Let's eliminate nuclear weapons now | Tuesday's letters

Published Aug. 12, 2019

Remembering Hiroshima | Aug. 7

Let's eliminate nuclear weapons

The world was forever changed 74 years ago, when the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Two hundred thousand civilians were obliterated from the face of the Earth while the survivors suffered the harrowing effects of radiation poisoning, infections, severe burns, deadly cancers and birth defects.

But what have we learned from these horrific events? Ninety-five percent of the world's nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons are in the hands of the United States and Russia, many on hair-trigger to launch in minutes. Human error, a computer failure, limited conflict between nuclear nations or cyber-attacks by terrorist groups all could lead to a launch. In the absence of any real policy, deterrence has been our policy. But really, it's been luck. We've been lucky these weapons have not been used, but luck is a poor policy for national security.

It is past time we put this issue to rest and begin eliminating nuclear weapons — not modernize, not miniaturize, but totally eliminate. A good place to start is for the United States to sign and ratify the 2017 United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and pass the No First Use Act currently in Congress. Nuclear weapons remain a constant threat to the safety of all mankind, especially as tensions grow around the world with no clear policies in place to keep these weapons from ever being used again.

Lynn Ringenberg, Tampa

The writer is professor emeritus at USF Health and a retired U.S. Army colonel.

Agents raid Miss. plants, arrest 680 | Aug. 8

There must be a better way

Surely we can find a more humane method of dealing with undocumented immigrants. The raids are un-American. Rather than a border wall, let's invest in creating an efficient processing system so that refugees will have no need to sneak over our borders, and human traffickers will have no customers. Our Border Patrol can catch the criminals. Rather than a "send them back" policy, let's offer steps to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who are employed and have no criminal record. Yes, undocumented criminals should be deported, but not good, productive people who believed in the American Dream.

Sandy Ericson, Palm Harbor

There is no justification

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids leaving young children abandoned and fending for themselves can best be described as monstrous. This was government-sanctioned child abuse. No caring person — Republican, Democrat, conservative or liberal — can find justification for such cruelty. Those grabbed were workers — not criminals, not rapists and not invaders. Shame on us.

Marc Yacht, Hudson

The writer is the retired director of the Pasco County Health Department.

Florida's foray into guns | Aug. 10

Suicide and guns

I have known five people in my lifetime who have committed suicide. All of them used guns, and none were mentally ill. They reached a point in their life where they snapped. Everyone, no matter who you are or how good and kind you are, has the propensity to snap. If there is a gun handy, God help you. If there is an assault rifle handy, God help us all.

Christine Jamesson, Weeki Wachee