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Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Defending your family

Defending your family

Friday’s Your Views’ “Who’s in charge?” and Our Views’ “Warning shot bill a mistake” viewpoints on guns in our society were interesting but missed the purpose and need for guns. From the perspective of Diane Jones, it appears that the NRA and Marion Hammer are unwanted intrusions in our government process.

I couldn’t disagree more. As a soldier sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, I see that the National Guard is taking a position counter to the Second Amendment. Despite the fact that the Second Amendment is currently the only constitutional right requiring a license, the Second Amendment confirms that every individual has a right to self-defense and that every individual has a right to keep and bear arms. Licensed or not, when there is chaos from an evacuation or any reason, the need for self-defense is increased because the police and military are busy directing traffic.

As for the “warning shot” legislation, I merely point to the fact that if a person throws a rock, knife, chair or a punch in self-defense, there is no risk of 10-20-Life prosecution. From my perspective, too many people, unfamiliar with guns beyond what they see in the movies or in the news, are so focused on their disdain for guns that they would require everyone to sacrifice safety for their ignorance. If Jones and others like her wish to remain defenseless, I have no qualms with that. But don’t put my family’s safety at risk because of their choice. The idea that my family should be defenseless during an evacuation is appalling.

Scott Harrison

Apollo Beach

Common sense

In response to “Who’s in charge?,” it seems the writer does not have all the information concerning the right to transport your firearms during an evacuation. This is common sense because if you leave your firearms behind, looters will get them.

If you have a concealed carry this would also let you carry during an evacuation.

It seems people who are anti-gun seem to get upset when any legislation is introduced that is pro-gun. Blaming the governor has nothing to do with it because the people propose the legislation; the governor signs the bill, making it the law.

Stephen Burchett


Stepping on home rule

A pair of ethics bills working their way through legislative committees in Tallahassee would, in present form, have the presumably unintended consequence of severely restricting the enforcement activities of local ethics commissions throughout Florida.

Both House Bill 1315 and Senate Bill 1474 would require that local ethics boards hire professional hearing officers or administrative law judges to rule on violations and set punishments. Local unpaid commissions would be limited to finding probable cause that a violation occurred.

While these bills seem laudable in guaranteeing accused municipal officials’ and employees’ due process rights and a neutral arbiter, the great expense of this approach would effectively eliminate local pursuit of all but the most egregious violations — the type of violation that ordinarily is pursued by other authorities as criminal behavior.

There is no budget for paid ethics hearing officers in our city, and the current shoestring budget for our ethics commission is unlikely to be increased merely because of expensive new requirements imposed from on high.

The proposed changes will also have a chilling effect on the creation of additional local ethics commissions in the vast majority of counties where they do not yet exist.

The directors of Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County have unanimously resolved to oppose these ill-considered legislative initiatives, because an unfunded mandate will result in an unfilled need, and since these bills do violence to the very concept of “home rule.”

A more frugal, and local, solution that addresses any present due process concerns would be for existing ethics commissions to designate a committee to determine probable cause, while the balance of the commission later holds an evidentiary proceeding.

This can be achieved at minimal expense through local ordinance.

John Winkler


The writer is president of Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County.

Warning shots

I simply cannot understand the Tribune’s opposition to the warning shot bill. I don’t see your logic.

Just because I have my concealed carry permit, I can’t just spray bullets if I’m attacked, and the warning shot bill will not allow that.

Yes, the bullet may strike someone or something else, but the chance is small in the vast majority of situations, and surely this is better than killing someone.

As far as law enforcement difficulty goes, as you argue, they do that every day. It’s their jobs!

I’m in a mall parking lot with my wife, and I’m attacked by a teenager trying to rob us. Are you saying that it is better for everyone involved that I just kill that teenager than to show my gun and fire into the ground in front of him to send him running?

Randy Parker

Plant City

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