1. Archive


In the 1920s, the U.S. government passed a constitutional amendment that prohibited hard liquor. This spawned a host of underground activities that were illegal. The bottom line is, people broke the law. The amendment was finally repealed after costing federal, state and local governments millions of dollars in additional enforcement and lost tax revenue.

Passing a law that prohibits feeding animals such as ducks and cats falls into the same category. People will break the law. How much will this law cost to enforce? Short of having an officer on every corner, I am not sure that it is enforceable. Does it make sense to criminalize being kind to animals? That is not a legacy that I would expect my government to teach children.

Frank Hamilton, Odessa

Enough with the Keystone Kops - July 26 letter

Support sheriff; know his limits

Letter writer Arthur Hayhoe has certainly come up with a novel approach to crime with his idea of "putting criminals in jail before they commit crimes." Perhaps he thinks that those about to begin a crime wave will alert law enforcement of impending criminal activity. Wasn't it Hitler who arrested people who were considered enemies of the state, and likely to commit the crime of opposing the Nazi regime?

Law enforcement is inherently reactive, and is limited in proactive approaches because of our Constitution, which affirms that all citizens are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Our judicial system prosecutes criminal behavior in order to discourage such behavior, and also to protect law-abiding citizens by taking proven criminals off the streets for a period of time related to the severity of the crime.

It surely is vital that society, specifically Pasco County, provide citizens with a police force that is able to quickly respond to crimes and other emergencies often reported by a 911 call for help. Sheriff's deputies are also on patrol constantly to enforce traffic regulations, and to look for any suspicious activity meriting further investigation. Visible police presence is, of itself, a deterrent to crime.

Crime in Florida has plummeted dramatically since the Jack Hagler law was passed in 1987. The more recent 10-20-life legislation has proved itself by providing for mandatory minimum sentences for convicted violent offenders.

Every law-abiding citizen in Pasco County should give Sheriff Bob White and his staff all of his or her support to help insure the highest level of law enforcement performance.

Lee Hanson, Hudson

Crime prevention was paying off

It is unfortunate that Pasco County's sheriff is disbanding his crime prevention unit. With the cuts in local government budgets, the crime prevention unit was one of the ones selected. Statistics have proved the information provided played a proactive role in personal safety.

The best way to reduce one's chances of victimization is through the development of a personal safety strategy before it is considered necessary. The crime prevention unit provided a valuable public service. They empowered members of the community with unbiased safety information. If we can apply the strategies learned at a seminar, we will be capable of deterring the criminal.

Being tough on crime starts with each individual, no matter what the age group.

The NRA did not enact tough-on-crime laws in Florida; our former Gov. Jeb Bush asked for the law to be passed. Law enforcement agencies supported the bill. For more than a century, the NRA has aggressively supported the strict enforcement of laws against violent criminals who misuse firearms and has worked to improve the criminal justice system.

Before 1985, Florida had problems with every local government having its own version of gun laws, and nobody knew what the heck the law was from city to city or county to county. Therefore, Florida became a pre-emptive state and the Legislature decided to keep local government out of firearms regulation, unless it specifically authorizes an exemption. This meant uniform firearms laws in the state required local jurisdictions to enforce state firearms laws.

The only way to stop criminals is the tough-on-crime legislation in which convicted felons are mandated to serve 85 percent of their prison time.

Nicholas Di Guiseppi

New Port Richey

Uproar follows shirt at tragedy - July 25 story

A small sacrifice amid sea of waste

I am writing in regard to the very thoughtful firefighter who laid a cheap $23 shirt on fellow firefighters' makeshift memorial, after spending his own money to travel to get there. It is a shame that this man has to go through a reprimand.

The way our government wastes millions of dollars on things that have no purpose shows what kind of society we are living in.

This man was just thinking of his fellow firefighter. To condemn him over a lousy polo shirt is crazy.

Edwin Cremeans New Port Richey