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Lack of lighting makes mall lot a scary place

Editor: I am an employee in a store in Gulfview Square mall. I work evenings, usually leaving about 9:15 p.m.

Since July 4, there have been no lights on in the parking lot, except those at the south end by Sears. I work at the north end. It is pitch black in the parking lot at 9:15 p.m.

Thursday night, July 12, I could not find my car in the dark. Driving through the parking lot, I nearly hit three people also searching for their cars.

This has happened before several times. No one knows when the lights will be working. Once before, a young man came out of the dark to ask me for a ride. I said no. He cursed me. I told security the next day. I was told I should call for an escort.

On July 12, about 20 people walked out at the same time I did. Can we each get security to walk us to our cars in the dark? The security vehicle was parked at the curb, no lights on, no one in it. The guard was inside the mall entrance, talking to a maintenance man. There aren't even enough security guards on staff at night either, but that's another problem.

It's surprising that no one has been injured, or worse, attacked, abducted, or raped. I'm afraid to work at this mall.

Debra Green, Holiday

Pawnshops and gun

stores do the right thing

Re: Pawnshop loophole: victory for criminals, June 29 letter.

Editor: I do not like the way the writer said, "The then-Second Amendment Republican Club." This sounds like the club died off. Far from it. We changed our name that I came up with, the Spirit of '76 Republican Club of Pasco County. It is in memory of all who fought in the American Revolution to give us all our amendment rights. The club has about 400 members.

It is true that we stood up to be heard, and the county commissioners did the right thing, as we did not have any gun shows for years. It has been about two years since then with no gun shows in sight. They made the right move and I commend them for making the right choice.

Now you are aiming at the pawnshops.

A little history on this subject. In October 1987, the state of Florida came out with a license to carry a concealed firearm in the entire state. I sent in my papers that I was an auxiliary sergeant, 15th Division, NYPD, U.S. Army veteran, NRA rifle and pistol instructor and classified sharpshooter, along with my fingerprint card. I received my license right away. That was 14 years ago.

As long as you had this state license, you could go into any gun shop or pawnshop, fill out a form, make a copy of your license, and you would not have to pay the $8 fee. You could take the firearm with you at that time and not have to wait.

A few years ago I went into a gun shop to buy a .22-caliber target pistol and a scope for it. Even though I had my license, I could not take this firearm home.

When a shop takes in a firearm, it has to report it to the Sheriff's Office and hold it, if I remember correctly, for 21 days. This pistol still had a three-day hold on it. Even though the owner knew me as a founding board member of that then-Second Amendment Republican Club, we did the right thing. I came back in three days to pick it up, and it was a 30-mile trip. So you see the gun shops and pawnshops are doing the right thing and I thank them.

Chuck Rhall, Port Richey

Fundraiser apologizes

for misunderstanding

Editor: I wish to apologize to the unknown lady who thinks I insulted her Sunday morning as I solicited donations for the soccer team which will be representing Pasco County in France in December.

I actually did nothing wrong and I know nowadays people feel they should not apologize when not at fault, but that is a whole other topic.

I was stationed at the entrance door. Another soccer parent was at the exit door _ only about 15 feet away. When I was not busy and someone put a donation in the other parent's bucket, I would speak up and say, "Thank you."

I did this one time, not noticing the lady in question passing me on the way in the store. She assumed that I was being a sarcastic, smart aleck, rude wise guy commenting on her not putting something in my bucket.

I truly was not. I am sorry she felt that way. I am sorry that we both went home feeling badly. I was honestly thanking the person, just 10 to 15 feet away, that just made a donation. I hope the lady will see this message. She indicated on her way out an intent to file a formal complaint. I suppose I should have followed her to her vehicle to explain the misunderstanding, but she was very upset and I thought it best to keep quiet.

Eugene L. Beil, New Port Richey