Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission
Why Gualtieri is my guy
My name is Max Schachter. My son, Alex, was one of the 17 innocent victims of the Parkland school shooting. One month after the shooting, I was appointed to be a commissioner on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety commission, chaired by Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. I didn’t know Bob beforehand. I quickly learned we were very fortunate Gov. Rick Scott chose him to lead the investigation into the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. His extensive knowledge and experience proved to me he was the right person for the job. During every excruciating eight hour meeting, he was determined to find out what happened to Alex and the 16 others and make sure it never happened again.
I saw him firsthand bring Broward County officials before our commission to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they fixed their failures. I realized his efforts were not only going to make Broward County safer, but they would set an example throughout the entire state and make us all safer.
Even though Bob has more accolades and awards than any law enforcement officer I know, he is modest and completely dedicated to protecting Pinellas County and the entire state. No law enforcement officer has done more to advance the safety and security of Florida’s children than Bob Gualtieri.
Max Schachter, Coral Springs
Congressional race is a sequel | Oct. 23
The party of family values?
Responding to incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s just criticism of the GOP-run Senate ramming through the nomination of a right-wing religious zealot to the Supreme Court, her opponent retorts, “If it was the Democrats, they’d be doing the same thing.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham said the same thing. It’s a lie. Let’s ponder this common, childish deceit. Every liar says all others lie — the method starts in childhood. “Well, Johnny lies too, and he didn’t get punished as bad as me!” All thieves say everyone steals. It’s just what they do to relieve themselves of the just burden of condemnation and correction they deserve. But it’s a method so foolish and obviously infantile that it needs to be called out, especially from a candidate for office — and, conspicuously, the GOP side. The “Party of Family Values” indeed.
Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg
There’s a price to pay for not standing up | Column, Oct. 22
We will not forget, but can we forgive?
Leonard Pitts has written a necessary column. People need to read his column repeatedly until they are able to recite it from memory. We cannot forget the Republican Senate or the many state legislators throughout the United States who have let the leader of the Republican party bully and run riot over our laws, our people and our institutions. President Donald Trump has made the swamp worse. We need to hold Republicans accountable for ignoring what is obvious to everyone.
Mr. Pitts, I agree we cannot forget. I agree we need to be accountable and vote so we may hold others accountable. However, forgiving should be approached with a different mindset. Forgiving is a process to live in the now and not dwell on the past. Forgiveness is not forgetting.
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Stephenson Hamilton, Sun City Center
Lisa Benson cartoon | Oct. 22
This just amplifies
Political cartoons are often an effective way to comment on the veracity of an issue through the use of humor and exaggeration. Lisa Benson’s cartoon on Hunter Biden’s emails does nothing of the sort — it only amplifies an already thoroughly discredited story.
Bill Serron, Dunedin