Monday, January 22, 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


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18