Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: We live in a sick society

Las Vegas massacre

We're living in a very sick society

We apparently live in a very sick society.

1. The frontrunner for the GOP nomination for governor of Florida is openly admitting that he is owned lock, stock and gun barrel by the National Rifle Association.

2. Gun stocks climb after mass shootings.

3. "Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun," said Wayne LaPierre. Wayne, where was your good guy? More than 500 injured and more than 50 dead.

4. "We're coming for you," NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, in a video, warned the New York Times.

5. According to Alex Jones, Sandy Hook was a performance. This from a man who is endorsed by our president.

My wife and I just returned from two weeks in France. France has a terrorism problem due to their colonial past in northern Africa. But why did I feel much safer in France than here while we were there?

Because we have a lunatic fringe that is endorsed by one of the two political parties in America. We have a lunatic fringe that believes sedition and unlimited gun ownership trumps every other facet of the Constitution.

I don't care if this guy was right leaning or left leaning, we do not need more guns in America. We need rational, sane policies that protect the rights and safety of our citizens.

Our senators and representatives need to show some reasonable level of courage and push back against the cancer that is the NRA.

Robert Smith, Tampa

Las Vegas massacre

Blood on our hands

About one in three Americans choose to keep a gun or guns in their home. Two surveys from Pew Research and Gallup explain that the vast majority of gun owners report that personal protection is their primary reason for having a gun. Nearly 80 percent of gun owners said that they felt safer with a gun in their home.

But research indicates that homes with guns are clearly more lethal than homes without guns. We know that owning a gun dramatically increases one's likelihood of dying by homicide, suicide or gun accident. We know that having a gun in a household is a tremendous risk to children who live in or visit that home. We know that a gun in the house increases the likelihood that a domestic violence situation will become lethal. So for the record, let's at least agree that households with guns are clearly not safer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 36,252 people in the United States were killed by firearms in 2015. About 60 percent of these deaths were suicides; 35 percent were homicides. More people will die in just two years of American "peacetime" from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War.

U.S. gun laws are the most lax in the world among developed nations. No other "civilized society" has as many guns circulating through its streets. And, consequently, no other developed nation in the world has as many gun-related murders as the United States. Not even close.

The degree to which reasonable people do nothing on the issue of gun control is the degree to which we all have blood on our hands. It's time that we speak and vote together, in conscience, to prevent new generations of gun violence.

Finn Kavanagh, Tampa

The dying art of disagreement | Oct. 1, Perspective

For a more civil discourse

Bret Stephens offers some wisdom in his lecture about the art of disagreement. His most salient points, in my opinion, are: "You can't seek the truth if you don't give your adversaries the intellectual benefit of the doubt, grant them moral respect, have sympathies for their motives, participate emphatically with their line of reasoning and allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what they have to say."

In other words, treat your adversaries as you would like to be treated, and aspire to civil discourse in debate rather personal attacks.

Martin Garcia, Tampa

American dream on hold | Sept. 29

Shameful treatment

Thank you for publishing the story of Jussara Davis, who is facing a deportation trial. I read with horror and shame how the immigration policies of this administration resulted in the incarceration of a woman who has been in this country for 17 years, pays taxes, has no criminal record, and supports two teenage sons, one of whom was born in the United States.

While I understand that her status is illegal, it is unconscionable that authorities refused to consider her story in its entirety. She was not allowed to speak to her sons on the day of her arrest. She was ridiculed by an officer in the customs station in Tampa. She was detained longer as part of a policy referred to as an immigration hold to give federal agents time to determine whether her status will trigger deportation proceedings.

This is Donald Trump's America. This divorced mother of two is working cleaning houses, paying taxes, volunteering at her church and raising two sons who are already on the way to becoming productive members of society. What happened to deporting only those with criminal records? I believe that was just another one of Trump's false promises.

Robin L. Frank, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18