More bad law from NRA | Aug. 12, editorial
Seek compromise on open carry
I almost gasped when you conflated legitimate self-defense with vigilantism. I would have resigned my NRA membership years ago if I felt that it appealed to vigilantes.
Even your Trayvon Martin example falls flat; it has nothing to do with open carry. Moreover, the case hasn't even been tried. More often than not, so-called "concealed carry tragedies" turn out to be false claims based on the assumption that the shooter is already guilty. Or worse yet, some shooters do not even have permits or legally owned guns.
I personally am agnostic on open carry. But the more you resort to hyperbole, the less likely people sitting on the fence will agree with your case. Compromise is possible. Perhaps we can allow bans on open carry only in incorporated areas such as cities, for starters.
Leonard Martino, Tampa
Look to other states
Florida is one of eight states that does not allow open carry of firearms. Many other states do allow open carry and seem to do so with no problems. Would it not make common sense to copy the open carry laws of these states?
Dabiel Vogel, Tampa
Restaurants seeing more inspections Aug. 11
Hypocrisy on the menu
I laughed out loud when I read this article noting the increased frequency in health inspections of local restaurants in anticipation of the Republican National Convention. This encapsulates the inherent hypocrisy of the current Republican Party mantra of limited government regulations and reduced government spending.
When the Republican elite leave the controlled environments of their exclusive gated communities and private country clubs, they insist government agencies step up the spending to cater to their every personal concern: food safety, security, etc. Once they return to their protected surroundings, spending government funds on safety enforcement for the general public is considered government intrusion and wasteful government spending.
Cynthia Fargo, New Port Richey
No time to waste
In light of Mitt Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate, I foresee a wave of letters blasting Ryan with the false claim he is trying to end Medicare when he is just trying to change it. I would ask anyone holding this view to honestly ask themselves: Why is he messing with it in the first place? Could it be that the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the growth of entitlement spending and especially Medicare will virtually bankrupt this country in 20 years?
So far, the Ryan plan from the Republican-controlled House is the only one that addresses this dilemma. The Democrat-led Senate can't even seem to pass a budget. Time is running out, and the longer we wait the more drastic the answer will have to be.
Mark Grosenbaugh, Tampa
Sink or swim approach
Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan for his vice presidential selection is a triumph for the belief in "rugged individualism," "sink or swimism" and a host of other "isms," such as Social Darwinism and objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
It is all well and good if you are succeeding in life or have the economic and social resources to overcome whatever obstacles you might be facing. However, there are millions who cannot swim and will "sink" without some type of compassionate assistance, either from the government or a social service agency.
Cutting Medicaid, privatizing Social Security, and cutting other safety net programs is shallow, cruel and makes a mockery of the myth of "compassionate conservatism," as if there was ever any truth to that concept.
Michael S. Greenberg, Clearwater
Villages developer a master of GOP cash flow Aug. 12
It's about fun, not politics
Yes, this community is largely Republican, but as an independent liberal thinker, I don't care. We do not discuss politics with our neighbors and friends, mostly because we are so happy living here.
This is probably the best community in Florida. Yes it's too far from the "big" water, but most of us have "been there, done that." We can be busy doing fun and entertaining things all day long, then go to the town squares and dance like teenagers.
H. Gary Morse may be extremely rich; good for him. He has built an amazing community and most of us don't care that he gets a piece of everything, or that he's a big contributor to the Republican Party. Politics is not why we live here — we love the nonstop fun.
Janice Gibney, The Villages
Long before I learned about the Villages' corporate politics, I sensed that its residents were being manipulated by the developer. I would compare the dissemination of such blatantly Republican propaganda to a similar experience I had at a development in Jacksonville. I attended what was supposed to be a political forum, but it actually was a convenient opportunity for management to tell the residents how to vote. I found myself to be a minority of one as an audience participant.
I have a suggestion for anyone who is looking for a retirement home. Take some time to speak to the residents and ask some pointed questions. Then act on your political ideals.
John R. Gallo, Ruskin
A weighty example
It was with a feeling of pride that I watched the United States win the most Olympic medals. Yet how ironic that the United States also has one of the highest rates of obesity.
Let us resolve to honor our Olympic athletes by doing our part to destroy these statistics. Encourage your family and friends to take the stairs, to walk, to run and play outside, to exercise, and to maintain a healthy body weight. Let's show the world that the Olympic spirit lives within each of us.
Jan Kokernot, St. Petersburg