Treat guns as seriously as pills
I'm glad to see our county commissioners, our Pasco legislative delegation and law enforcement are finally acting to stop the influx of people from out of state descending on these unregulated pain clinics to feed their habits or make huge profits by selling these drugs in other states that prohibit easy access to drugs. We all are aware of the death and other tragedies easy drugs have caused in our communities and everyone must be breathing easier that this scourge may now finally stop.
But the official response to any problem is based on political correctness. If you die by an overdose of prescription drugs, or the illegal activity associated with easy drugs, our legislative delegations will move heaven and earth to protect our citizenry from bad or even illegal choices that have led to the death and injury of so many. But if you die because of no regulations, no-questions-asked, easy access to guns, they could not care less.
Registering clinics, a moratorium on new clinics and a flurry of local ordinances designed to stop the "threat of illegal narcotic activity and increased crime" could, according to a Times story, ''undermine the economic health of the county's development" and is expected to cost the county about $1 million."
How about the same requirements for gun stores, gun owners and gun shows? Gun stores could, by county ordinance, be relocated and subject to much more scrutiny. If you need a prescription to get pain medication there is much scrutiny. But if you want a gun, no problem. Just drive to the nearest gun store or gun show, pass a background check, fill you car with as many guns as you can buy in one transaction and then go north and sell them no questions asked.
Controlling drugs is seen as politically correct and the state has finally acted to control this problem. In Florida, take cover, as Florida will remain one of the most violent and unsafe states in the United States because of easy access to guns.
Arthur C. Hayhoe, Executive director, Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Reconnect with unspoiled nature
Have we awakened yet? Now that the oil has washed up on Florida beaches and the oil-covered dolphin has been acknowledged, will we rethink our lives — or rather how we live our lives?
Some of us might hold hands across the sand, some of us might write letters, others will sign petitions, but how many of us will dare to change? One simple change might be to visit Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park. Enjoy natural Florida —the wildlife, the birds, the fish, the springs, the threatened. The state has saved this gift from development, but can it be saved from the greed that comes in the form of oil?
Touch the trees and the water. Listen to the songs of the frogs, feel the moss and understand that we are all interdependent. Let's join the rest of creation and become a part of the healing.
Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey