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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor:

Sacred ground The Tribune editorial concerning Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law (July 25) is compelling reading if only because it seems to be a solution in search of a problem. The gist of the editorial is that the "stand your ground" law in Florida is flawed because there is a potential issue of one person starting an altercation, resorting to deadly force later when the situation gets out of hand and, subsequently, falling back on "stand your ground" as a viable defense. According to the Tribune's editors, local law enforcement has its hands tied as a result of this dilemma. I would offer that the law, as written, is clear on who can or cannot claim "stand your ground" or self-defense in general. Statute 776.013(3) states, "A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force ... ."
"Not engaged in an unlawful activity" are the crucial words in the previous sentence. If a person instigates a physical confrontation that is a violation of the law, that person cannot then use "stand your ground" as a defense. If a person is provocative, foul of mouth or otherwise being a jerk, then these are issues that need to be addressed outside of violent methods. I believe that our law enforcement and judicial professionals can ascertain the facts and choose to prosecute or not based upon that criteria. Self- defense has always been a subjective legal matter, but it is also a fundamental human right when circumstances demand it. "Stand your ground" does nothing more than codify something all humans should feel resonate in their soul: "Where I stand is sacred ground as it encompasses who I am. No one has a right to kill me in order to assume that ground." Daniel Skidmore Apollo Beach The Democrats' mentality Many people hear President Obama planning to give away billions of dollars in deficit spending as an infrastructure stimulus to an economy already buried under a mountain of federal debt. There are very good alternatives that would provide income to the federal government instead of more deficit spending. The Keystone Pipeline will provide thousands of jobs and create taxpayers. Leasing more government land to oil companies on a royalty basis with proviso drilling is income to the treasury, not more deficit spending. The end result could be the lowering of energy costs, which would be the greatest free stimulus to every segment of the U.S. economy. When this new income floods into the treasury, taxes can be reduced on business in exchange for expansion and job creation. We can provide a tax reduction incentive to bring back to the USA corporate cash stashed in foreign banks. The Democrats' tax-and-spend mentality will not help the nation. This just demonstrates the total absence of any business acumen in the Democratic Party. Remember the Obama campaign promise that if elected, he would not let Detroit go bankrupt? Today he no longer says this about the U.S., which he is sending in the same direction. Years from now, like Detroit, we will regret not running the United States on a balanced budget. Lou Christodoulou Apollo Beach Not required reading Congratulations and kudos to Lori Derrico for her letter to officials at Wharton High School objecting to the required reading of "The Perks of Being a Wall-Flower." But I am sorry for her daughter in that she had to put the contents of that piece of garbage in her mind. Please tell me, does "coming of age" mean becoming a mature, responsible adult or just "street smart" about the trashy behavior going on around you? Your article said this book was mostly lauded by critics. We parents do not care what these "other worldly" book reviewers say when a book contains inappropriate, indecent themes. School district officials and the chosen team of English teachers get a failing grade when they put this book and others like it on a required reading list. They should be concerned about filling students' minds with books that inspire the better side of our humanity instead of exposing all kinds of immoral degradation to the kids. I can tell Mr. Chbosky, the author, where these parents "are coming from," since he doesn't know. They are moral and decent people who know that it will harm their kids to be exposed to all kinds of destructive behaviors. What happened to books that inspire courage and justice and sacrifice in the face of difficulty and hardship? Apparently the school officials have not read enough of these themselves, or they would have put them on the required reading list. Paula Coggins Wesley Chapel Confessions Regarding "Papal pilgrimage: Jesuit High group to see pope" (July 20): Thank you for sharing a tale of two Catholic "confessions." First was 17-year-old Austin Booth confessing that going to Mass gets a little stale and that he doesn't think he is inspired the way he should be, but he is hoping this trip will change that. And second, Justin Kelley, a Jesuit senior, is making his second World Youth Day trip. Forget about any "polls" that you read about. Humble yourself to put God and others first, versus putting yourself first. Twelve years after I left Jesuit, I had a rekindling of my faith, and it was the greatest event in my life. For Austin, your Masses will no longer be stale, and like Justin, you will have faith that you need every day! Dale Kimball LutzUnbelievable Anthony Wiener must have complete distain for voters. What is frightening is that some people will vote for him even after his bad behavior has come to light. Even Nancy Pelosi is bad-mouthing him in spite of how much she wants to support a Dem for mayor. I surmise she must either be unhappy that he didn't send her some of his X-rated pictures or he is an embarrassment to the Democrats. Paul Cotter Tampa
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