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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Letters to the editor: National right to carry

National right to carry

Regarding “He was unarmed and unwelcome in Maryland” (Tom Jackson, Jan. 12):

John Filippidis was pulled over by Maryland Transportation Authority police for no reason except, apparently, his Florida license plate. He was detained while backup patrol cars arrived. For nearly two hours, he and his family members were searched for a gun. When the police ran his license, he saw he had a Florida concealed weapons license. These police officers stripped his car apart searching for a gun he didn’t have in the car. He and his wife were patted down in the search.

To me, this was an unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The fact that a person has a concealed weapons permit shouldn’t be enough to put honest gun owners through this humiliating and aggravating situation. A person has a legal right to have his firearm unloaded in a locked box in this trunk while driving straight through a state where his CCW does not have reciprocity. Check the rules for interstate transportation with a firearm on the BATF website or request a copy of the rules governing interstate transportation from BATF.

This is one reason why U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pushed for a “National Right to Carry” in 2013 for people who have a concealed weapons license. He was able to obtain 57 of the 60 votes needed.

Florida now has 1.25 million people with a concealed weapons permit which are now recognized in 32 other states. Sen. Bill Nelson from Florida takes an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but he votes against any bill that supports the Second Amendment, just as he voted against Rubio’s bill for a National Right to Carry.

The National Right to Carry was passed in the U.S. House by a wide margin with only Democrats voting against it.

Many newspapers in the United States continually bash the Second Amendment but surely support the First Amendment. Thank goodness The Tampa Tribune supports the Constitution.

Bill Bunting


The writer is the Republican Party of Florida Second Amendment chairman and the Pasco Republican state committeeman.

Misplaced priorities

“They turned their backs” (Other Views, Jan. 12) is a very strange solution to the unemployment benefits argument occupying our partisan politicians these days. The writer wants to punish our only reliable ally in the Middle East by cutting off aid to the only nation in the world surrounded by enemies determined to destroy it. Since the letter claimed that Israel gets the ”lion’s share” of our foreign aid, I did some research.

The Census Bureau reported that in 2011 Israel received $3 billion in aid, mostly military. In contrast, 13 sub-Saharan nations received $6 billion, and six predominantly Muslim countries were given $19 billion. Five other nations round out the top 25 recipients. The truth is, Israel gets a small fraction of the aid, not the “lion’s share.” Ironically, on Jan. 9 a wholly unreported amendment offered by the Republicans to extend unemployment benefits was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate. The amendment called for funding a three-month extension and a restoration of COLA benefits to our veterans. The reason the Democrats defeated the amendment was because these expenditures would be offset by requiring proof that recipients were eligible for a child tax credit, a program that is widely abused. The Democrats have their priorities.

Josef Horowitz


A giant leap forward

I am lucky not to be in deep debt to Obamacare for having health insurance. It was simply good fortune that I could remain on my spouse’s employer’s group insurance until I qualified for Medicare. That meant my chronic progressive condition was covered and my insurance and prescriptions affordable. For people too young for Medicare and not covered by an employer, Obamacare is the only reason a person can get affordable coverage and have pre-existing conditions covered.

Obamacare has forced insurance companies to do more of what insurance is supposed to do: spread the risk of coping with random illness and injury. Obamacare may not be perfect, but it is a giant leap forward in fairness and cost containment.

Guy Hancock


‘Reefer Madness’

Regarding “For the potheads” (Your Views, Jan. 13): Contrary to what Betty Dobson and many others believe, marijuana is not a “gateway drug.” The “gateway theory” is nothing but “Reefer Madness” propaganda.

In 1999, Congress commissioned the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to look at possible dangers on medical marijuana — the “Gateway Theory” being one of these possible dangers. After completing the study, the Academy wrote, “… Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age. … (However) … There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are (even) causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”

The study explained the correlation between marijuana use and other illicit drugs with two key factors. They explained the first factor as a matter of taste. In much the same way a music aficionado enjoys more than one genre of music, people who are extremely interested in an altered state of consciousness are likely to try more than one way of achieving it.

The second factor is the illegality of marijuana. The unscrupulous marijuana dealer has more than one line of products. After the teenager has proven that he is trustworthy and not working for law enforcement, the unscrupulous dealer will be happy to introduce them to his entire line of products.

Had Congress done the right thing, this would have put an end to the so-called “gateway theory” — but these were not the results that Congress expected or wanted. Therefore, the study was quietly put away, and the propaganda continues.

Rick Meredith

Wesley Chapel

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