Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: On guns, follow Australia's lead

'Our hearts are broken' | Sept. 23

U.S. should follow Australia's lead

Another mass shooting, and we continue to be fed foolish solutions by the media and the "very serious people" who populate the chattering classes.

Video games, we're assured, are part of the problem, and mental health issues need to be addressed. The real solution apparently cannot even be mentioned.

Look at Australia. After 13 similarly horrific gun massacres in 18 years, their conservative lawmakers enacted real gun control legislation in 1996 and there has not been another incident since. They have video gaming on a level similar to our own, and mental illnesses afflict their population as well. The same can be noted about the rest of the civilized world, which agrees that "civilized" means controlling access to firearms.

As long as weapons manufacturers and their lobbyists can buy some of our legislators and frighten the others, the carnage will continue.

William Adams, St. Petersburg

Too many deaths | Sept. 20, letter

We already have gun laws

Our Founding Fathers' intention was to acknowledge and establish "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" as a fundamental, God-given right of all law-abiding citizens, not only in order to protect from tyranny from the likes of King George, but also for the purpose of personal self-defense.

The 2008 Heller decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that right, and the right to keep and bear arms is now unquestionably the law of the land.

The court also stated that this right is subject to regulation, such as requiring concealed carry licenses and prohibiting felons and the seriously mentally ill from possessing firearms. Such laws are already in effect.

The murderer at the Washington Navy Yard was prohibited by law from possessing firearms, according to reports, but he slipped through the system. His firearm was a popular pump-action shotgun. He smuggled the gun and ammunition into the Yard illegally.

The laws are already on the books, and we cannot haphazardly keep passing more antigun laws that serve no purpose but to infringe upon the Second Amendment. That would be in violation of our right to keep and bear arms.

Lee Hanson, Hudson

Bus driver off route as texting inquiry continues | Sept. 21

Technology to the rescue

This article about an accusation that a school bus driver was texting while driving a bus full of students got me thinking of a simple solution.

Since cellphones can determine movement through their built-in GPS, it should be easy for phone manufacturers to modify their operating systems to disable the texting feature any time movement is sensed. This would seem to be simple enough to do and at a small cost. The hard part is finding a manufacturer with the courage to make the change.

I believe that once one manufacturer enables this feature, others will follow. The insurance companies should also show courage by putting pressure on these manufacturers to disable the texting feature when motion is detected.

Driving is a responsibility that requires our full attention when behind the wheel. This simple fix will not only save lives, but is sure to reduce accidents and insurance premiums as well.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

Loser of the week | Sept. 22

Murphy isn't the loser

I feel it was a mistake and an injustice to call Amanda Murphy "Loser of the Week." The real loser is Republican Bill Gunter, her opponent in the race to fill Mike Fasano's Florida House seat in District 36.

Republican Fasano is an honorable public servant who believed in working across the aisle in order to help his constituents. The fact that he could not bring himself to endorse his own party's candidate is an implicit endorsement of Murphy.

Hal Chase, Hudson

Attack on health law rejected | Sept. 24

Coverage for all

The next time you are sitting in a doctor's office with your sick child or visiting your aunt with cancer at the best facility available, think of the millions of people with no health insurance.

Are these people the "mooches of society" who are on welfare? No, they are millions of middle-class, hard-working people who are self-employed or work for a company with no insurance — one in four, in Florida.

It boggles the mind to hear Republicans, who are otherwise basically good people, express not an ounce of empathy or compassion for the millions without insurance. I see banners, "Leave my health insurance alone." I agree. Leave my opportunity for health insurance alone. Obamacare is a lifesaver for millions of people in Florida alone — yet based solely on the fact that it is a Democratic law, Republicans are doing everything possible to sabotage.

Cheryl Colvin, Odessa

Government saved the day | Sept. 22, editorial

Extending a helping hand

As a recovering conservative, I nevertheless appreciate your relatively well-written editorial about the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The so-called intervention vaguely bothered me until I read your comprehensive editorial. The intervention was a good idea, and it's working.

An analogy: I am against picking up any person (or business) who can get up on his own. But I favor extending a hand that can be grasped in an effort to rescue oneself. And I am glad that the government extended a hand to help prevent a hard fall.

Alan Jude Murley, Tampa

Put Florida schools on right course | Sept. 22, commentary

Get the standards right

Thanks to former Gov. Charlie Crist for setting the facts straight. The naysayers on Common Core have evidently not even looked at the standards and how well-written they are to prepare students for life, college and career.

Check out the reliability and validity of what these standards will do for education in America and then formulate an opinion. It's the way of the future and the way to strengthen our nation's future citizens.

Carol Hess, Hudson


Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18