Hagel’s political world
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was asked by a service member at a recent meeting if he thought the new proposed benefits reduction would inhibit future and current individuals from joining or staying in the service. He responded that he did not think anyone joined the service because of the benefits. He said they joined to serve their country, not to receive benefits. So I guess you could use the same logic when discussing why people go into politics. — i.e., they do so to serve their country and not to receive any benefits. The problem with that whopper is, if it is true, why do they continue to vote to raise their own salaries every other year or so?
So service members are not supposed to complain about their loss of benefits because they did not join the military for benefits; they joined to serve their country? Tell that to the parents and children who are left without their fathers and mothers for extended periods, with a high probability they may never see them again. Or if they do see them again, they are likely to be looking at a parent with severe, life-altering disabilities.
Secretary Hagel is not living in the real world. He is living in the political world. He is not representing the people he is supposed to be representing. He is representing politicians who would finance government deficits and welfare benefits by shrinking the military and diminishing members’ hard-earned, promised benefits. Shame on him.
Sun City Center
The writer is a retired U.S. Navy captain.
Don’t open this door
The Florida Legislature should not consider legalizing a warning shot in life-threatening situations. It’s a loophole that doesn’t need opening. When is a warning shot a viable option? Almost never. The expectation is to give one last chance for the attacker to back off, but what about the high-velocity slug of lead that is released? Every year there are reports of celebratory gunfire striking homes, cars and people. It goes against the fourth rule of firearm safety — be sure of your target and what’s behind it. An adrenaline-fueled and fearful gun owner is not likely to look for a suitable backdrop that will safely stop his bullet. Loosening the restraint on discharging weapons in response to real or perceived threats opens the door of unintended consequences. It may end the confrontation, but it puts others and their property at unnecessary risk. It may encourage firing weapons to de-escalate an encounter that was never going to turn deadly. The firearm is a great equalizer. But it is a dangerous tool, and the owner has to be responsible for the events that occur from its use. Warning shots do not deserve an exemption. If the situation is dire enough to draw, then a warning shot is unnecessary and unwise. Otherwise, it should remain holstered.