Thursday, February 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Senate vote on guns compounds despair

Senate halts gun curbs | April 18

Senate vote compounds despair

Just days after the Newtown, Conn., massacre, I noted in a letter to your editors that media talking heads had been grappling for words to describe their reaction to that horrific event. I submitted my own reaction at the time: despair that any sensible federal gun controls would eventually be adopted.

Four months later, that reaction has been sadly confirmed by Wednesday's Senate vote that failed to pass a compromise bill providing for universal background checks on gun buyers. The outlook for bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons is reportedly even more hopeless. While it is well and good that states like New York, Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland have passed strong gun control measures, absent universal controls at the federal level, the laudable efforts by those states will have only limited effects on gun trafficking and the availability of weapons of all sorts to criminals and the mentally unstable.

No doubt champagne corks are popping at the NRA and other pro-gun lobbies. Meanwhile the national body count of gun deaths since Newtown — already in the thousands — continues to mount. How and when will the slaughter end?

Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center

Senate halts gun curbs | April 18

Senseless reasoning

Forty-five senators decided that we do not need laws controlling guns because the criminals do not obey the laws anyway. Therefore, it follows that we do not need speed limits because speeders speed; we do not need laws against robbery because robbers do not obey the law; we do not need murder outlawed because murderers do not follow the law.

Where did these senators learn their logic? They do not represent my logic, and I hold them responsible for all future murders with guns starting today. That is my logic.

Esther Kirk, Riverview

Another approach

Here's another way to approach the national problem of gun violence: Let sane, law-abiding people have all the (allowed) firearms they want as long as they carry heavy liability insurance for them. Make it a felony to have an uninsured firearm.

Let the actuaries set the rates. A farmer in Idaho with a couple of shotguns in a gun safe would pay a pittance. Adam Lanza's mother wouldn't have been able to afford the premiums.

The insurance industry would view the possible revenue stream and would roll right over the NRA. The political powers-that-be — governors, federal and state legislatures, etc. — would consider the campaign contributions rolling in from the insurance industry and immediately realize that such a law/requirement would indeed be a fine idea, a very noble cause.

This would really tighten up gun ownership, put liability where it belongs and certainly help out crime victims.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

Focus the blame

Your lead headline of April 18 — "Senate halts gun curbs" — missed the mark. It should have read, "Republicans halt gun curbs." Put the blame squarely where it belongs.

Peter Golenbock, St. Petersburg

Serve voters, not NRA

I have never been politically active and have never written to a newspaper until now. I now intend to do both. It is because I was so upset with the votes on gun control. I am ashamed of all who voted against all the bills, but especially Sen. Marco Rubio. I did not vote for him, but I had hopes he would be a fresh face in Washington and we could get some things done. Instead he seems to be all for filibuster and going along with the crowd.

I am sure he wants to at least be a senator again and maybe even president, however if he can't stand up for his beliefs and the beliefs of his people, how can he stand up against China, North Korea or anyone else that might do us harm?

The only reason I can fathom he would vote against these bills is that he wants the money from the NRA. If he wants their money and support instead of ours, he should resign and work for them.

Charles McCuen, Zephyrhills

Breaking the rules | April 16, letter

Respect bikes, pedestrians

I am an avid bicyclist who rides the roads almost daily. I follow the rules, but they do little good for me. Many drivers act as though bikes have no right to be on the road. Recently, a school bus forced me off the road — that was Fort King Highway in Zephyrhills. Drivers have almost run me down in intersections when I have a green light and they make right turns. Drivers have yelled at me through their loudspeakers to get off the road and onto the sidewalk. Firecrackers have been thrown at me. One day, an 18-wheeler actually hit my bike while I was waiting for a light to turn (and I was on the sidewalk then).

I have found that too many drivers in this state have no respect for pedestrians or bicyclists, and there are far too few places to safely walk or to ride safely. The problems here aren't insurmountable, but our climate needs to be pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

William Pike, Zephyrhills

Obama: Budget would cut deficit | April 11

Help nation's seniors

Senior citizens throughout the United States are having enough daily financial problems. We don't need those problems compounded with President Barack Obama's proposed cutback in the Social Security program. Hopefully, the elected officials in Washington will take legislative action to prevent the president's proposal from happening.

In fact, I pray that Washington lawmakers will approve legislation that will forever prohibit any U.S. president or legislator from cutting back benefits and/or having the power to take money out of the Social Security program for anything but money that benefits senior citizens.

Had past presidents and legislators not taken out trillions of dollars from Social Security to benefit their pet projects, our seniors today would have enough money to pay for their day-to-day obligations and some of their health care.

Mr. President and Washington legislators, let's help our seniors who have helped protect our country.

Frank J. Duci, Largo

Comments

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18