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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Preventing future massacres

Preventing future massacres

I hesitated to write this before I confirmed that the Navy Yard base was subject to the same restriction as that at Fort Hood. The restriction I refer to is the one that prevented military personnel (those trained in the proper and safe use of firearms) from carrying their government-issued sidearms.

After a moment’s reflection I realized what a senseless question that was. The obvious answer is, “Not one of the good guys was armed.” Now the hue and cry by those who waffle at the obvious truth will be to gather every gun in existence and to put them out of existence. That is nonsense, and not only because it would be impossible.

The reality is that if you remove the guns from the good guys, you will just make it easier for the bad guys to do what we’ve witnessed at Fort Hood and in our nation’s capital.

It’s the nature of cowards and haters to prey upon the weak and defenseless. Had those cowards known that there was a chance of armed opposition, there would have been no massacre.

So, to prevent future massacres, allow every able-minded American to be armed with the weapon of his or her choice — and ready to fend off an attack by any demented individual or extremist disciple of a terrorist cult.

This is nothing less than is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of our Constitution.

B. Lane


First line of defense

At the presidential and congressional levels our leadership is well protected. But what of the rank-and-file soldiers, sailors and Marines?

The tragedies at Fort Hood, in Afghanistan and other installations where a “cleared” member of our armed forces acting as a lone gunman who decides to turn on his fellow soldiers and often civilians is in all probability impossible to defend against. But our military must be more proactive than reactive and develop means and resources to address entry-level concerns, not only at gates but in buildings as well. Although some have it, others don’t.

Magnetometers make it almost impossible for anyone to board an airline without sophisticated screening devices. Although I am certainly not a security expert, some type of plan needs to be put into effect that addresses the Washington Navy Yard tragedy. If a lack of security, such as the “controlled penetration” devices being inoperative, can occur, what does that say for our nation’s military leadership?

Security upgrades are long overdue, so say civilian employees who work at the Navy Yard. How many more of these types of shootings need occur before a program is put into effect?

Closer to home, one only need drive down the Bayshore side of the senior military housing at MacDill Air Force Base, and there is an absence of visible security, save the drive-by of military police. One would think with the homes and families of senior leadership of Central Command and Special Operations Command, as well as their closest subordinates, some type of visible physical presence would be evident. Visibility — that’s the first line of defense, and hopefully the Navy Yard tragedy is a wakeup call to our military to increase it.

John Osterweil


Set an example

“Union leaders lobby for health care law fix” (Sept. 17) explains it all. The unions were behind President Obama when Obamacare was presented to Congress, and they totally backed its implementation.

Hold on now, folks! The unions now are saying that their members should be eligible for the same federal subsidies available to low-income workers in the new exchanges because the new law will drive up the cost of union-sponsored health plans and encourage many employers to drop coverage. Excuse me — low-income union workers? I think not.

Also, Obamacare should be a total enrollment by all citizens/residents/workers in the United States. That is what socialism is — equal for all. No exemptions — including all government workers, military, Capital Hill employees, congressmen, senators, White House employees, and the vice president and president and all their families. Many of the various government offices, especially Capitol Hill, have separate benefit packages, and through Obamacare and the slide toward socialism those benefit packages should all be made uniform. Everyone should get the same benefits and pay the same rates.

If they are going to make us peons toe the line, they should set the example and be first in line and not above those who elect them into office and pay their salaries and all-inclusive benefit packages. The elected officials in Washington, D.C., have had an extravagant “free” ride for many years, and it is time their service is paid only for time served and not for how long they live.

June Ambrose

Plant City

Worth defending?

Regarding “Constitution Day: What should we celebrate?” (Other Views, Sept. 17):

To paraphrase Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, what happens when the government violates the Constitution — when it makes a law restricting firearm ownership?.

In the case of the ACLU, nothing. Since the ACLU is a strongly left-leaning organization, it sees nothing in the Second Amendment worth defending. Either all the amendments are important, or none are important. The ACLU needs to make up its mind.

Charles Palmer


Weather Center