Keep waiting periods
Waiting periods for gun purchases
I have lived in the Tampa Bay area for over 25 years. After the recent shooting in Ybor City that left two dead and 16 others injured, it’s clear to me that there are few threats bigger to our community than gun violence. In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida’s leaders made small strides in passing reasonable gun laws.
Now, a little more than five years later, our elected officials are working to remove a mandatory three-day waiting period and weaken gun regulations. HB 17, sponsored by Rep. Joel Rudman, R-Navarre, is in the Florida House’s Criminal Justice subcommittee. If passed, the bill would eliminate the mandatory waiting period for firearm purchases, allowing buyers to proceed after three days or completion of their background check, whichever occurs first. This would revise the existing law, which requires waiting for both.
Last year, Florida became a permitless concealed carry state. If HB 17 passes, Florida’s gun regulations would be weakened again, making Florida citizens sitting ducks for gun violence.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that mandatory waiting periods decrease gun homicides by 17%, and states with them saw a decrease in gun-related suicides by 51%. I hope readers fight for Florida’s safety and contact Rep. Keith L. Truenow, the Tavares Republican who is chairperson of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, and tell him to oppose HB 17.
Vanessa Navarro, Tampa
Don’t endanger Social Security
Does Ron DeSantis want to cut Social Security and Medicare? Here’s what his record shows. | PolitiFact, Nov. 29
Social Security and Medicare are programs that establish a steady financial base for older people to live without fear of complete poverty and possible bankruptcy from medical costs. Social Security recipients can also receive SNAP food assistance. In all, 21.6% of Florida residents are over 65. That’s 4.8 million people. Thousands of Florida 55-plus communities owe their financial stability to those consistent payments. Millions of local businesspeople and their employees are supported also.
Employers and employees each pay a Social Security tax of 6.2% on wages up to the taxable maximum of $160,200. Because of the income ceiling, I see this as not just a flat tax but a regressive one. I think that fixing the Social Security “funding crisis” only requires applying the tax to all entrepreneurial net incomes and salaries over the current $160,200 taxing limit. Social Security and Medicare need funding solutions, but cutting my children and grandchildren’s future security is not how I am voting.
Doug Brooks, Spring Hill
Not so radical
Has Democratic Party been led astray? | Column, Nov. 30
Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg can’t seem to fathom the fact that 95% of Americas do not see President Joe Biden as extremely misaligned with their values, conservative or not. He believes that extremists have taken over the Democratic Party.
One example: The Republicans would have you believe that the Democratic Party has been overrun with radical, pro-Hamas activists. First, it is very clear that Biden will not waiver on his support of Israel, no matter how conservatives want to spin his actions. He is a devout Catholic and support for Israel is part of his identity. Americans can see that for themselves. Second: A recent, violent protest was held at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington. Demonstrators were protesting the Democratic Party’s position on the Israel-Hamas war. Does that sound like the “radical left” has taken over the Democratic Party? Where exactly are they winning? I believe that the majority Americans now see Biden as more aligned with their own values than not. This frightens people like the columnist. Maybe the conservatives should turn their attention to the House, where a literal group of radicals has taken over.
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Bobbi Lindaman, Largo
Live ‘free’ and die
DeSantis and health care | Nov. 29
Should Gov. Ron DeSantis be elected president of the United States, the anti-woke Florida governor’s heath care policies would be a total disaster for the rest of the country as they are here in Florida. Just ask the parents whose children have been kicked off Medicaid or the adults who are not even eligible for Medicaid due to this governor’s refusal to accept federal tax dollars, or ask some of the families of the more than 92,000 Floridians who died of COVID how his policies have been working. Medical freedom? Yeah, freedom to get sick and/or die.
David Burg, Tampa