It will happen again
Another senseless death in America, this one very close to home, at the movies.
We all know it will happen again.
This will continue to happen even with stronger gun laws that we do not have.
This will continue to happen even if we could follow and monitor the mental state of all gun owners, which we know is unrealistic.
The majority of Americans, many vehemently so, prefer that weapons be freely available, repeatedly citing the Second Amendment. Senseless deaths will continue to take place — it is just something most Americans are willing to accept.
The price or the cost of freedom?
Francisco D. Maldonado
Land O’ Lakes
Regarding “Benghazi: Still unanswered questions” (Letter of the Day, Jan. 18):
Col. James Waurishuk fails to ask the most important question. President Obama told the American people in debates and press conferences that as soon as he heard about the attack, shortly after it started, that he gave a directive to the NSC to “do whatever is necessary to protect our people.” If that is true, we can only conclude that the NSC, the Department of Defense and the secretary of state all failed to carry out a direct presidential order because none of them took any action that would protect our people, despite not knowing how long the attacks would continue.
If they all failed to comply to the president’s directive, should they not be tried for treason? Or is there another more reasonable explanation? That the NSC, the DoD, and the secretary of state all carried out the exact directive they were given by the president: stand down.
It is often said that in determining the truth of a complex situation, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. It applies here. They all did nothing because that is what they were told to do.
Regarding Tribune columnist Joe Henderson’s traffic camera piece (“Bureaucrat greenlights baloney” (Metro, Jan. 18):
Lake Wales and Tampa don’t seem to care much about what the state Legislature says. My wife received a notice of impending license revocation when renewing at the DMV. Lake Wales hadn’t given any notice of a red-light ticket several months earlier, and had increased the fee to nearly $300 with late fees. When I went to review the video, it shows the front of her car across the white line, but not her front tires. Rules say the tires count, not the car. A difference of about 20 inches, going 50 mph, is about 1/70th of a second. Hardly a sufficient stop time.
Honest states mandate that traffic computers must give time in hundredths of a second that precede the car entering the intersection on red with the video. Not Florida. If this was the case, St. Pete’s scam would be too easy to see — too much easy evidence for an appeal. Florida municipalities threaten retribution of about $500 if you appeal a red-light ticket.
The second issue was decided in the Legislature four years ago. Fines for a police-issued red-light ticket must be the same as a computer ticket. But Tampa doesn’t see it this way — the city charges about $260 for a cop red-light citation.
I received a rental car red-lighter a few years ago about one month after the fact from Washington state. An honest system has a computer review with time, date, length of yellow, the speed at intersection, and seconds in violation.
It’s hard to dispute this if it’s you (wasn’t me; easily dismissed), but then Washington is a blue state.
End silly conversation
Regarding the recent letters about TIA and TPA:
I’m tired of seeing know-it-alls who know nothing! TIA stands for Tampa International Airport. It’s an abbreviation. TPA is an airport code for Tampa airport.
TIA and TPA have no interchangeability. They are used in different contexts.
Let this be the end of the silly conversation.
Tourism and violence
Almost 20 years ago Florida tourism was rocked by a spate of carjackings. Visitors, especially those from Canada and Europe, worried they would be the victims of random violence. Twenty years later, as violent deaths from innocent encounters dominate the news, it would be naive to assume this won’t have an impact on Florida’s tourist economy.
Many travelers to our state are from countries where guns and gun violence are nonexistent. It is incomprehensible to them how a minor dispute can turn into a bullet in the chest.
Florida’s lawmakers ought to seriously consider whether coddling the gun lobby is really in the best financial interests of its residents or visitors.
There is a common sense solution to stopping rude people from annoying theater patrons with their phones and texting. Theater management needs to post a prominent sign at the door that states, “No electronic device usage allowed beyond here. Violators will be ejected. No refunds.”
If management does not take better control of their premises we can only look forward to more patron conflicts.
I expect to be able to enjoy the entertainment that I’ve paid for without interference.
Arthur Hayhoe’s ill-conceived letter “Poorly trained and vetted” (Your Views, Jan. 17) shows what happens when an anti-gunner decides to strike while feelings are hot. For Hayhoe to infer a retired Tampa police captain was “poorly trained and vetted” is absurd, but one should never let reason stand in the way of emotion.
John S.V. Weiss