Gun to the head
Regarding “How to achieve a compromise on guns” (Views, Dec. 22): Richard Feldman and Arkadi Gerney propose a grand bargain that will bring the NRA and the gun violence prevention community closer together. This indicates their ignorance of the NRA and its legislative supporters’ position on guns and the Second Amendment. To work, both sides have to compromise, but the NRA is quite clear that the Second Amendment cannot be compromised, as it makes all controls on firearms illegal. The gun control community is outraged that it must, year after year, see public safety continually compromised to ensure the myth of the Second Amendment.
In the past 30 years we have seen the states and Congress launch organized drives to increase gun rights by pushing more guns — and more more powerful guns into more places nobody wants them. More states, including Florida, are passing firearms preemption laws that make all existing gun control laws illegal. Gun rights reign supreme in Florida, so the NRA and its Republican supporters will not compromise and don’t have to.
The U.S. Senate and House are the only bodies that could create that compromise. Our junior senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, has an idea he thinks will help. Rubio has proposed a sliding scale of penalties for gun stores that violate ATF rules which the NRA supports. Absolutely outrageous! The NRA and Republicans are the ones who have rendered the ATF toothless by reducing their manpower and budget because the ATF insisted its rules be followed. The rules for operating a gun store are crystal clear because each transaction may well lead to the death and injury of many people. Just ask the victims of the Washington sniper. We support vigorous enforcement of all ATF rules.
Compromise? How do you compromise when one party holds a gun to your head?
Arthur C. Hayhoe
The writer is executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Inc.
Regarding “Marijuana is a harmful drug” (Letter of the Day, Dec. 14):
Most of us know that it is not a healthy idea to put any kind of smoke in our lungs, but what Jessica Spencer claims to be facts are far from it. Pesticide-laced marijuana does not happen. The same chemicals that make a person feel euphoric are very aromatic, and bugs do not like it. The few bugs that may get on the plant prefer and stay on the leaf. Minor leaf damage does not hurt the plant, nor does it warrant the use of costly pesticides.
According to the National Institutes of Health, carcinogens exposer from marijuana is less than tobacco. With the use of vaporization machines and marijuana-laced food products, the carcinogenic threats disappear.
Impairment of the immune system does not happen. According to the FDA “… the decision to approve the use of Marinol (synthetic THC) for use in HIV-wasting syndrome relied upon the absence of any immunopathology due to THC. … Not a single case of marijuana-induced immune impairment response has ever been observed in humans.”
The potency argument does not hold up under scrutiny. In many ways, marijuana is like any other drug; but there is one aspect that makes it unique: The stronger it is, the less a person uses. Barring eating a couple of pounds marijuana, there is no way to overdose. Using as much of the 20 percent (THC) marijuana as the 1 percent (THC) marijuana is impossible. The user would fall asleep long before he or she reached their goal. Smoking less equates to less lung damage.
Marijuana is “the most detected illicit drug occurring in auto fatalities.” There is a reason for that which the doctor neglected to mention. The detectable residues from one marijuana cigarette can remain in a person’s system for up to 30 days. For this reason, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that because a person tested positive for marijuana use does not mean that he or she was under the influence. Exclude marijuana from the mix, and you’ll find that all drugs will pass through a person’s system and be undetectable in three to four days.
No one in their right mind ever said marijuana is harmless, but have you read the warning pamphlets that come with any of your prescriptions lately?
Sarah Palin’s death squads do exist, but they were not caused by the Affordable Care Act. That act provides financial assistance on a sliding scale to Americans with incomes above a certain level. People below that level were to be provided health care through Medicaid. In many states that is working.
Palin claimed that the Affordable Care Act would create panels that would, in some situations, deny health care to certain people. She called them death squads.
In some states, Republican governors and Legislatures have refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. That expanded Medicaid would provide health care to people whose income is between the cutoff level of existing Medicaid and the income level that would allow them to get financial assistance to help them afford private health insurance.
Therefore, Republican governors and legislators are, according to Palin’s description, denying health care to certain people, and they are the death squads.
Speed it up, Bucs
The Bucs’ best offense all year, including Josh Freeman, was the hurry-up offense. Some teams just work better working fast.
On first down, the first play seems to be run right, and then run left. Is the defense surprised by this? Don’t think so! Without changing up the plays, the Bucs’ offense is reduced to two plays to pick up a first down.
Only Vince Lombardi could tell the defense what play they are running and still be successful. Change the first-and-10 play calling, and then go fast!