Let justice system work
Once again the critics are blaming the “stand your ground” law and guns in general for the Wesley Chapel theater shooting. So far as I know, SYG has not been used as a defense in this case, and the gun was used by an ex-officer, who should have known how to diffuse the situation rather than escalate it to where a man is dead. I was not there, and as far as I know neither were any of the other anti-gun, anti-SYG letter writers.
What I do know is that the shooter is in jail with no bail, and there was an active police officer and other people in the theater who witnessed the action. The truth will come out at trial. Maybe we could all wait and let our justice system do its job before placing blame on anyone or anything.
Stronger guns laws would not have changed anything in this case.
Proving your identity
Regarding “Proof-of-citizenship election rules defeated” (Nation and World, Jan. 19): I obtained a Florida driver’s license in the 1970s. I’m retired military and a U.S. citizen. I’m 71, and never been arrested or sued. Citing the abject idiocy of the courts’ ruling reported in the article, it’s now confirmed that our courts are filled with these mental titans handing down direct attacks on anything and everything that has made this country work.
My driver’s license came up for renewal in 2010. I went on the Internet, and after I had filled out most of the form, I was informed I would have to renew in person. On June 2, 2010, I renewed my license. In order to do so I was required to prove who I was with a birth certificate or valid passport, an unexpired foreign passport with a valid unexpired U.S. visa, or several other ways — plus proof of residency.
I gathered enough documents to renew, then “did my time” at the DMV. In light of all of the above, let it be known that if I don’t have to prove who I am to participate in something as important as voting to help guide the country as I see fit, or even prove whether I’m alive or not, then I want the state of Florida to restore 11⁄2 to 2 days of my life for the time and effort required of me to renew my driver’s license. I had driven on my license for well over 30 years with not a single violation.
Just tack the restored time on my life’s end.
Julius W. Hays
The burden for smoking
Regarding “Huge tax increase on smokes poor way to fund early learning plan” (Other Views, Jan. 20): David Shepp, executive director of the Florida Association of Wholesale Distributors, bemoans a proposed 93-cent tax increase on cigarettes. Shepp states “the reality is that using a tobacco tax increase as part of the funding source could place a significant financial burden on millions of Floridians while potentially falling short of its revenue collection target.”
Translation: People who are addicted to nicotine will have to pay more for their poisonous carcinogenic cigarettes and that will leave less money in their pocket to buy more cigarettes, thereby taking money out of the wholesalers and retailers pockets who sell this legal poison to their captive, addicted customers. The real financial burden here is shouldered by the addicted smoker who wastes good money on legal poison that could have been better spent and by non-smoking taxpayers who have to make up the money difference created by tobacco-caused disease and death.
In all my years of life and service to my country, I have never seen a more disgusting example of poor choices made, and then blaming them as a direct result of their service (“From war hero to robber: Ex-soldier asks for mercy,” front page, Jan. 21).
Gabriel Brown writes that he became an adrenaline junkie. So this gives him the right to commit armed robberies, because he needed the rush? For him to correlate the disarray in his life to his service borders on ludicrous. To go from protecting the freedom of our country, to endangering the lives of the very citizens his oath of enlistment vowed to protect, is an insult to all who have worn the uniform. After serving my country for 20 years and having my share of ups and downs, never once has the thought occurred to me to go out and rob someone or even smoke dope to cope. There are many vets who find themselves trying to figure out what to do after their service. I venture to guess that these same people never consider robbing others to manage their demons. Gabriel Brown deserved to have the book thrown at him.