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Why do they keep killing us? Are you a ‘they’ or an ‘us’? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
Howard Patton pays his respects at the scene of Saturday's shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Howard Patton pays his respects at the scene of Saturday's shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) [ MATT ROURKE | AP ]
Published May 22

Which one are you?

They were murdered by white supremacy | Column, May 17

Another radicalized white supremacist has murdered innocent unarmed Black people in cold blood, and there are others waiting in the wings for their turn. If we are ever going to scratch the surface in addressing the question of “why do they keep killing us?”, it’s time to have not only truthful dialogue and decisive and comprehensive action.

Thoughts and prayers are nice and needed, but so is a call to more progressive and political and legal actions. Free speech ought to have its moral and lawful limits when it can lead to the radicalization of individuals and groups resulting in mass murder, illegal insurrections and other forms and conduct of lawlessness. Such peddlers of this most evil type of evangelism ought to be held criminally and civically responsible for preaching such falsehoods and fatal incitement.

But there is something else more needed as well. It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing. It is time that the lines be drawn. This line needs to be drawn along political party lines, religious affiliation lines, cultural, ideological lines and moral fortitude lines. The world is poised to deal with the “them” questions. It could be your neighbor, your co-worker, your drinking buddy and even your fellow Christian. Want to know “why do they keep killing us”? First answer this question: Are you a “they” or are you an “us”?

The Rev. Dr. G. Gregg Murray, St. Petersburg

A few thoughts

Who will actually do something about unending gun violence? | Letter, May 17

I don’t have all the answers about how to reduce gun violence, but I have a few suggestions.

1. Bring back 10-20-life for sentencing of individuals who commit crimes of violence using a firearm. A person who is dumb enough to commit a crime using a gun is not smart enough to live among civilized people.

2. For juveniles using guns in the commission of a crime, hold their parents accountable and send them to jail as an accessory, particularly if the gun used was one of theirs.

3. Government officials who pander to the gun lobbyist need to attend the funerals of gunshot victims and look that person’s family in the eye and apologize for not having a backbone strong enough to tell the gun lobbyist “no.”

4. A better definition of “ground” (for “standing your”) would be nice too because that shouldn’t be so ambiguous or obscure.

5. More access to mental health services in communities who lack them and in those who have them better training for everyone on how to response to traumatic events so that more people are not adversely affected.

C. Delong, Tampa

Make polluters pay

Florida’s risk of wildfires could grow as climate change heats up | May 18

We are seeing the effects of climate change, caused mostly by human industry’s emissions of carbon dioxide. The pollution caused by fossil fuel emissions damages our health, and the carbon dioxide upsets the Earth’s climate. Fires are just one result, and “… as climate change warms the planet, the risk of wildfires like those in Florida could double by mid-century.”

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We need a concerted effort to reduce those damaging emissions and one of the best solutions is to put a price on them. We need our politicians to get behind a gradually increasing price on carbon at the mine or the well. If we return the fees to consumers as HR2307, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act does, we will be protected from higher prices.

Fossil-fuel-supported politicians are reluctant to do this, but economists and climate scientists are in favor. Vote for politicians who will follow the best advice and save our planet for our children and grandchildren.

Maggie Wineburgh-Freed, Los Angeles

The real danger

They were murdered by white supremacy | Column, May 17

Our governor is now proud of to have “eliminated” critical race theory from our public schools. By current estimates, CRT has yet to cost one life. We are still waiting for him to condemn “replacement theory,” which took 10 lives last weekend — and is nothing new.

Buck Beasom, Tampa

Not in my front yard

DeSantis outlaws protesting at homes | May 18

Florida’s governor has taken an important first step in banning protests outside residences. When my wife protests outside our residence that the yard is not mowed, I will remind her of the new order. Block parties will need to be carefully supervised so that protests about guacamole double-dippers are properly silenced. In fact, a new department like the recently created election police would be a great use of taxpayer dollars and an admirable addition to Florida’s vaunted safety net for its citizens. We should thank the governor for his efforts to make it safe for us to follow his rules. He should make even more of them because we don’t seem to know how to behave democratically, do we?

David Rettig, St. Petersburg

A day of remembrance

Death toll from COVID reaches 1M in the U.S. | May 17

One million Americans have died from COVID-19. We must honor the family and friends we’ve lost and those who continue to be affected by this pandemic. My resolution would establish a day of remembrance for COVID-19 victims and survivors — Congress should pass it.

Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach

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