Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Fear criminals, not gun owners

Parks of tranquil beauty are no places for guns | Jan. 8, Bill Maxwell column

Fear criminals, not gun owners

Had Bill Maxwell simply opined that parks are not suitable places for criminals, no one would be able to fault him. But logic has been put on hold in favor of the typical visceral response of those who know that logic does not support their emotion-based opinions.

"Granted, no law would have prevented Barnes from bringing guns into Mount Ranier," Maxwell posits in regard to the felon who shot and killed ranger Margaret Anderson. But he fails to follow with the qualifying question: "Exactly what is the purpose of prohibiting firearms for the law-abiding?" There can be only one answer logic will support: to render the law-abiding into prey for criminals. Prohibiting firearms to the law-abiding turns any place into a "criminal empowerment zone." Such policies have never worked out well for any but the thugs.

Perhaps Maxwell is worried that mere possession of a gun turns otherwise peaceful people into homicidal maniacs. Not to fear, Bill. Florida actually keeps track of crimes committed by those who have jumped through all the hoops necessary to get a concealed weapons permit, and guess what? Those people are six times less likely to be arrested for anything as members of the general population. We even return our library books on time.

So, Bill, if you want to worry about somebody carrying a gun in a park, worry about criminals. The rest of us? Not so much.

Frank Clarke, Oldsmar

Don't delay cuts to Social Security | Jan. 7

Santorum's insensitivity

While Rick Santorum might understand himself to be "courageous and honest," others like myself might view this man of relative means to be both insensitive and naive. Many citizens currently receiving Social Security are also shopping at food banks. Reduction in benefits will lengthen those lines.

I am 74 years old, receive Social Security and work two part-time jobs to supplement our income. My wife receives Social Security and is a part-time college professor. While feeling fortunate, we wonder how others will fare if their Social Security is reduced.

Alexander L. Craig, Madeira Beach

Campaign 2012

It's inequality, not envy

I recently saw a video clip of Mitt Romney stating that all the talk about income inequality is coming from people who are envious of the rich. Really? Apparently Romney isn't aware that these people are talking about the unfairness of the wide income difference between the rich and the average worker in this country.

The United States has one of the highest levels of income inequality, as measured by the Gini index. Maybe Romney needs to listen to the working people of this country instead of writing off their complaint as simply being "envious."

Karen Miracle, Brandon

Murder falls off deadly ledger | Jan. 12

Support 2nd Amendment

I see that with all the antigun hype your editors continue to spill forth that homicides have fallen below the top 15 causes of death. It is not coincidental that at the same time we have 49 states permitting concealed firearm carry, that as a nation we support the right to bear arms, and we have relaxed our laws to allow a person to stand his ground.

I see all the negative articles your columnists write on either gun ownership, the NRA or hunting. It would be nice to at least hire someone to represent the majority of the American people who support the Second Amendment.

John T. Wilson, Tampa

Confusion soars near airport | Jan. 12

Drivers: Pay attention

The first paragraph of this article solves the problem. "Victor Crist learned the hard way to pay close attention whenever he leaves TIA." Congratulations! That's how you're supposed to drive!

No amount of money spent on more signage will cause people to pay more attention. That's like saying if we put more speed limit signs up people will start going the speed limit. Even the picture with the article shows how clearly marked the exits are; I really don't see the confusion.

Maybe if we put up signs that say "Pay close attention while driving" the roads would be a little safer. Or maybe not.

Randall Glass, St. Pete Beach

Clear up the confusion

This article was right on. My wife and I have mastered leaving the airport, but the signs on Memorial Highway for getting into the airport from the south are very confusing. We always miss the right turn, drive to the next exit, make a U-turn and enter the airport from the north, which is clearly marked. Something should be done to clear up the confusion.

Phil Russell, Ellenton

Senate Bill 98

Don't erode religious liberty

Senate Bill 98 erodes the individual religious liberty of students in Florida schools. Students currently have a right to pray individually or in groups on their own time and have religious clubs on campus. We must guard against the promotion or endorsement of one particular set of religious beliefs.

SB 98 allows school officials to dump the constitutional protections of religious liberty by allowing students to vote on the kind of prayers the school will allow and conduct. It gives schools free rein to make students who are religious minorities or who don't adhere to a specific religious belief feel like outsiders, alienated from their peers, or compelled by peer pressure to engage in religious practices that go against their own beliefs.

As a practicing Christian and Baptist minister, I oppose the entanglement of church and state. Even though the bill permits students to vote for the kinds of prayers they will allow and conduct, one cannot escape the fact that this will be a government-endorsed religious activity. This is an affront to both believers and nonbelievers who wish not to be subjected to the prayers of others who believe differently about religious issues.

Kenny Blankenship, Land O'Lakes

Innocence tarnished for officers left behind Jan. 8, John Romano column

Compassionate column

John Romano's Sunday column about our police was compassionate and heartwarming. It was truthful and right to the point. After the very large funerals for the lost officers, the families go home to a house without their loved one.

The column brought this, and the danger our officers face every day, to the public's eye.

Francis Verderber, New Port Richey


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

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