Guns do kill people
I am a retired teacher with 41 years of experience teaching in the public schools of Hillsborough County. Thankfully, in all that time I never had to face an armed individual trying to shoot me. I say this because I feel a certain admiration for people (like police officers) who go out each day doing a job that requires them to face that possibility. Yet I am amazed as to why these groups of people are not at the forefront of those calling for restrictions on who should legally have possession of a firearm.
Having taught government for many years, I know all about the Second Amendment. However, having dealt with many people, I also know that there are quite a number of people who should not have a gun in their possession, and frankly there are certain weapons that should not be in the hands of any civilian, period.
Examples in Nashville, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky, and in Uvalde, Texas, illustrate how police at times are being outgunned by civilians with semi-automatic weapons acquired legally. I do not understand why police organizations are not at the forefront of Americans protesting when legislatures like Florida’s keep passing laws making it easier for an individual to be packing a gun. Many officers have died and many more will die because public officials seem impervious to taking action that would deal with the problem. Can we really do nothing more than wring our hands and say a short prayer?
Rene Tamargo, Tampa
Armed and dangerous
Crime trends may be national, but all crime is local — really local | Column, April 23
The gun manufacturers and the NRA bellow that crime is rampant and thus everyone should be armed. Cable and online media tend to highlight national crime trends and specific bloody events from all over the county — if it bleeds, it leads. Conservative politicians and social media trolls add outrage and dangerous conspiracies. No wonder many people fear for their safety, and thus feel a need to be armed. But as columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote, national trends have little bearing on the local crime situation. A relatively small number of individuals and organized groups are responsible for most crime events. He highlighted a large study that showed that 7% of juveniles were responsible for 61% of juvenile crimes. He added data from another proper study that revealed about 5% of specific addresses were associated with 50% of city crimes. I am a military combat veteran and know that I could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I never carry my gun when I go out. I know that the bad guy with a gun (especially an assault rifle) would likely have the advantage. Thus, I use common sense caution to avoid situations and locations that have an elevated risk of danger. I prefer prevention over gunfire.
Robert H. More, Riverview
Serve the people
Disney war hints at DeSantis as punisher | April 23
It’s time for an adult to send Gov. Ron DeSantis to the quiet corner to think about whether his behavior is helpful or hurtful to the people of Florida whom he is supposed to be serving. Can you imagine him with the nuclear codes?
Alice Smith, St. Petersburg
Disney war hints at DeSantis as punisher | April 23
Gov. Ron DeSantis is a supposed “conservative” who is using anti-business, anti-free speech and pro-regulation tactics to punish a business enterprise — Disney World — for no reason other than pique. To those that say that Disney should stay in their business lane and stay out of public policy, I’ll remind them that it’s a bedrock of conservative thinking that corporations are citizens with the same rights of free speech as human citizens. DeSantis has proven himself just another aggressive politician willing to ignore good governance in the pursuit of power, and willing to punish those who don’t agree with their agenda.
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Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Pinellas, cut back
Residents in northern Pinellas County will have to cut back sprinkler usage because of the drought afflicting the Tampa Bay region. I find this ironic since the county it self has not cut back on allowing seemingly every available inch of land to be filled in with condos, apartments, townhomes, gas stations, car washes, etc. My question to Pinellas County: When are you going to “cut back”?
Daniel Herzog, Pinellas Park
Wait until 18
Anti-trans gender bills are actually one kind of legal persecution | Column, April 22
Teenagers are generally not good at thinking long term. Plenty of them can’t manage planning much past the next Saturday night. It seems perfectly reasonable to me to make them wait until they are 18 before undergoing such life-altering medical procedures.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
A matter of physics
Fixing the physics teacher shortage | Column, April 23
Giving Florida State physics professor Paul Cottle’s excellent contribution even more relevance, I recall that the famous physicist Ernest Rutherford, who discovered the concept of radioactive half-life and won the Nobel Prize, is said to have maintained that, “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”
Ron Anderson, Largo