1. Archive

Recognize the hypocrisy that was assault weapons ban

Re: Sheriff's stand on assault rifle ban, Sept. 23 letter

Editor: The letter writer is puzzled as to why Pasco County Sheriff Bob White did not support the continuance of the 1994 ban on so-called assault weapons. Clearly, the writer is puzzled easily. Bob White and anyone else who objectively examines this now thankfully expired law sees it as a flawed and hypocritical piece of legislation.

The writer reveals the depths to which he is willing to sink in referring to these banned weapons as, "fully militarized military assault rifles." True select fire military assault weapons have been effectively banned in the United States since 1929. The 19 weapons enumerated in the 1994 legislation are semi-auto weapons having cosmetic similarities to true assault weapons such as the AK-47 and M-16. In this regard, Peter Jennings was forced to make a retraction when ABC news pictured the perpetrators of the now famous botched robbery in Los Angeles firing true, full automatic weapons and hinted that these were the weapons banned by the 1994 law; Jennings later admitted that the weapons used in Los Angeles remain banned and that the lapsing of the 1994 law has absolutely no effect on the continuing illegality of true assault weapons. One can only hope that the letter, in a rare moment of candor, might make the same public admission.

The hypocrisy of the 1994 law lies in its banning 19 semi-automatic firearms while leaving as legal literally hundreds of other semi-automatic weapons that are functionally identical, use the same ammunition and can accept magazines of the same capacity. The reason for this hypocrisy is clear when one notes that the great preponderance of the banned weapons are manufactured outside the United States.

The hypocrisy of these people has no bounds; they knew they could not plausibly condemn all the American made weapons so they picked on mostly foreign made weapons, trying, as Jennings did, to trick people into confusing the banned weapons with true AK-47s and Uzis.

The 1994 law was vintage Clinton _ a real stinker. It lapsed because both political parties recognized its foolishness and its hypocrisy.

David Barzelay, Trinity

County needs to solve retention pond flooding

Re: Long-term flooding fix, Sept. 23 editorial

Editor: I appreciate that someone in the media is finally willing to address the commissioners' responsibility involving the flooding issues. I happen to live in an area that is flooded due to a recently constructed retention pond the county allowed to be built in our older neighborhood. We weren't given the option to refuse to allow this pond, and now we're not being given any options as to how to alleviate the problem.

This problem was addressed with commissioners in 1998 when we were initially flooded and were told that a solution to the problem could take three years. Six years later, we've lost our homes and road again! My husband has lived here since 1984 and was never flooded out, so the problem cannot be blamed on "living in a low-lying area." County records will show that we never requested to be pumped out until the retention pond was built.

The county created this problem and won't offer a solution. Seven families have lost their homes, and the rest of us can't get to ours. The road has been destroyed due to the water, and it will not be repaired or patched, because it's not county maintained. It's hard to imagine having to pay for a solution to fix our problem when these families are already having to pay to fix their homes.

The county, Southwest Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Transportation created the problem, so they should pay to fix it.

My neighbors and I have called our commissioner, Peter Altman, several times, and I have never received a return call. So I'd like to take a minute to thank him for looking out for the little guys. You've benefited many by widening State Road 52, but you've destroyed an entire neighborhood by doing it. Bravo!

Christina Vitali, Hudson