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
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