Drills are necessary
We’ve now seen multiple mass shootings where response times were slowed by lack of communication and coordination. Now that these killings have become a deadly new fad, police must run active shooter drills routinely to ensure the response is as well-oiled as possible. They should be held not just at schools but in different venues where groups gather. Because we count on police to rush shooters with enough ammunition to take out a crowd, everyone who supports first responders should be demanding an assault weapon ban. Easy access to these weapons vastly increases the risk police face on a daily basis.
Liz Drayer, Clearwater
Manatees come first
We just spent the last few days enjoying the amazingly beautiful Blue Spring State Park, but wanted to take a moment to highlight and thank the manatee observers at the park that put up with so much verbal abuse. We witnessed one volunteer being called a “Karen” for making swimmers aware of the presence of a manatee and to keep distance. Then another volunteer was told “they weren’t going to drown for a manatee” when they were told about spacing. Take a chill pill folks; this unique species is having such a hard time that they deserve some sense of respect while we visit their habitat. Of the almost dozen manatees we saw, not a single one was without scars from propellers. So between that and the crisis they are facing with starvation, just thank the volunteers for doing a job well done, relax, and enjoy the magical place you are in.
Christina Aikman, St. Petersburg