‘Unthinkable, senseless act’
I have been reading in disbelief the letters in the paper about the shooting in the theater in Wesley Chapel. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since a few years ago a young boy was chased down, and eventually shot and killed by a man who was a self-appointed security guard. The shooter was found not guilty. In that case there was only one witness — the shooter.
Now, we have an ex-police captain who was also the leader of the S.W.A.T. team who shot a man after popcorn was thrown at him. In all those years on the force he was the person of authority; he gave the orders, and you had better comply. But now he was being disrespected. Now a wife, a daughter and an entire family have to live with this unthinkable senseless act every day for the rest of their lives. And the shooter’s wife, who was sitting inches away from him, will never be able to erase this from her memory.
How can we stop this from happening again? From some of the letters, some people believe everyone should have a gun strapped to their hip. A father took his 16-year-old daughter to the theater right after the shooting and told her, “This is why I carry a gun.”
I believe this is why you should not carry a gun.
As I read my letter in the Tribune Monday (“Not so simple math,” Your Views), I realized that in my attempt to be brief, I am sure I was insensitive. For that I apologize and ask forgiveness. If I could write the letter again, I would have offered my condolences to the Chad Oulson family because I was certainly shocked and saddened by the chain of events that led to Oulson’s death at the Wesley Chapel theater.
And know that while I probably could have explained my point better with more detail, by referencing the Aurora, Colo., murders, I was simply trying to point out that carrying concealed weapons is a very complicated matter and that it always seems that mass murders occur in places where the perpetrators are fairly assured there will be nobody else with guns.
Several weeks ago the American Red Cross sent me an email asking for clothing, etc., for pickup on Feb. 8. I agreed to provide some, so my wife and I went through our closets and pulled out, I’m sure, about $1,000 worth of clothes, including heavy winter coats, sweaters, dress shirts and at least 15 ladies’ dressy and casual tops and blouses, and boots, some new and never worn, and several bags of books. We placed these items in cardboard boxes and waited for Feb. 8. At 7 a.m. we popped out of bed and, because they were calling for rain, placed the boxes in large trash bags to keep them dry. We attached a large white sign to the bags stating they were for Red Cross charities and placed them in our driveway, where they stayed until a few minutes past 2 p.m., at which time I got up from my chair facing the driveway and went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. When I returned the bags were gone, and almost immediately the Red Cross truck pulled up and the driver came to the door to ask if I had forgotten to put out the things I had promised.
Imagine how bad we felt when we realized the Red Cross would not be getting all the things. So when the scum bag who took them is trying to sell the things at their next yard sale or at the flea market, think hard about the homeless people who could have really used those heavy winter coats and sweaters, and shoes. Or the couple whose house just burned down and have no clothes to wear to work so they can rebuild their life. Think really hard, and then go find a hole and crawl into it and pull it in over you.
Same old, same old
Having lived here for 30-plus years, I’ve developed automatic reflexes whenever I see Ed Turanchik’s name in an article; my grip tightens on my wallet and I continue to read to see what scheme he has come up with this time to get his hands on taxpayers’ money. That being said, I think the former “Commissioner Choo Choo” may have stumbled into a good idea like the proverbial blind hog occasionally finds an acorn. Ferry service is nothing new around here. Many years ago, one ran between Pinellas and Piney Point. What I don’t understand is our Hillsborough County commissioners approving $100,000 to essentially buy previous studies done by the very companies that want the $17 million to $20 million of taxpayers’ money to vet the plan and a new study to prove its feasibility. Exactly what do they expect to hear from studies that have been conducted by the companies involved and a new study that will be conducted by a company that those same companies will select and pay for with tax funds? It is interesting how our leaders keep coming up with new ideas that are essentially re-hashes of old ideas.
Jack C. Bolen