Wednesday, April 25, 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: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18