looming | July 31, letter
Example fails: No guns in bars
I take exception to the letter writer's fictional characterization of the "stand your ground" law.
Tourists and young professionals from abroad need not worry about the situation described, as all persons in the state of Florida, as well as in any other state I know of, who are permitted to carry a loaded weapon on their person, know they shall not under any circumstances carry that weapon within any establishment whose primary income is derived from the sale of alcohol.
This is the law, very reasonably, because of just the type of situation the letter writer describes. "Stand your ground" may not be invoked unless used according to all the laws and rules involved with concealed carry and the lawful use of weapons to defend oneself within the state of Florida.
Have there been instances where "stand your ground" has been abused? Maybe, however not to the degree stated by the anti-self defense crowd. I would bet this law has saved far more innocent people than is otherwise being claimed by the good Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Dream Team bunch.
Jay H. Love, Clearwater
To vote on July's Letter of the Month, go to www.tampabay.com/opinion
Acts of humility from the new pope | July 31
Speaking from the heart
In the spirit of universal ecumenicism, I would like to hear a huge "attaboy!" resound from all nations on behalf of Pope Francis.
In his recent casual remarks on gay priests, I believe he has uttered the five most profound words we've ever heard from any pope: "Who am I to judge?" Indeed. This is not only admirable humility, it's what the people have been trying to respectfully imply for the better part of 1,000 years. What a wonderful man, and what a joy to watch him move about and speak from his heart.
Jacque Bishop, St. Petersburg
Scott decries 'insult' to state | Aug. 1
Governor should apologize
I am a citizen of Florida, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson owes me no apology. Jackson sees the wrong in our current condition and calls for some common sense. Medicaid expansion: Gov. Rick Scott says no. "Stand your ground": Scott says it is fine. Low wages: Scott says work a few jobs.
Scott is like Gov. George Wallace blocking the doors. Scott blocks the doors for the elderly, the sick, the unemployed and the underemployed. Scott forbids common sense from entering Florida.
Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey
Uncovering legal sleaze in Tampa July 31, editorial
Poor judgment at the top
One of the most disturbing aspects in the aftermath of this whole phony DUI setup of attorney C. Philip Campbell Jr. was how quickly Tampa's police Chief Jane Castor leaped to defend Sgt. Ray Fernandez, and how clumsily she blatantly mischaracterized his role just after Campbell's wholly unjustified arrest.
Surely anyone could have deduced just from the news accounts that the involvement of Fernandez was more, and in this case a whole lot more, than just police business as usual. For Castor to claim initially that Fernandez was a "pawn" in the sleazy setup of attorney Campbell was poor judgment at best, and leaving him in his DUI supervisory role until now smacks of misplaced blind loyalty, especially given the involvement of Fernandez in the totally bogus DUI arrest of local political activist Al Fox just a month after the Campbell fiasco. In that case, the Hillsborough state attorney declined to press charges and Fox has announced his intention to file a federal suit against the Tampa Police Department alleging violation of his civil rights.
Castor should have removed Fernandez from any DUI involvement once the basic facts became abundantly clear following the Campbell arrest. Leaving him in a supervisory role now in the wake of the blistering review by Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe of this whole fiasco, and given Fernandez's role in the highly questionable DUI arrest of Fox, makes absolutely no sense.
The chief needs to act now to emphasize that her department's reputation will not be compromised by an officer who is seemingly being well-protected by the higher-ups at the TPD.
Joe McColloch, Tampa
On Obamacare, Rubio's data flawed | July 31
If the Affordable Health Care Act is so terrible, why do Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio feel the only way to convince the public the act is bad is to lie about it?
If House Republicans truly object to the fiscal inefficiencies of the Affordable Care Act, how can they justify wasting the time and resources it has taken to vote dozens of times to repeal the act, knowing the legislation will not pass the Senate?
Raymond R. Campbell, St. Petersburg
Report: A-Rod in talks to shorten ban Aug. 1
Game's integrity gone
I have been a lifelong fan of the all-American game of baseball. I find it so disheartening that Major League Baseball would allow players to "negotiate" a plea deal and be allowed to continue playing baseball after using performance-enhancing drugs. What about the integrity of the game? And what about the fans? Is anyone taking into consideration what we think about this?
At the very least baseball should reinstate the greatest player of all, Pete Rose. At least he did nothing to "alter" his stats. I also believe that the stats of each of these drug-using players should be wiped clean. Make them all start over again, especially Alex Rodriguez, who was the worst offender of them all.
Janis Waters, Indian Rocks Beach
Eileen Brennan dies at 80 | July 31
I watched the film Private Benjamin on Showtime many times when I was growing up, and Eileen Brennan did a great job playing Army Capt. Doreen Lewis in the film. She and her co-star, Goldie Hawn, both made me laugh. Private Benjamin was one of my favorite films.
Brennan was one of the greatest film actresses of all time.
Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach